Saturday, January 19, 2013

Is Criticality Critical? Question Answered.

I was completing a reliability assessment of a manufacturing facility this week and this question came up: Is criticality really worth the effort it takes to do it right?
We can talk about what good criticality looks like in a future post but today lets talk about all of the things asset criticality is used for.
Good asset criticality with a nice asset distribution is used to:
Remove the emotion from the work approval process by prioritizing the work off of business need.
Determine the level of planning required for the job.
Determine the level of equipment maintenance plan (EMP) the asset requires to meet the business need.
Determine need for reliability centered maintenance (RCM) to identify failure modes.
Can help to identify what areas of the facility that are critical to the process or business and may require adjustments in maintenance or operations staffing.
Determine materials stocking requirements from a spare parts standpoint. In general, critical equipment will have more critical parts.
Determine root cause analysis need as a part of the triggers contained in the RCA process.
I am sure there are other place that we use criticality but I just wanted to show why this is so important and why it is worth the time it takes to complete your criticality the right way.


  1. Excellent post about this critical beginning point Shon.

    Without it - everything is critical!

  2. Just wanted to zoom in on your comment re spare parts: "Determine materials stocking requirements from a spare parts standpoint. In general, critical equipment will have more critical parts." Completely agree. And the opposite is also true: non-critical equipment cannot have any critical parts. Your pick-up truck may be critical to you, but it won't affect production, so, get in line!

  3. I guess I haven't been on enough projects where this full outlook was taken into account. Though, I have been involved in several Government and Military facilities that have similar ways to determine what is critical in relation to Controls Sequences.

  4. Thanks for Your vision of problem!

    Can You advise some methods of decision making during choosing of maintenance works?
    Or can You give some links of mathematical model of WO or asset`s criticality determination decision making?

  5. Alexey
    You could use RIME which is Ranking Index of Maintenance Expenditures. It uses work order type and equipment criticality to rank work reducing emotional decisions. I would suggest the addition of a time element to elevate low criticality items over time as well. There are other options available depending on your needs.