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Reliability centered maintenance (RCM) was developed in the late 60's for the needs of the civil aviation. This development lead to the publication of Maintenance Steering Group document MSG-3 that is the basis of the modern RCM. These days RCM is an approved and well established methodology in industry.

Reliability centered maintenance is a method for creating a preventive maintenance program that can justifiably and effectively allow the structure and equipment to reach the required safety and availability levels, and to lead to improved safety, availability and financial factors in operations.

RCM shows the logical decision tree that allows to recognize suitable and effective requirements for the preventive maintenance of equipment and structures based on the safety, operational and financial consequences of the recognized failure modes. As an end result the decision logic provides arguments about the necessity of each single maintenance action.

0. Selecting and limiting the target area
1. What are the functions of the target and what is the expected performance level for it in the current operating circumstances?
2. In what ways does the target fail and is therefore unable to perform the required operations?
3. What are the causes for each functional failure?
4. What happens with each failure?
5. What is the effect of each of the failures? What are their consequences?
6. What can be done to predict or prevent each of the failures?
7. What should be done if a suitable predictive action is not available?

All of the actions are based on paying attention to personnel and environment safety and also to operational and financial factors. It should be though noted that the described criteria is highly dependent on the product and its use. For example the requirement for a production process is financial profitability that can be highly dependant on strict environmental demands. On the other hand for example a defense equipment should be operational at all time. However it usually has significantly less safety, financial and environmental requirements. The significance of individual phases depends on the application like when for example defining if some subsystems are critical concerning the system operation.

Successfully applying RCM requires a good understanding on the system structures, equipment, supporting systems and their failure modes and failure consequences. Ramentor has developed a RCM module into the ELMAS software to support effective RCM based operation in maintenance development. Together with the visual modeling and versatile simulation qualities found in ELMAS, ELMAS RCM is an exceptionally flexible and user-friendly RCM tool.
Read more about Ramentor's RCM solution >>


  • IEC 60300-3-11, Dependability management. Part 3-11: Application guide. Reliability centered maintenance. IEC standard, 1999
  • Reliability-centered Maintenance, 2nd edition, John Moubray, 1997
  • RCM - Gateway to World Class Maintenance, Anthony Smith & Glenn Hinchliffe, 2004