Risk-Based Maintenance (RbM)

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For the best maintenance management, you need a mix of methods and procedures. Maintenance departments must be systematic in their scheduling of maintenance tasks due to constrained budgets and scarce resources. The use of risk-based maintenance is then necessary. Risk-Based Maintenance (RbM) is a proactive approach that prioritizes asset maintenance based on its potential impact on the business. By identifying and mitigating potential risks before they cause downtime or failure, RbM can save companies both time and money in the long run. This approach involves assessing the risk of each individual asset, taking into account factors such as criticality, likelihood of failure, and consequences of failure. Once you identify the risks, you can tailor the maintenance schedule to focus on the most critical equipment and systems, ensuring that they are kept in good working order and minimizing the potential for costly downtime.

What is Risk-based Maintenance?

Risk-based maintenance is a well-known maintenance methodology that uses risk assessment concepts to prioritize maintenance work and optimize the allocation of maintenance resources. Prioritization starts with the assets that pose the greatest risk of failure and progresses to the assets that pose the lowest risk of failure, which receive the lowest priority. Utilizing maintenance resources (materials, staff, and time) efficiently is the core goal of risk-based maintenance.

By industry and for each specific company, there will be different assets that may be high risk and given top priority in risk-based maintenance. Here are a few illustrative examples:

  • Important systems, such as lighting, electrical, HVAC, or plumbing.
  • Machines that are essential to production in manufacturing facilities.
  • Infrastructure equipment for construction.
  • Trucks or equipment for moving goods.

Why is Risk-based Maintenance Important?

The overall goal of risk-based maintenance includes extending your asset lifecycles. Preventive maintenance is a component of risk-based maintenance and is significant for several reasons. By using this process, you can identify asset issues before they arise. Corrective maintenance incurs considerable overhead and inventory expenses and adds to unanticipated downtime. Since you identify the issue at the time maintenance is performed, the work also takes longer. You can avoid corrective or reactive maintenance by scheduling more preventive maintenance. When you plan maintenance tasks in advance, there is less machine downtime. You can also increase equipment safety by using a risk-based maintenance approach, and breakdowns will happen less frequently as a result.

How to Implement a Risk-Based Maintenance Strategy

First, you have to do some preparation in advance to better optimize your maintenance approach. The following steps will help you create your risk-based maintenance plan:

  1. List Your Assets – Any maintainable assets including the quantity, age, purpose, usage frequency, and cost.
  2. Criticality Analysis – Based on probable risk, assign your assets a criticality rating.
  3. Risk Assessment – Think through all the potential risks for each asset. This comprises a variety of hazards that have an impact on asset systems, the lifecycles of specific assets, resources, and breakdown risks.
  4. Plan Inspections – Plan out the type and frequency of asset inspections.
  5. Create a Risk Mitigation Plan – This might be difficult and take some time, but every sort of risk and all maintained assets should be adequately covered by it.
  6. Reassess – Before concluding your risk-based maintenance strategy, you should reevaluate it.

Risk-Based Maintenance Pros and Cons

The Benefits and Advantages

Here are a few situations where risk-based maintenance is successful. Applying risk-based maintenance principles will be effective if an organization and its infrastructure depend on expensive machinery to complete production activity. When designing a preventive maintenance program for the first time, maintenance managers may find it helpful to develop and implement a risk-based maintenance methodology as the basis for a stronger maintenance program. Last but not least, RbM can be a useful method for mindfully distributing preventive maintenance tasks if you have a limited amount of resources to work with.

It is less expensive to undertake maintenance using a risk-based approach than to perform excessive amounts of preventive maintenance. Additionally, RbM enables more efficient resource allocation. The maintenance team will carefully examine the timing and sort of maintenance to do, depending on the asset’s criticality and the seriousness of the required repairs. Finally, once you establish the RbM parameters, this maintenance system requires little to no long-term planning. Additionally, it will reduce the number of unnecessary work orders that bring inefficiency to the maintenance schedule.

The Disadvantages

Risk-based maintenance does need a large amount of initial preparation, which is one drawback. This approach won’t work if organizations don’t have the resources to devote to careful preparation. Also, an asset risk assessment will need to be updated regularly, which is another drawback. For instance, the dangers connected with a vital machine failing rise as it gets older. Organizations face the danger of running into unanticipated issues if this information isn’t updated often. Furthermore, not all maintenance departments have the resources to manage the increased complexity that utilizing a risk-based maintenance method adds to the maintenance strategy.

How A CMMS Can Help

With CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) software like Redlist, risk-based maintenance techniques can be much easier to implement. If you’d like to see how a CMMS can support your maintenance strategy, schedule a demo today.

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