While reactive maintenance is appropriate for non-critical assets that have minimal effect on production, other pieces of equipment can drastically increase costs when failure occurs. Downtime costs can quickly escalate and poses significant risk against profitability. Loss of sales, unscheduled overtime, wait times for replacement parts or work crews are just some of the unanticipated costs that arise when critical equipment fails to operate.
A RCM analysis targets these critical assets with maintenance strategies designed to minimize downtime. Preventative maintenance (PM) or predictive maintenance are used as part of an overall RCM strategy to increase equipment availability. For instance, preventative maintenance can be scheduled during the most cost effective time in the production process – when the equipment is not normally running. Production costs are avoided and labor costs are minimized due to work activity being scheduled in advance.
Typically, the quicker equipment issues are addressed, the lower the cost. By identifying failure modes during the RCM assessment, potential failures are identified before they grow into functional failures. This increases equipment available in three ways:
- Repair time is shortened by having necessary resources before shutting down equipment
- Equipment is repaired when not in use, lowering maintenance affects
- Corrective repairs are only done when needed, lengthening maintenance intervals