Reliability Centered Maintenance is a powerful tool that when applied and implemented correctly can provide numerous benefits including improved equipment reliability, a reduction in unplanned downtime and lower unit cost of product. One of the most impressive benefits of performing a RCM Blitz™ analysis is the identification of failure modes that could result in a health, safety and environmental incident or accident. While some would like to believe that in today’s world where most new designs and capital projects are subjected to numerous design reviews that would include process hazard analysis we still uncover a significant number of health, safety and environmental related failure modes in every RCM Blitz™ analysis.
Even more impressive than the identification of these failure modes is the process where the RCM facilitator and team work to identify at task that will mitigate the failure mode and its potential effects. As our facilitator and team move forward with the implementation phase of our analysis we place a significant amount emphasis on the importance of implementing the complete maintenance strategy by clearly stating that implementing and performing that tasks identified in the RCM analysis is the only way to get a return on investment for the money spent in training, analyzing and implementing the tasks.
Today I would like to make clear to the world something I have been telling only my customers for over 12 years now.
Implementing the actions or tasks from your RCM analysis is not only important, it should be mandatory. Especially when it comes to the tasks that are related to failure modes that impact health, safety or environment because as a team the represents your company we have just recognized or identified a potential failure mode AND recommended a task to address its cause. Electing to ignore these failure modes and tasks immediately places your company in a very difficult legal position.
Consider this, while this failure may have never occurred in the past, what would happen if it occurred tomorrow and you now had documentation that clearly identified you not only recognized it could occur but also identified and a ignored task that would have eliminated the failure or significantly reduced the probability of occurrence? While I may not be a lawyer I would have to question if ignoring the failure mode and task and having evidence that clearly shows this choice would make the difference between responsible and negligent.
So today I will share with the world what I have been telling my customers for years, “implementation is not a choice when it comes to RCM Blitz™, it‘s your responsibility. As a team we worked for several hours to identify the failure modes that are Reasonable and Likely, for each we considered the probability it would occur and the potential consequences to your business should it occur. We then took our time and used a proven decision process to select the best task/tasks to mitigate each of these failure modes by reducing or eliminating the likelihood of occurrence. Electing to ignore these failure modes and tasks quite frankly is irresponsible!”
The good news I have today is our customers’ get this message and our customers are implementing the tasks that come out of their analyses.
As a RCM practitioner, mentor and facilitator I take personal interest in every RCM Blitz™ analysis we perform and as a result I make it a personal goal to follow up on tracking the progress of each implementation by making monthly phone calls and sending e-mails. I have to say I am impressed with our accomplishments to date!
I would be remiss if I did not share some of the secrets of why our customers are so successful at implementing the RCM Blitz™ tasks.
1. The RCM Blitz™ database has a fantastic implementation tracking tool where one can:
• Assign each individual task to a responsible person
• Assign each individual task a due date
• Track the status of each task
• Prioritize each task based on criticality/priority
2. We engage our facilitators and practitioners in the implementation process knowing full well that the capabilities of our customers differ from one to the next. We offer assistance in:
• Writing PM’s and Job Plans
• Creating Operator Rounds Sheets and Check Lists for Start-up, Shut-Down, and Product Changes
• Managing and assigning action for a accelerated implementation
3. We work with our customers up-front to identify the best candidates for analysis so they will show a return on investment when they complete the implementation plan and perform the new maintenance strategy. With the up-front plan in place they can now clearly show the impact of each analysis.
In closing nothing impressed me more through the years than seeing our long term customers in action when it comes to addressing some of the difficult actions that come to the surface when a clear HSE related failure mode exists. In the past two years I have witnessed on two occasions where customers were immediately notified of a serious condition. On both occasions the equipment was immediately locked out and the failure modes was eliminated within 12 hours. Each of these customers commented that had they not performed the RCM Blitz™ they might have never recognized the potential serious hazard.
While Reliability Centered Maintenance can be a powerful tool, it will only deliver results when implemented.
Companies who are successful at RCM understand the importance of implementation, when it comes to success; the Leaders use RCM Blitz™.