Run To Failure Maintenance Strategy

Run to Failure (RTF) is the simplest type of maintenance strategy, where equipment is deliberately run until it breaks down. There are many negative impacts that RTF has that make it’s a poor maintenance strategy choice for any business; however there are a few exceptions.

RTF Safety Concerns

In the wrong situation, RTF can pose serious safety risks to employees and expose employers to liability and the threat of legal action. Simply allowing machinery to break down is not what the RTF strategy is about; instead it is the planned break down of specific components of the machine, and not simply disregarding the need to keep machines running safely.

A properly documented preventative maintenance plan adds an extra layer of protection for employers against the threat of a lawsuit due to unsafe machinery or an unsafe workplace. A professional preventative maintenance plan is well documented by a 3rd party, giving employers an invaluable paper trail of showing diligence of repairs.

RTF Strategy Applications

In specific instances, the ‘run to failure’ maintenance strategy may be the most economical, especially in situations where preventative maintenance costs far exceed the costs incurred after a machine break-down, including the cost of lost productivity, and not just that of the part to be repaired.

  • Considerations for RTF Applications
    • You have a thorough understanding of all parts in the machinery/equipment
    • You have understood and measured potential consequences of a breakdown against the cost of a preventative maintenance plan; the findings of which were in clear favour of allowing RTF.
    • Machinery or assets under the RTF strategy are redundant and non-critical; your business won’t stop if there is a breakdown of that specific machine.
    • Spare parts and other consumables are already on-hand, while staff have an understanding of how to quickly fix the equipment when it breaks down.

Unexpected Breakdown of a Critical Machine?
Our Emergency Field Service Team is On-Call 24/7.

Benefits of RTF Strategy

  • Minimal Planning
    • No pre-scheduling maintenance or inspections
  • Simple, Easy to Understand
    • RTF is a very straightforward strategy; when machinery breaks down it is fixed in-house.
  • Virtually No Production Effects
    • When implement strategically with the right supporting systems, production should not be effected at all.
  • Possible Cost Efficiency
    • Reduces immediate costs where applicable; as long as the total cost of the parts, man hours of repair, lost production, and possibly lost revenue, are less than the cost of a maintenance plan.

Although RTF is a simple strategy, to be effective in specific applications, a breakdown plan is a necessity to ensure that machinery is quickly brought back online in the most efficient method possible, with the lowest cost. A RTF plan is critical to have before the RTF strategy is implemented.

It is also important to stress that RTF is unpredictable and inherently risky. If not properly documented, tracked, and executed, there is no strategy in place, especially not a RTF strategy.