Nobody would deny the fact that any sphere of human activity consists of a wide range of minor details, which comprise certain actions within a specific field. In a like manner, different rules can be applied to the manufacturing and domestic maintenance. As the need for a well-planed, effective and safe maintenance has emerged, a complex methodology has been designed. It is called Reliability Centred Maintenance. Such methodology is applied to various contexts of maintenance so that there has been a little agreement on what is a real purpose of such approach. Therefore, current paper lingers upon the analysis and contextualization of RCM in terms of accumulator battery recycling asset.
To be more specific, the following paper gives an account to the overall description of RCM initially. Then, the study conducts the analysis of RCM in terms of information and decision worksheets. Current section discusses the main operations concerning RCM and failure modes, which can potentially occur in the context of the recycling asset. As a result, the consequences of such modes are discussed, as well. What is more, the paper pays attention to the operative and managerial perspectives of the consequences as operation management is known to disregard the methodology. As a result, it is abundantly important to place the emphasis on the need for utilizing it in the working process.
Description of RCM
To begin with, it is necessary to outline the meaning of the term reliability-centred maintenance. In fact, it is a set of processes, which are used for determination of procedures required for ensuring a certain asset working properly regarding a specific context. The context usually heavily depends on the decision of the user (Kister & Hawkings 2006, p. 98). Speaking about RCM in more specific way, it is not particularly oriented at the increase of standard efficiency or waste elimination of a particular asset. RCM is a general approach which secures normal performance of a physical asset. Normal performance implies maximum of standardized efficiency and safety and minimum of costs and harm to the environment.
With regard to the advantages of RCM, it is worth saying that it is commonly understood as a methodology which can be applied to the maintenance of a physical asset regarding particular purposes of use. Then, RCM serves the environmental consideration, as well. Such aspect can be linked to the cost-saving advantage of the methodology. RCM does not eliminate wastes but organizes the performance in a way which implies minimal use of raw material or any other required resource. What is more, RCM serves the function of prediction. Namely, RCM creates a certain network so that the process of maintenance can be predicted. By the same token, RCM detects certain deviations in performance in accordance with already created framework. Eventually, RCM is commonly applied to changing procedures in order to ensure proper shifts within the asset.
The majority of average personnel, as well as the managers do not utilize such methodology. It can be explained by the fact that the requirements of RCM are complicated and the managers simply refuse to apply the approach as long as it demands a wide range of aspects to be taken into consideration (Ao & Gelman 2013). In such way, it can be regarded as a disadvantage of RCM. Having described the basic principles of RCM, it is necessary to contextualize this knowledge.
Contextualizing RCM in the accumulator battery recycling industry, it has to be admitted that the following methodology is applied to the primary recycling function of the asset. In such way, it is worth saying that the recycling asset requires a substantial amount of costs. Therefore, the appliance of RCM can reduce such costs considerably. RCM can develop a certain framework, which is based on a margin of minimal cost spending. Such margin designates a minimum of costs, which are required for avoiding a poor performance of asset (Smith 2011). In such way, RCM considers the aspect of efficiency. It is quite apparent fact that the asset can be invested with the same costs but will recycle more accumulator batteries as long as costs are divided in a more economical way. At the same time, RCM ensures a stable performance of the recycling asset by setting standards in performance parameters like temperature, gas pressure, voltage, filed current and etc. The parameters are measured initially so that RCM develops certain standards regarding their improvement.
As long as the recycling asset is the environmentally-sustainable manufacturer itself, it has to be mentioned that consumption of various gases, electrical power and water is still a concern of the environmental aspect. That is why RCM is particularly focused on the reduction of such materials through minimization of cost spending. In other words, RCM reduces consumption of the resources in accordance with the same framework margin because the costs, which are included in such framework, are spent on the consumption of the resources. Taking all the points together, it should be noted that they convey an input to the safety management (Murthy & Kobbacy 2008, p. 81). Standardized parameters of performance, reduced output energy and consumption of the resources underpin the basis of a safe performance as an excessive use of some element of the recycling asset is secured. As the information worksheet has been issued, it is necessary to discuss the related points regarding the decision worksheet.
For starters, it is necessary to present potential scenarios and related failure modes for the recycling asset:
In such way, overheating of the asset is the responsibility of the asset operator as long as any recycling asset presupposes a manual regulation of temperature. Hence, the temperature is supposed to be observed on a regular basis regardless of the manufacture phase. The same solution can be applied to the excessive use of water for recycling. Besides that, however, operation manager and related personnel are responsible for a reasonable calculation of water consumption per working cycle. In this case, a zero approach is required: a pilot round should be conducted with no water and then with a little amount so that it could be possible to indicate the most apt amount on the basis of comparison (Basu & Wright 2005). As for the excessive torque of the main engine, it has to be indicated that it should be set at the initial stage of the maintenance. The maintenance manager is responsible for the starting data so that torque could be regulated in advance. The best solution to such problem is the initial choice of an asset with needed engine torque. Regarding the overloading of the asset, the amount and frequency of loads are usually controlled by operation manager as long as he or she is expected to make the best judgement of the schedule, capacity of the asset and economy considerations. On the contrary, the performance with a little load but the same parameters is an evident result of the employee’s failure to report about minimal load and set the relevant parameters. The solution is obvious: the parameters should address the framework of RCM (Stamboliska, Rusinski & Moczko 2014). Eventually, the increase of field current cannot be amended manually as it is the sphere of electric safety staff as they are expected to implement preventive measures as soon as any evidence of risk emerges. Having analysed RCM in the context of the recycling asset, it is necessary to move on to the following section.
As it has become apparent from the analysis of RCM in the context of the recycling asset, it is necessary to admit that the majority of failure modes are heavily depending on the decision-making of the operating personnel. Therefore, framework is a pivotal aspect of a successful manufacturing process as it provides workers with distinct standardization regarding their basic operations. That is why operation managers are supposed to be aware of such fact because they have an official right to implement certain policies and guidelines concerning the use of the asset in particular contexts. What is more, scenarios of failure modes should be also predicted, as it has been demonstrated in the fishbone diagram of the decision worksheet. Taking this point into consideration, it is essential to note that operation management team is advised to design a Fault Tree and analyse possible outcomes so that the response to the negative consequences could be quickly and maximally localized. The severity of effects may differ, but the methodology of troubleshooting is the same at all levels of response to failure modes (UNSECO 2010, p. 296). To the broadest extent, it is the most understandable format of the operation management team failure response as the development of certain emergency methodology is the primary concern of all operation managers.
In conclusion, it is to be said that the paper has lingered upon the analysis and contextualization of Reliability Centred Maintenance in the context of the accumulator battery recycling asset. To be more specific, the paper has described the overall characteristics of RCM. The paper has defined its term and given the account to the most distinct advantages. Then, the study has analysed RCM regarding the information and decision worksheets. The section has emphasized on the operative peculiarities regarding RCM and potential modes of failure, which is the most widespread concern in terms of RCM. As a result, the paper has given an account to the consequences, which are potentially implied for operation managers. In such way, the paper has discussed the most prominent issues regarding the contextualizing of RCM in the recycling asset.
To conclude, it has to be admitted that RCM is doubtlessly useful methodology in terms of manufacturing and domestic environment. Hence, RCM is recommended to be applied to a wide range of manufacturing contexts. The paper has revealed that RCM can be used as a methodological basis for creating a standard-driven framework for the entire performance of asset. What is more, RCM considers the environmental aspect, which has become one of the central concerns in the operation management and maintenance. Taking all the above-mentioned points together, it is necessary to suggest the direction for the further research. As long as RCM is increasingly becoming environmentally-driven, the investigation of certain solutions regarding a sustainable maintenance is worth discussion. It is caused by the fact that sustainability business is becoming more widespread nowadays. Finally, the research can be integrated with some other methodologies of maintenance.