Make Risk Part of Your Reliability Plan in Five Steps

No data was found

It’s an uncomfortable question that you may not feel equipped to answer. 

Do you keep pumping money and hours of maintenance into aging assets…or have the tough conversation with your leadership team about signing checks for all-new equipment? 

Whichever way you slice it, both answers involve a big investment. Yes, asset reliability needs to be top of mind, but you also might be facing tightening budgets and pressure from above to squeeze out every last drop of uptime. 

So, what if there was a way you could get more out of your assets, reduce the risk of critical, production-halting failures and keep all your stakeholders happy?

It’s called risk-based asset management, or RBAM®, and it’ll change how you look at every piece of equipment in your plant, as well as maintenance planning. Here, we’ll walk you through the five phases of a RBAM strategy. 


Putting RBAM into action

1: Classify: Get the lay of your land. This first phase involves understanding how asset reliability impacts your operation. We also define the operating requirements and parameters for each of your assets. 

An important step that can’t be overlooked at this point is having your teams capture accurate data for each asset on the floor – i.e., serial and model numbers, specification tags, etc. 

Once this data is captured (and verified), a functional hierarchy of your assets is created. This establishes the level to which work orders are assigned, bills of material are written, and failure analysis is conducted.


2: Analyze: This is the first step in risk management. Now that you know what you’re looking at, you can start analyzing and identifying the most mission-critical assets on your factory floor. 

Then, look at all the most common ways those assets could fail and create a “risk ranking” of how those failures could impact day to day operations.  

For example, a “low risk” asset failure might be something you can easily address through regular maintenance or with a standard universal part. A “high risk” asset failure, meanwhile, is an issue that could shut down production and pose a serious threat to worker safety. 

Doing this analysis enables you to deploy your maintenance resources to the assets that have the greatest potential impact. 

Computer simulations (digital twins) can also be created for the most critical systems using known failure rate data. This enables you to run multiple simulations to predict failure rates and adjust your maintenance intervals as needed.   


3: Control: This phase involves creating “control plans,” or specific tasks that help mitigate or eliminate the risk of failure by targeting how equipment is monitored, maintained, and operated. It’s important to put standards in place so that these tasks are carried out consistently. 

For example: One of your control plans might involve completing preventive maintenance based on a specific timeline – regardless of an asset’s condition. Your standardized process, then, might involve: 


  • Changing HVAC air handler drive belts every year, regardless of wear. 
  • Changing oil in a gearbox every six months, regardless of oil condition. 
  • Injecting two ounces of a specific grease into a conveyor bearing.


4: Measure: Another critical part of your RBAM strategy is establishing a set of measurements/key performance indicators. 

Start with overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). It’s a good, high-level metric that can help you pinpoint areas of improvement. OEE looks at your production targets versus your actual production count, as well as areas like machine efficiency (how far ahead or behind production is) and unplanned machine downtime. 


5:Monitor: RBAM can also be a critical step towards building a smart manufacturing foundation. How? Adding digital technologies – like asset performance management (APM) systems – and integrating them with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution (MES) systems helps provide end-to-end visibility. 

And with all this visibility comes the ability to make data-driven decisions on equipment performance, drive preventive maintenance programs, and boost long-term reliability.


Getting your bosses on board with RBAM.

Convinced RBAM is the way forward for your operation? Great. Now, you need to get bosses to buy in. 

While that can feel like a long and winding road, our five key approaches and considerations can help you get the C-suite on your side and ensure that any positive changes you make stick over the long term. 

To learn more about implementing a risk-based asset management strategy in your operation, read our full white paper. Or, if you’re ready to get started, reach out to our experts!