Due to the problems encountered implementing the RCM technique in small and medium sized process and manufacturing industries, PCMS Engineering developed an alternative technique known as a Review of Equipment Maintenance (REM), which concentrates on improving the availability of existing equipment.
This was in response to the trend towards larger, more integrated production facilities for which the cost of downtime is a major factor in the cost effectiveness of the facility as a whole.
This methodology aims to develop an optimised maintenance plan through a review of the existing maintenance tasks already carried out on the equipment. These maintenance tasks will have generated a large volume of maintenance information on the plant’s historical performance.
The quality and location of this information will vary considerably from plant to plant, but will usually be available from maintenance and production records, or by interviewing plant personnel. For the purpose of an REM study, information on breakdowns is often more useful than information on Fixed Time Maintenance.
The information gained from different maintenance strategies can be summerised as follows:
- OFM: Learning by damage and disgrace;
- CBM: Learning by measurement and knowledge.
- The learning effect from FTM is virtually non-existent.
The primary steps undertaken as part of an REM review are shown above. It can be seen that this is a similar process to RCM, but with an emphasis on the maintenance audit as the main source of failure information.
Ideally, REM is not a process which should be carried out once for a particular plant but should be a continuous process which reflects changes to the operating characteristics of the plant such as product mix, changes to the production cycle or changes to the equipment itself.