Modern Scientific Maintenance methods

11th April 2021 1 By indiafreenotes

Reliability centered maintenance: Reliability centered maintenance (RCM) is defined as “A process used to determine the maintenance requirements of any physical asset in its operating context”.

Basically, RCM methodology deals with some key issues not dealt with by other maintenance programs. It recognizes that all equipment in a facility is not of equal importance to either the process or facility safety. It recognizes that equipment design and operation differs and that different equipment will have a higher probability to undergo failures from different degradation mechanisms than others. It also approaches the structuring of a maintenance program recognizing that a facility does not have unlimited financial and personnel resources and that the use of both need to be prioritized and optimized. In a nutshell, RCM is a systematic approach to evaluate a facility’s equipment and resources to best mate the two and result in a high degree of facility reliability and cost-effectiveness.

RCM is highly reliant on predictive maintenance but also recognizes that maintenance activities on equipment that is inexpensive and unimportant to facility reliability may best be left to a reactive maintenance approach. The following maintenance program breakdowns of continually top-performing facilities would echo the RCM approach to utilize all available maintenance approaches with the predominant methodology being predictive.

<10% Reactive

25% to 35% Preventive

45% to 55% Predictive.

Because RCM is so heavily weighted in utilization of predictive maintenance technologies, its program advantages and disadvantages mirror those of predictive maintenance. In addition to these advantages, RCM will allow a facility to more closely match resources to needs while improving reliability and decreasing cost.


  • Can be the most efficient maintenance program.
  • Lower costs by eliminating unnecessary maintenance or overhauls.
  • Minimize frequency of overhauls.
  • Reduced probability of sudden equipment failures.
  • Able to focus maintenance activities on critical components.
  • Increased component reliability.
  • Incorporates root cause analysis.


  • Can have significant startup cost, training, equipment, etc.
  • Savings potential not readily seen by management.

Six Sigma Maintenance

It is the application of six sigma principles in maintenance. Six sigma is a maintenance process that focuses on reducing the variation in business production processes. By reducing variation, a business can achieve tighter control over its operational systems, increasing their cost effectiveness and encouraging productivity breakthrough.

Six sigma is a term created at Motorola to describe the goal and process used to achieve breakthrough levels of quality improvement. Sigma is the Greek symbol used by statisticians to refer to the six standard deviations. The term six sigma refers to a measure of process variation (six standard deviations) that translates into an error or defect rate of 3.4 parts per million. To achieve quality performance of six sigma level, special sets of quality improvement methodologies and statistical tools developed. These improvement methods and statistical tools are taught to a small group of workmen known as six sigma champions who are assigned full-time responsibility to define, measure, analyze, improve and control process quality. They also facilitate the improvement process by removing the organizational roadblocks encountered. Six sigma methodologies improve any existing business process by constantly reviewing and re-tuning the process. To achieve this, six sigma uses a methodology known as DMAIC (Define opportunities, Measure performance, Analyses opportunity, Improve performance, Control performance). This six sigma process is also called DMAIC process.

Six sigma relies heavily on statistical techniques to reduce failures and it incorporates the basic principles and techniques used in Business, Statistics, and Engineering. Six sigma methodologies can also be used to create a brand new business process from ground up using design for six sigma principles.

Six Sigma Maintenance Process

The steps of six sigma maintenance are same as DMAIC process. To apply six sigma in maintenance, the work groups that have a good understanding of preventive maintenance techniques in addition to a strong leadership commitment. Six sigma helps in two principal inputs to the maintenance cost equation: Reduce or eliminate the need to do maintenance (reliability of equipment), and improve the effectiveness of the resources needed to accomplish maintenance. Following are the steps involved in six sigma maintenance process.


This step involves determining benchmarks, determining availability and reliability requirements, getting customer commitments and mapping the flow process.


This step involves development of failure measurement techniques and tools, data collection process, compilation and display of data.


This step involves checking and verifying the data and drawing conclusions from data. It also involves determining improvement opportunities, finding root causes and map causes.


This step involves creating model equipment and maintenance process, total maintenance plan and schedule and implementing those plans and schedule.


This step involves monitoring the improved program. Monitor improves performance and assesses effectiveness and will make necessary adjustments for the deviation if exists.

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

Enterprise asset management is an information management system that connects all departments and disciplines within a company making them an integrated unit. EAM is also referred as computerized maintenance management system. It is the organized and systematic tracking of an organization’s physical assets i.e., its plant, equipment and facilities. EAM aims at best utilization of its physical assets. It ensures generation of quality data and timely flow of required data throughout the organization. EAM reduces paper work, improves the quality, quantity and timeliness of the information and provides information to technicians at the point of performance and gives workers access to job specific information at the work site.

Lean Maintenance

Lean maintenance is the application of lean principle in maintenance environments. Lean system recognizes seven forms of waste in maintenance. They are over production, waiting, transportation, process waste, inventory, waste motion and defects. In lean maintenance, these wastes are identified and efforts are made for the continuous improvement in process by eliminating the wastes. Thus, lean maintenance leads to maximize yield, productivity and profitability.

Lean maintenance is basically equipment reliability focused and reduces need for maintenance troubleshooting and repairs. Lean maintenance protects equipments and system from the route causes of malfunctions, failures and downtime stress. From the sources of waste uptime can be improved and cost can be lowered for maintenance.

Computer Aided Maintenance

For effective discharge of the maintenance function, a well designed information system is an essential tool. Such systems serve as effective decision support tools in the maintenance planning and execution. For optimal maintenance scheduling, large volume of data pertaining to men, money and equipment is required to be handled. This is a difficult task to be performed manually.

For a planned and advanced maintenance system use of computers is essential. Here programs are prepared to have an available inputs processed by the computer. Such a computer based system can be used as and when required for effective performance of the maintenance tasks. There are wide varieties of software package available in the market for different types of maintenance systems.

  • A computerized maintenance system includes the following aspects:
  • Development of a database
  • Analysis of past records if available
  • Development of maintenance schedules
  • Availability of maintenance materials
  • Feedback control system
  • Project management.