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Background About Maintenance Strategies
An ideal maintenance strategy meets the requirements of machine availability and operational safety at minimum cost. Common strategies for maintenance are:
Breakdown Maintenance is to operate an asset until faults become apparent or actual breakdown occurs. In terms of operational economics and planning of maintenance, the results of this strategy are,
  • High machine replacement costs;
  • Lost of revenues due to machine downtimes;
  • Unpredictable lifetime operational costs of maintenance.
Scheduled Maintenance relates to maintaining the equipment or machinery at regular intervals commonly referred to as maintenance cycle. This has been accepted as a next best alternative to breakdown maintenance. This type of maintenance strategy usually leads to:
  • Excessive maintenance costs;
  • Unnecessary short time between scheduled maintenance;
  • Vulnerable to addition of new faults on every scheduled maintenance.
Condition-based Maintenance or Just-in-time maintenance strategy is based on collecting information from suitable points on machine to predict failures and need for maintenance. Condition-based maintenance on its own or combined with scheduled maintenance has been proved to:
  • Minimise the cost of maintenance;
  • Improve operational safety;
  • Reduce the quantity and severity of in-service machine failures.


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RCM's, What they stand for?
RCM-Reliability Centred Maintenance
After safety, the most important technical requirement for any mass-transportation system is reliability. This may be regarded as the predictability and time-keeping aspects of the Quality Service performance to the passengers. This, mainly relies on high availability of equipment (and human resources) and overall system integrity. Many operators are concerned with the cost and quality of the maintenance of their assets and are adopting such strategies as Reliability-Centred Maintenance to optimise the maintenance management and availability of their equipment towards quantifiable improvements in cost-effectiveness and reliability.

RCM-Remote Condition Monitoring
The cost and quality objectives can not be fully met unless there is a planned move away from pure reliance on routine maintenance and towards condition-based maintenance management. This employs advanced electronics, sensors a transducers, computing and communications technology embodied in Remote Condition Monitoring systems.


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RCM2 What it is?
The underlying principles that bring these two RCMs together, within an (RCM)2 concept, are:
  • Combining qualitative knowledge (e.g. FMECA) and quantitative information (statistical and condition assessment data) about the assets can improve their performance, by predicting failures and achieving potential improvements over their inherent/designed reliability, and reduce their maintenance cost (overall whole-life cycle cost reduction);

  • Employing advanced electronics, computers and communications technology to gather useful information and knowledge about resources, both human and asset condition, and provide these to operators, engineers and maintainers as appropriate;

  • Pro-active condition-based maintenance implies more control over resources, and less business and safety risk.



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We are the pioneers...
Based on our expertise and five years of experience of its application to clients from a number of blue-chip companies, we have addressed issues relating to the integration of the two RCMs, and implementation of (RCM)2 for various assets and systems. This is in the form of remotely monitoring the state-of-the-health of the asset, and utilisation of a custom-designed intelligent knowledge-base environment that would be able to predict failures and provide early-failure warning of incipient and developing faults to operators and maintainers in a user-friendly and efficient manner as required.

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Implementing RCM2
The cost and quality objectives can not be fully met unless there is a planned move away from pure reliance on routine maintenance and towards condition-based maintenance management. This employs advanced electronics, sensors and transducers, computing and communications technology embodied in Remote Condition Monitoring systems. The aim of maintenance is to preserve an asset in a state, in which it is capable of fulfiling its intended function. The integration of Remote Condition Monitoring (RCM2) and the maintenance management optimisation strategies (e.g. Reliability Centred Maintenance RCM1) is term as (RCM)2 .

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RCM2 Implementation for Maintenance Management


RCM1 analysis yields greatly enhanced understanding of how the asset works and a better understanding of how the asset can fail and can help in quite effective way by identifying sensors for remote condition monitoring (RCM2) system. RCM1 analysis is used to design the RCM2 system. The RCM2 system is again used to implement RCM1, for improving and optimising the existing RCM1-based maintenance management.


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Benefits of RCM2
The underlying principles that bring these two RCMs i.e., RCM1 and RCM2 together, within an (rcm)2 concept, are:
  • Combining qualitative knowledge (e.g. FMECA) and quantitative information (statistical and condition assessment data) about the assets can improve their performance, by predicting failures and achieving potential improvements over their inherent/designed reliability, and reduce their maintenance cost (overall whole-life cycle cost reduction);
  • Employing advanced electronics, computers and communications technology to gather useful information and knowledge about resources, both human and asset condition, and provide these to operators, engineers and maintainers as appropriate;
  • Pro-active condition-based maintenance implies more control over resources, and less risk (business and safety).
The condition monitoring has developed into an exact science and is still rapidly advancing.  This is largely due to the introduction of modern low-cost electronics, intelligent (microprocessor-based) sensing devices and data capture equipment and its successful application to many industries, including processing, services and manufacture. In 1988 a survey of over 500 plants was conducted by Technology for Energy Corporation to identify the impact of condition-based maintenance on the economic operation and manufacturing industry.  All participants have been operating the programme for three years or more. Among other significant findings, the following facts emerged:
  • 50-80 % reductions in repair cost;
  • 30% increase in revenue;
  • 50-80% reduction in maintenance cost;
  • Spares inventories reduced by more than 30%;
  • Overall, profitability of plants increased by 20-60%.
The remote condition monitoring systems have additional benefits than only monitoring and data-logging systems. Some are listed here.
  • Failure prediction
  • Fast and advanced notification of incipient failures
  • Improved reliability
  • Maintainers have more knowledge of the condition of the asset at any time.
  • Automatic data download


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Life Cycle Costs and Benefit Analysis
The main purpose of this appendix is to present a preliminary study about the life cycle cost (LCC) and benefits, implementing remote condition monitoring and reliability centred maintenance. For this purpose the following model is being used and at the end some reasonable figures are presented, see figure below. It should be noted that the detailed evaluation and study will be carried out during the next stage of this work, if the project proceeds.

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Cost benefit model

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Maintenance Cost
The maintenance cost is essentially consists of two parameters; a) In-Service Repair and b) Scheduled-Maintenance. Both costs need to be evaluated including the cost of the staff, equipment, extra labour, unscheduled production losses etc need to evaluate to give a certain figure MAINTENANCE_COST_PER_YEAR. Since such cost at times can be the client’s commercial secret, thus they can be replaced in our calculations with the actual figures. It is more realistic if it also includes the indirect costs such as delays, penalties, loss of customers, etc.

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