Where is run-to-failure maintenance applicable?

Introduction Explain: Run-to-failure maintenance is a maintenance strategy that is sometimes more appropriately called “Fit and Forget” because there is no maintenance plan beyond complete replacement upon failure.

It is an essential technique that is novel, while not widely published or discussed – in practice, is becoming increasingly popular when considering labor costs associated with technically skilled personnel. Metaphorically speaking, RTF tells you that no amount of maintenance will refill a toothpaste tube. When it’s empty, it’s at the end of its useful life. Buy a new one so it is ready to go when the other fails.

Where is run-to-failure maintenance applicable?

With changes to manufacturing practices and many consumer goods are becoming cheaper to replace then service, short-life assets are not robust or particularly durable in design. Such would include incandescent light bulbs, overhead door motors, circuit pumps, water heaters, air-traffic warning lights on radio towers, or anything that is typically replaced 5 or more times in the lifetime of a building.Disposable assets are items which are generally inexpensive or single use. These could include car shock absorbers, automobile tires, signage, pneumatic pistons on assembly lines, most printer cartridges, all the way down to brooms and mops.

Durable assets or non-maintainable assets are items that are not expected to wear out such as concrete foundations of buildings or the interior steel structure of a high rise building. They require no maintenance to fulfil their function and are not expected to fail.

Low capitalization assets are those which might experience some maintenance, such as fire extinguishers being recharged after use, but are disposed of based on age or condition. It could include bike racks, office furniture, smoke detectors, fluorescent lamp ballasts, ceiling fans, exercise equipment, maintenance tools such as electric drills and tape measures, or office equipment like monitors, mice, keyboards, or chair mats.

Non-critical assets such as a stove element failing would simply cause its likely replacement when it became inconvenient. Stoves typically have four or more surface elements so the functionality of the device is barely compromised with a single failure.