Most of the time, facilities wait to develop asset management programs until after construction and commissioning. Though this seems like a prudent idea, it may not be the optimal strategy for achieving maximum life cycle reliability and optimizing costs associated with operations and maintenance (O&M).

Implementing an asset management program after startup involves distinct limitations if the facility was not designed, built, or commissioned appropriately. It is very expensive to modify design after the fact, and as a result, the ability to improve performance through preventative maintenance is impeded.

Design configurations—and even the equipment used—can impact long-term O&M costs. This often occurs when O&M is mistakenly considered separate from the design phase, which allows the design to determine life cycle costs. With O&M costs making up as much as 80% of total life cycle costs, wouldn’t it make sense to mitigate some of these future costs by utilizing a reliability-centered design (RCD) process before your facility comes online?

What is RCD?

 RCD is a concept developed to build asset reliability into the design phase of your capital project.

The RCD process integrates O&M requirements into the design and incorporates preventative and predictive maintenance strategies. Asset reliability and maintainability increase through the use of a systematic approach to maximize process availability. RCD also uses criticality-based decision making on asset redundancy and spare parts inventory.

By reviewing the design of your capital project before finalizing, any necessary modifications to improve reliability can be integrated. This leads to a reduction of O&M costs through the use of more reliable components, simpler replacements and easier inspections, thus minimizing maintenance requirements and ensuring a more reliable and maintainable design.

Achieving maximum life cycle reliability and efficiency of your facility requires more than just an asset management program. The facility must also be:

  • Designed properly
  • Installed properly
  • Commissioned properly
  • Operated properly
  • Maintained properly

Missing even one of these elements can invalidate the others and have a significant negative impact. RCD assures that all of these elements are met in early project stages. By adequately addressing reliability, maintainability, and safety issues during the design phase, overall life cycle cost can be significantly reduced.

We understand that the primary goals of any asset reliability program are to optimize productivity and maximize efficiency, while reducing risk and maintaining compliance. By building asset management principles into design and “designing for reliability,”  you can achieve these goals without sacrificing the life cycle goals of your facility. 

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