As organizations move away from reactive maintenance, condition monitoring (CM) becomes an essential skill. Condition monitoring is the process of recording measurements that define asset condition without disrupting its normal operation. Measured parameters include vibration, lubricant properties, electrical characteristics, thermal gradients, thermodynamic performance, etc. Measured values are compared with established limits in order to initiate notification that further evaluation may be required. CM is used to enable both predictive (PdM) and Proactive Maintenance strategies.
One of the main differences between PdM and Proactive Maintenance is that Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) is used to make continuous improvements in a Proactive program. In PdM, condition monitoring or Predictive information gives us warning of an impending failure, allowing us to plan ahead to procure repair parts; schedule a required outage, etc. But if we never address the root cause of the failure, we may end up repeating the same failure cycle over and over.
RCFA allows us to identify the fundamental cause(s) that, if corrected, will prevent recurrence of an event or adverse condition. By actually implementing the findings of RCFA, we can break the cycle and improve the reliability and availability of the affected assets. In this model rather than implement one-off actions, recommendations are considered in the context of the main asset strategy itself informing both an immediate instruction, and informing longer term changes to address the root cause. Other differences can include feedback from the maintenance craftsmen executing the corrective actions, planning, and operations, alongside input from advanced analytics that can advise of what were in the past hidden failure modes and often times drove unplanned events. All of these should drive optimization of RCM, FMEA, RBI, Safety Instrumented Systems and Hazardous Operations asset management strategies.