Re-Thinking Asset Performance Management

Author photo: Peter Reynolds
ByPeter Reynolds
Industry Trends

Two-thirds of the 365 industry practitioners recently surveyed by ARC Advisory Group believe Reliability Centered Maintenance isn’t improving reliability and that operations have almost as much impact on plant asset performance as the maintenance organization does. Leaders believe that while, historically, maintenance groups have been the custodian of the reliability process, digitalization requires a rethinking of the overall asset performance strategy.

Asset Performance Management

Why is Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) Getting a Poor Grade? 

In my recent podcast with Ron Beck, Director of Industry Marketing with AspenTech, I shared ARC Advisory Group’s APM research conducted research back in 2019. The research involved a survey of 365 industry practitioners and interviews with several asset owners.  We learned that approximately two-thirds of all industry respondents surveyed either: don’t practice reliability centered maintenance (22 percent), 2. don’t believe that RCM provides ROI or improves reliability (27 percent that assets fail randomly despite RCM efforts (18 percent).  I asked Ron what he thought was happening in the industry and why is RCM is getting such a poor grade?  Ron Beck:  

I think, in a way, it's not totally fair to RCM to say that we're getting poor grades. RCM has advanced industry, somewhat, but what's happening, is that unplanned downtime continues to be a very major concern for operators who own any assets of high capital high value. Assets that basically lose a lot of money for the owner when they're down.  I have talked to a variety of plant managers in the past year, and it's very interesting a common conclusion is that they tell me that 50% of their safety and environmental incidents happened during start-up and shut down. So basically, asset owners are trying to find ways to minimize downtime in general, but definitely unplanned downtime, where you're having a plant a shutdown that you weren't expecting.

We know wear-based maintenance and RCM are both representative advances over the past number of years, but the reality is, as you found in your survey, the significant asset failures aren't addressable by either strategy.  Therefore, as you found companies don't really want to continue to invest that way. I think there's been a growing body of work, including learnings from some of our newest work with customers that a lot of the failures are due to other causes.

You can listen to the full podcast here:


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