What's new

Using the tool described earlier to develop a functional decomposition ('SINATRA') model of a complete warship, we used RCM principles to derive an asset management plan for one of the Royal Navy's capital ships during an extended period of dormancy to determine what had to be done to ensure that the platform could be regenerated at minimum cost at the end of the dormancy period.

This work was then extended to apply to the Type 45 class to establish not only the on-board and waterfront resources necessary to support the class but also to quantify the capability of individual platforms within the class to meet short to medium term role commitments.


In the latest development of the SCL upkeep cycle tool (qv, below) we have incorporated a facility both to declare staff resources against a projected scheme of complement and to declare the projected workload based on  imported worklists. These can be derived from imported RCM studies, legacy maintenance and/or OEM recommended maintenance; amendments to any of these can be implemented within the tool. 

The maintenance effort is associated with assets that can be entered into a functions/entity hierarchy that can be declared at organisational, platform or section level such that a comparison can be made between what needs to be done within a specified time frame and the manpower resources available to ensure that defensible asset management can be undertaken.

This tool finds particular application within new procurement environments in order to quantify and manage through life costs associated with manpower.

The tool can be used for manpower loading comparisons between competing equipments, systems or complete platforms, or it can be used to establish schemes of complement for organisations of any size. In naval terms this includes both waterfront and seagoing enterprises.

In 2011 our upkeep cycle model was modified to support the evolving requirements of the projected Type 26 platform. This work is ongoing and PV work is in hand to extrapolate this to the new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier.  

In 2010 SCL staff carried out a review of the processes by which the Royal Navy derives, executes and manages its maintenance across the fleet. The objective of this work was to ascertain to what extent the issues highlighted in the Haddon-Cave report of 2009 were applicable to the RN - and specifically to ship safety.

This work required the mapping of 133 Haddon-Cave issues on to a business model of the ship maintenance management system, to draw inferences and conclusions and to make recommendations, of which there were 81.

This work was then augmented to resolve those recommendations into a prioritised actions list.

For the Type 45 Destroyer we modified the earlier upkeep cycle model to generate on-board manpower loading estimates over a declared time frame and used this to establish the maintenance loading profile over the next 3 years for this new-to-service platform.


Business processes:

We developed for the MOD a web-based business process for consolidating RCM studies. This business process is supported by a VB-based assessment tool for traffic-lighting groups of RCM studies to establish which of three business processes should be applied to improve the usability of the studies.

RCM in Structures:

We applied and developed the approach to RCM within structures and carried out structural reviews of the Warrior AFV, Challenger 2 MBT and the M3 Ferry/Bridging system.

These studies confirmed the potential for significant savings in Level 4 support, combined with improvements in operational availability. Work to take the CR2 studies forward is currently in hand.

Training in the principles of RCM has once again been found to be key to study success.

A paper on RCM in military structures can be downloaded from here.

  FEA composite




We carried out a review of spare conveyor belt rolls for an Australian mining company using a genetic algorithm-based process.

CVR(T) Structures:

The Def Stan 02-45 approach to structural integrity was originally developed for ships and aircraft with significant levels of structural redundancy. In contrast, armoured fighting vehicles are predominantly of monocoque construction requiring a modified approach to ensuring structural integrity, particularly where the structure is fabricated from cold-rolled armoured aluminium.

A review was therefore carried out on the earlier CVR(T) studies. This review used a two-stage approach to structural integrity and included a finite-element model of the vehicle hull developed in collaboration with Reading University. The review took place against the backdrop of significantly increased operational usage of this vehicle fleet and increased emphasis on ballistic integrity.

The review recommended a 5-yearly inspection of all vehicle structurally-significant items (SSIs) at 2nd Line, but each SSI to be reviewed against threat: this work allowed a VB development of a ballistic integrity inspection calculator using the Simple Multi-attribute Rating Technique (SMART) to establish a defensible inspection interval, similar in principle to the zonal inspection approaches used in the aviation industry.

The review promised to deliver an improved level of operational availability coupled with substantial cost savings by returning only those vehicles that need the depth of repair and level of refurbishment provided by Level 4.


Fig 5


Maintenance cycle derivation:

In collaboration with The Asset Partnership in Australia, we recently revised the maintenance cycle derivation model to reflect the requirements of the Royal Australian Navy's ANZAC frigate class.

We carried out an RCM analysis of the Command System in HM Ships ALBION and BULWARK. a feature of this work was to establish the (considerable) degree of functional redundancy within this IT system, leading eventually to a more focussed range and scale of spares for the system.
The earlier HVM Stormer study was revisited in 2005 to include the Shielder variant. This vehicle shares the same running gear, but is fitted with an autonomous mine laying suite.


In 2005 we reviewed the maintenance of the CVR(T) fleet - Spartan, Scimitar, Sultan, Samaritan and Samson. The RCM analysis is based on the diesel powered Spartan APC and the common hull and automotive components were templated into the variants. The petrol engine powered variants Salamander and Sturgeon were also reviewed, together with the Milan compact turret fitted to Sturgeon. We worked with teams of domain specialists including the design authority and MOD IPT and one of the outputs from these studies was a full set of tasks in AESP 601 format.

A full maintenance comparison was carried out; and a number of duplicated tasks in the current schedule were removed. Many tasks can safely be undertaken as vehicle activities dictate. This work challenged the Level 4 activities and identfied further work to be carried out to address the underlying structural issues.

We reviewed the maintenance of the Scout helicopter of the Army Historic Aircraft Flight using the RCM methodology in Def Stan 02-45 (principally a naval application of RCM2) but having regard to the requirements of AP100C-22 and other joint air publications.

Apart from standard RCM methodology the analysis encompassed a structural review and a review of zonal inspection requirements. The analysis was carried out zero base: no assumptions were made on pre-flight checks, and these were derived straightforwardly as part of the process (cf MSG3).

We also mentored MOD staff to deliver an RCM-derived maintenance plan for the Auster aircraft of the same Historic Aircraft Flight.


RCM studies of the High Velocity Missile (HVM) system as fitted to the Stormer vehicle and the shoulder launched variant of the same weapon identified the potential for significant savings in effort. A large number of tasks were recommended to be activity-driven and by doing so a large number of currently-duplicated tasks have been removed. The emergent maintenance schedule is lean and represents the essential minimum.

The RCM analysis allowed a detailed maintenance comparison to be made, identifying the levels of effort expected to support this system, both in terms of scheduled and emergent activity.

Maintenance cycle derivation:

Part of the RCM implementation strategy in the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary is to identify what the implications are of an RCM-based asset management strategy on shore-side and onboard resources. To this end we have been undertaking for the RN a series of maintenance cycle reviews for which we have developed a decision tool. A typical screenshot opposite shows the expected loading on ship's staff.



We undertook a thermographic survey of a series of marine equipments for conditon monitoring purposes from which the internal state of coolers could be derived. This provided an input to a tool developed for forecasting the need for tube cleaning activity - an invasive task which may require the ship to be docked.


The only reason for keeping a stock of spare parts is to avoid or reduce the consequences of failure. RCM can be used to derive the range of spares required to ensure that physical assets continue to do what their users want them to do - and the likelihood of failure, downtime (including logistical delays) and costs of spares inventory allow a scale of spares to be derived. We have used RCM as a means of formulating a spares holding strategy for a number of ship systems (predominantly electronic systems, where a proactive maintenance strategy is not technically feasible).

A startling conclusion from one of these studies is shown opposite - principally due to the manufacturer being unaware of how his customer intended to use the equipment and the degree of redundancy that such use implied. Spares scale based on simple parts count was not the answer!



Rapier team

The Rapier FSC system was reviewed in late 2003 and identified a large reduction in maintenance burden, principally on Customer 2 - together with a significant increase in operational availability. The analysis was fully supported by the Design Authority and by Army and RAF users alike.

The RCM analysis demonstrated once again that the process applies equally - if not more so - to electronic as to mechanical systems. The return on investment is calculated to be of the order of a few months.


© 2014 Steven Consultants Ltd

Site last updated June 2014