The primary software tool used by NAVAIR for RCM analysis is the Integrated Reliability-Centered Maintenance System (IRCMS). IRCMS is currently a desktop application designed to assist in the analysis process as well as provide a repository for analysis decisions that are easily reviewed as needed. IRCMS is a public domain tool developed for the US Navy and is available for download via the World Wide Web and at this site. IRCMS has been used successfully on aircraft and related systems as well as industrial equipment and in commercial settings. IRCMS is primarily a documentation aid and decision assistance tool. It is not intended to be a highly automated decision making tool nor does it require large quantities of failure data. It is intended to be used with other analytical tools for more detailed analysis.
The current version of IRCMS is version 6.3. One of the significant changes in this version was the elimination of military and aircraft specific terminology and processes. This was accomplished for two main reasons: 1) NAVAIR and DoD have been increasingly using RCM on equipment unrelated to aviation such as facilities and manufacturing equipment, and 2) NAVAIR recognizes that benefits can be realized from absorbing the experience of others using a common process and are hoping to broaden its use. Version 6.3 also has some new advanced features such as the addition of a pre-RCM and post-RCM analysis hazard risk index assignment, improved reports, and new task comparison metrics. A new web based version of IRCMS is under development and a trial and test access is available via this web-site.
IRCMS is relatively easy to use; however experience has shown that a full understanding of its features and capabilities is best accomplished through hands on training via another experienced user, or through readily available formal training. IRCMS was designed to be very open to process changes and therefore does not restrict the analysis with an overly rigid decision logic. As a result, a thorough understanding of the RCM process being used is required to effectively use IRCMS. In other words, to use IRCMS you must understand RCM. There is no reason IRCMS couldn’t be used with any RCM process that closely follows the requirements in SAE JA1011. IRCMS can provide a means to explore the RCM process and provide a frame of reference for available capabilities in other processes and tools for those considering an RCM project.
Some of IRCMS’ Features
- Asset hierarchy definition
- Full featured FMECA entry
- Recording of Failure Management options and associated task information
- Ability to cut, copy, and paste large parts of analysis within projects and to and from other projects (project templating)
- Multi-user/network capable
- Print a variety of Reports
- Ability to compare Cost and Down-time of various failure management strategies
- Hazard Risk Index assignment
- Project status tracking
- Task Packaging