A study of reliability-centred maintenance in maritime operations
This paper has identified specific problems likely to be encountered in endeavour of implementing reliability-centred maintenance (RCM) on ships. These stem out of the cultural differences between the aviation and maritime industries. In the maritime industry, RCM is often considered resource demanding. It is however possible to make the project manageable by starting with a critical system. Considerable savings in time and effort can also be achieved by using a reverse logic where the failure modes are identified by analysing the maintenance tasks. A subjective qualitative approach has been proposed to overcome the limitations of the definitive logic used by the decision trees and the demand for failure data imposed by quantitative methods. A fuel oil purification system has been used as a test case to demonstrate its use. There is appreciation amongst both classification societies and equipment suppliers of the principles of RCM in the maritime industry. This makes the application of the RCM concept feasible. Finally it is the seafarer, who will have to be on the forefront of this endeavour and total productive maintenance can be used to create the right work environment to achieve this. It is concluded that rather than looking at RCM as a methodology and trying to use it as such, it makes more sense to consider it as a philosophy and use its guiding principles to help the seafarer plan his maintenance strategy.
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