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Reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) is a systematic methodology for preventing failures. This article begins by discussing the history of RCM and uses Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) all-industry standard JA1011 as its model to describe the key characteristics of an RCM process. It then expands on questions involved in RCM process, offering definitions when necessary. Next, the article describes the approach of RCM to failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), the failure management policies available under RCM, and the criteria of RCM for deciding when a specific failure management policy is technically feasible. Then, after discussing the ways that RCM...

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