Original Date: 11/06/2007
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Backfit Reliability-Centered Maintenance Process
CACI International has implemented a Backfit Reliability-Centered Maintenance process that has significantly reduced the time and the expenditures the Navy allocates for preventive maintenance. These benefits have been realized while maintaining system performance.
CACI International, one of the largest and longest-serving practitioners of Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM), developed a process to optimize planned maintenance of in-service equipment. “Backfit” RCM is an evaluation of established planned maintenance system (PMS) preventive maintenance requirements. The backfit methodology is performed on and intended for fielded systems. RCM for new systems is based on an analysis of the equipment design and pre-production documents such as the failure modes and effects analysis. Alternatively, Backfit RCM is based on operational data of system-dominant failure modes. Its purpose is to improve and refine maintenance during the in-service stages of the life cycle.
The backfit process includes determining age-degradation failure modes, safety or environmental issues, severity of the failure’s effect on ship’s mission, and cost-effectiveness of proposed PMS modifications. The process is run through an age-degradation filter, an applicability filter, and finally an effectiveness filter. The effectiveness filter answers the question: Is the task worth doing? Backfit RCM provides documented results that are repeatable, no matter what type of equipment is being analyzed.
The underlying policy for RCM is Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM), the Chief of Naval Operation’s (CNO’s) policy for ship maintenance as called out in OPNAVINST 4700.7 (series). CBM is defined as “maintenance based on objective evidence of need.” OPNAVINST 4790.16, “Condition-Based Maintenance Policy,” requires use of RCM to determine evidence to select the appropriate maintenance. Backfit RCM provides a structured methodology for periodic analysis of operational and maintenance results to continuously improve the periodicity and scope of prescribed maintenance tasks. RCM was institutionalized in 1997 by SEA 04RM using CACI facilitation services. CACI organized and executed the Backfit RCM process for NAVSEA, began providing RCM training/certification, and changed the curriculum to focus primarily on the RCM theory and decision process versus documentation.
This approach has been refined and is applied to all shipboard systems by CACI and in-service engineers (ISEs) in conjunction with ship’s force personnel experienced in operation and maintenance of the systems evaluated. Both the ISEs and experienced ship’s force personnel are provided training in the Backfit RCM process prior to conducting their analyses of existing PMS tasks during an evaluation called a ship Maintenance Effectiveness Review (MER). Any maintenance decisions made at the MER are implemented immediately after the event. These evaluations were initially called SURFMERs because they included only surface ships. They were renamed SHIPMERs with the addition of submarines, and CACI currently calls them FLEETMERs with the addition of aircraft carriers. It originally took about six months to perform a MER. Using process improvement methodology, CACI reduced the six-month SURFMER process to six weeks (Figure 2-6).
The Department of Defense (DoD) originally specified the use of RCM in 1974 but did not begin wide-scale implementation until CACI, in conjunction with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), refined and implemented a logical structured process that included RCM certification. CACI facilitates RCM backfits that have reduced the time and the expenditures the Navy allocates for preventive maintenance. These benefits have been realized while maintaining system performance.
Figure 2-6. Accelerated SURFMER Timeline
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