The goal of any industrial system is to achieve its defined function safely and economically. For a railway system this could be a level of rail traffic and for a waste treatment plant the quantity of processed waste in a given time. In either case a RAM analysis carried out by Mechsafe engineers will quantify the extent to which the productive assets working in the system allow achievement of its goal.
The performance of any technical system is usually associated with its availability expressed as a measure of the percentage of time that a system is available for delivery of its designated function. RAM analysis calculates availability of a technical system, in terms of reliability and maintainability of its individual components (i.e. equipment items) taking into account the following:
- Failure modes
- Rates and consequences of failures
- Time to repair (including availability of spare parts, mobilisation times etc)
- Planned maintenance periods
- System operating rules
The levels of reliability and maintainability that are built into the initial design of equipment not only govern the level of availability that can be achieved in service but also have a major influence on the cost of maintenance over its life. Therefore it is essential that all infrastructure equipment that is specified for procurement as a standard item incorporates the best possible levels of reliability and maintainability.
Mechsafe engineers can assist infrastructure asset buyers in developing RAM requirements for procurement of commercially available and purpose-built equipment, and assist suppliers in the process of verifying RAM targets specified for their equipment.