Reliability centered maintenance (RCM): literature review of current industry state of practice

James Geisbush, Samuel T. Ariaratnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Reliability centered maintenance (RCM) is a process used to determine activities to be taken to ensure an asset continues to perform asset's function in asset's present operating context by identifying asset's function, failure modes that could preclude performing asset's intended function, prioritizing failure modes and determining effective preventative maintenance tasks that can be cost effectively and efficiently implemented to reduce the likelihood of a failure. Design/methodology/approach: A comprehensive survey of literature was undertaken to examine the current industry state of practice. Various industries were examined to better understand applications of RCM within the various industry sectors and determine those industries that RCM has not historically been readily adopted. A case study example of RCM applied to radial gates for water control in open channel canals for water conveyance is presented to demonstrate a civil infrastructure application. Findings: The results found that RCM has been used since RCM's inception in the airline industry during the 1960s to reduce the cost of maintaining aircrafts. Over the past 40 years, an assortment of industries has begun implementing cost effective preventative maintenance tasks identified during RCM analysis. However, there is a noticeable lack of civil assets being analyzed by RCM, such as water conveyance systems and other civil infrastructure systems vital to the health and well-being of today's societies. Originality/value: The comprehensive literature review of the current state of practice will provide a better understanding of the various applications of RCM to facilitate RCM's application to other industries, thereby reducing failure due to early identification of maintenance tasks. An example RCM demonstrates the application to a radial gate, used in water conveyance for the drinking water and irrigation sectors, which have not historically used RCM for developing maintenance strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-337
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 5 2023


  • Failure
  • Maintenance
  • Radial gates
  • Reliability centered maintenance
  • State of practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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