Reliability, Availability and Maintainability

Reliability in the process and energy industries


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Reliability, availability, and maintainability (RAM) programs are an integral part of any risk management system.

RAM techniques possess many similarities to those that are used for safety. However, the key difference between the two is that it is possible to talk about optimum reliability, i.e., the point at which a dollar spent on improving reliability leads to less than a cost-averaged dollar in benefits. With safety, however, there is no real optimum value: all incidents are unacceptable. As explained with the discussion to do with ALARP and Acceptable Risk, no company or government agency is going to commit to an acceptable level in the number of deaths or serious injuries. And nor should they.

This ebook provides guidance on the development of a RAM program for the process and energy industries.

Table of Contents

Benefits of a RAM Program 
Increased Production and Profitability
   Increased Productivity
   Reduced Investment 
   Lower Maintenance Costs
   Lower Inventories
   Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
   Personal Recognition
   Personal Life
   Improved Public Perception
Reliability and Safety
   Hazardous Operations
   Unsafe Process Conditions
   Safety Bypasses
   Transient Stresses
   Reduced Chance of Catastrophic Losses
   Increased Safety May Reduce Reliability
   Loss of Experience
   Engineering Practices
   Daily Operations
Failure Modes
   Equipment Description
   Primary, Secondary and Command Failures
   Catastrophic, Degraded and Incipient Failures
   Real Failures / Necessary Replacements
Failure Rates
   Constant / Exponential Distribution
   Lognormal Distribution
   Bathtub Curve
      Early Failures
      Constant Failure Rate
      Wear-Out Failures
   Reliability Block Diagrams
   Active / Standby Redundancy
   Quantification of Block Diagrams
Human Reliability
   Errors of Intent
   Types of Human Error
      Errors of Intent
      Error in an Emergency
      Incorrect Response
   Human Reliability Analysis

Reliability in the process and energy industries