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Ensuring The Effectiveness Of Your Spare Parts Support Thru Reliability Centered Spares (RCS) 

The RCS Processes

The RCS process was developed by Mark Horton of is based on the Reliability Centered Maintenance approach. The process takes into account both commercial factors and maintenance requirements. RCS basically determines what spares must be held to ensure that equipment continues to meet its desired standard performance. The process is involves answering the 5 basic questions of RCS which are:

  • What are the maintenance requirements of the asset? (Ensuring that the maintenance requirements of the assets are clearly understood)

  • What happens if no spare part is available? (Identifying the consequences if spares parts are not available)

  • Can the spares' requirements be anticipated?

  • What stock holding of the spare part is needed?

  • What if the maintenance requirements cannot be met?

RCS Toolkit


Supporting the thought process of RCS is the RCS toolkit. Embedded in the toolkit are mathematical algorithm involving linear programming formulations aimed at assisting the decision making process to determine the most appropriate stock holding policy for spare parts. Especially those decisions involving high cost, slow moving spare parts. 

How good is your spares management ? How often have you identified the need to replace components for your asset only to find the spares are not available? This situation would normally result in an unnecessary increase of downtime.

Initial stock decisions are usually based on the original equipment manufacturers’ recommendations and the experience of the plant engineers and maintainer. Unfortunately, this can result in sub optimum or even excess inventory holding of spare parts. RCS helps engineers and inventory management managers to determine the right stocking level. The objective of RCS is to keep in stock only those parts which are necessary for maintaining plant operation and to reduce or eliminate unnecessary stock or stock which can be effectively held by the vendor or other third party.

RCS Benefit


  • Elimination of unnecessary inventory

  • Improved stock holding confidence and elimination of uncontrolled small stores created by maintenance

  • Improved relationship with suppliers

  • Reduced exposure to the risk of extended downtime through lack of appropriate spare parts in stock

  • Improved communication between operations, maintenance and inventory personnel

Making Robust Decisions

Utilizing the RCS process and the RCS toolkit not only enables you to work out the right stocking strategy for your organization, it also allow you to see immediately the effects of uncertainty (in demand, pattern, lead time, etc) to your decision. You can be confident that the decisions you make with the RCS methodology are robust and auditable.

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Maintenance Excellence

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