SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.21 issue1Hybrid supply chains in emerging markets: The case of the Mexican auto industry author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

South African Journal of Industrial Engineering

On-line version ISSN 2224-7890
Print version ISSN 1012-277X

S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. vol.21 n.1 Pretoria  2010




Preventive maintenance using Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM): A case study of a ferrochrome manufacturing company



S. ForeI; A. MsiphaII

IDepartment of Management & Project Management, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa,
IIProduction Engineering Institute, Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC), Zimbabwe,




High productivity in industry requires high equipment reliability and plant availability. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the management of preventive maintenance by application of the Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM), targeting a ferrochrome processing plant. The research points out that preventive maintenance is often neglected, affecting process continuity, and thus compromising product quality due to drops and fluctuations in operating temperature. These breakdowns tend to be frequent and longer, thus affecting production targets. Start-up failures are also experienced after carrying out maintenance. The maintenance department is affected by the unpredictability of the equipment's operational patterns, and faces challenges in coming up with an effective spare part inventory management regime. This leads to crisis management, thereby increasing the direct cost of maintenance. RCM is used to create a cost-effective preventive maintenance strategy to address the dominant causes of equipment failure. The result is a maintenance programme that focuses scarce economic resources on those items that would cause the most disruption if they were to fail, and thereby increases production.


Industriële produktiwiteit word ten nouste beïnvloed deur uitnemende betroubaarheid en beskikbaarheid van aanlegtoerusting en vervaardigingstelsels. Hierdie navorsing is toegespits op die bestuur van voorkomende instandhouding (VI) met betroubaarheidsgedrewe instandhouding (BGI) by 'n ferrochroomaanleg. Klem word daarop gelê dat VI dikwels geïgnoreer word wat daartoe lei dat produkgehalte verswak. Soos produksieonderbrekings toeneem, word vervaardigingsdoelwitte nie bereik nie vir verskeie redes. Die onderneming se instandhoudingsafdeling is gevolglik nie daartoe instaat om instandhouding doelmatig te verrig nie. Instandhoudingskoste neem ook toe.
BGI voorsien 'n koste-effektiewe instandhoudingstrategie wat fokus op mislukkingsbelangrikheid waar fondse bestee moet word vir optimum aanlegbeskikbaarheid.



“Full text available only in PDF format”




[1] Ahmad, M. & Benson, R. 2007. Benchmarking in the process industry, IChemE, UK.         [ Links ]

[2] Miller, J.A. 1992. Measuring progress through benchmarking, CMA Magazine, Vol 66 No.4, p37.         [ Links ]

[3] Wilson, A. 1999. Asset management and maintenance strategy, Maintenance and Asset Management, Vol. 14 No.1, pp.3-10.         [ Links ]

[4] Kutucuoglu, K.Y., Hamali, J., Iran, I. & Sharp, J.M. 2001. A framework for managing maintenance using performance measurements systems, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 21 No.1, pp.173-195.         [ Links ]

[5] Heiser, J. & Render, B. 2008. Operations management, Prentice Hall.         [ Links ]

[6] Tsang, A.H.C., Jardine, A.K.S. & Kolodny, H. 1999. Measuring maintenance performance: a holistic approach, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 19 No.7, pp.691-715.         [ Links ]

[7] Smith, D.J. 2005. Reliability, maintainability and risk: Practical methods for engineers including RCM and safety-related systems, Butterworth Heinemann.         [ Links ]

[8] Moubray, J. 1997. Reliability-Centered Maintenance II, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.         [ Links ]

[9] IEC 60300-3-11, 1999. Application Guide RCM, International Electro-Technical Commission, Geneva.         [ Links ]

[10] Dunn, A. 1996, A framework for achieving best practice in maintenance.        [ Links ]

[11] Nowlan, F.S. & Heap, H. 1978, Reliability-Centred Maintenance, Technical Information Service, US Department of Commerce, Springfield, VA.         [ Links ]

[12] Sutton, I.S. 1995. Integrated Management System Improvement plant Reliability, Journal of Hydrocarbon Processing, Vol. 74 No.1, pp 63-66.         [ Links ]

[13] Rausand M. 1998. Reliability Centred Maintenance, Journal of Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Vol. 60 No. 2, pp 121-132.         [ Links ]

[14] Campbell J.D. 1999.The Reliability Handbook - Plant engineering and maintenance, Volume 23, Clifford/ Elliot Publications.         [ Links ]

[15] Smith, A.M. 1993. Reliability Centred Maintenance, McGraw Hill Inc, New York.         [ Links ]

[16] Bowler, D.J & Leonard R. 1994. Evaluating the intangible benefits of RCM, Leadership & Organisation Development Journal, Vol. 9 No.4, pp 17-20.         [ Links ]

[17] Smith, A. & Hinchcliffe, G. 2004. RCM: Gateway to world class maintenance, Elsevier, Butterworth Heinemann.         [ Links ]

[18] Moubray, J. 1992. Reliability-Centred Maintenance, 4th edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.         [ Links ]

[19] Murty, A.S.R. & Naikan V.N.A. 1995. Availability and maintenance cost optimisation of a production plant, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 28-35, MCB UP Ltd, ISSN 0265-671X.         [ Links ]

[20] Patton, J.D. 1994. Maintainability and maintenance management, 3rd edition, Instrument Society of America.         [ Links ]

[21] Koshal, D. 1993. Manufacturing engineer's handbook, Butterworth Heinemann.         [ Links ]

[22] Willmott, P. 1994. TPM the Western way, Butterworth-Heinemann.         [ Links ]

[23] Nair, N.G. 2007. Production and operations management, Tata McGraw-Hill.         [ Links ]

[24] Ingalls, P. 2000. World class maintenance (online), Total productive maintenance online, available at:        [ Links ]

[25] Kelly, A. 1997. Maintenance organisation & systems - Business-centred maintenance, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.         [ Links ]



* Corresponding author
1 The author was enrolled for a BTech (Production) degree in the Department of Production Engineering, Chinhoyi University of Technology

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License