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Applications of RTF Maintenance

  • Last Updated : 15 Oct, 2020

Run-to-Failure (RTF) maintenance is a maintenance strategy where maintenance is only performed after failure or breakdown of assets. Until failure, asset is allowed to run. In some conditions, this strategy is considered to be effective whereas, in some conditions, it is considered to be worst. For RTF, unplanned reactive maintenance is only task that is used for maintenance.

Where RTF is applicable?

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  1. Probability of Failure :
    In several cases, chances of occurrence of failure are very high with increasing time. In such cases, equipment fail more often with increasing time. In other cases, chances of occurrence of failure are very low with increasing time. In such cases, equipment fail less with increasing time. Probability of failure occurrence is shown below for both cases :



    There are other cases also as shown below :

    RTF is mostly applicable for cases where chances of failure occurrence are less with increasing time or in future. Equipment that has fewer chances of failure are most suitable for such type of maintenance strategy.

  2. Cost required :
    In cases where cost required for preventing equipment from failure is less than cost required for repairing equipment after failure, in such cases RTF is not applicable. But in cases, where maintenance cost before failure is more than maintenance cost after failure, then in such cases, RTF is most suitable and is applicable.
  3. Low equipment criticality :
    There is several equipment’s whose failure can cause greater damage and can affect health and safety of employees or working team member. Such equipment can also have a negative impact on working environment. For such equipment’s condition, one cannot wait until its failure for applying maintenance strategy because it’s not safe. Therefore, RTF is not application for such types of equipment that are very critical and severe. But equipment’s that are less critical and severe are mostly suitable for such type of maintenance strategy.

  4. Difficulty in performing Preventive Maintenance :
    Preventive maintenance requires planning strategy and schedule to prevent equipment from failure. Its not an easy task and is very difficult for one to perform preventive maintenance. Whereas on other hand, RTF does not involve planning to prevent equipment from failure. Therefore, RTF is quite simple maintenance process and easy to understand. For conditions where preventive maintenance is difficult to perform, one can go for RTF maintenance due to its simplicity.
  5. Cost of preventive maintenance :
    In some cases, preventive maintenance is much costlier as it requires a lot of planning and maintenance strategy as well as resources to prevent equipment from failure. One should analyze overall cost required to perform any type of maintenance strategy and then choose appropriate one. In conditions where doing preventive maintenance requires more cost than performing RTF maintenance, then one should choose RTF over preventive maintenance. But one needs to analyze fully and include all types of costs associated with RTF i.e. customer dissatisfaction, equipment failure, lost production, and other indirect costs before performing it.
  6. Durable assets or non-maintainable assets :
    There are several assets or equipment that do not require continuous maintenance to perform their functions on regular basis and are not expected to fail. In such conditions, if any failure occurs then RTF maintenance can be applied.
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