Maintenance Strategies are developed using a structured framework for analysing the functions and potential failure modes for a physical asset in order to develop a scheduled maintenance plan that will provide an acceptable level of operability, with an acceptable level of risk, in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Different programs for the development of maintenance strategies are available and range from  basic facilitated workshops through to third generation tools such as Reliability-centred Maintenance.

Strategies may be developed from a detailed Failure Modes and Effects Analysis or Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Analysis where the equipment is analysed from a component or function standpoint. Both of these processes can define a maintenance strategy.

The RCM methodology is used to determine the maintenance requirements of any physical asset in its operating context. It is used to decide what must be done to ensure that any physical asset, system or process continues to do whatever its users want it to do.

The application of RCM completely transforms the view that any organization has of its physical assets. Not only does it revolutionise views about maintenance and how maintenance and operations work together but it also leads to a far broader and deeper understanding about how things work.

The RCM process identifies the ways in which the system can fail to live up to these expectations (failed states), followed by an FMEA (failure modes and effects analysis), to identify all the events which are reasonably likely to cause each failed state.

The RCM process then identifies the appropriate failure management policy for dealing with each failure mode in the view of its consequences and technical characteristics. Failure management policy options include:

  • predictive maintenance
  • preventive maintenance
  • failure-finding
  • design review or configuration of the system
  • change the way the system is operated
  • run to failure

The RCM process provides powerful rules for deciding if any failure management policy is technically appropriate. It also provides precise criteria for deciding how often routine tasks should be done.

From the maintenance development time is spent grouping the appropriate tasks and the development of the overall maintenance implementation to align with the site maintenance strategy.