Critical Equipment definition
Examples of critical equipment in a sentence.
Therefore, any configuration tasks that may be necessary are only required if a loaner unit must be provided for Mission Critical equipment only.
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Critical Equipment Identification and Maintenance
by Rolf D. Alexis and Darrell X. Rounds, FMA, C.E.M., General Motors Company
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Description, application, emerging issues, additional resources.
In the realm of facility management, there are assets that are absolutely mission critical to the business especially as they pertain to building operations. The failure of these critical assets is the very risk that must be mitigated if not eliminated. As with all business practices, managing critical equipment requires an auditable process to ensure that operational risk reduction is actively pursued in addition to all other pertinent business objectives.
Critical equipment is any piece of equipment or machinery that could do any of the following:
- Significantly impair the ability to safely meet business objectives
- Adversely affect quality levels
- Violate environmental standards of the business organization.
Critical equipment often impacts safety, regulatory compliance, cost, or operational throughput. Accordingly, provisions for any critical equipment must be accounted for in order to support the sustainability of the business entity.
The capital investment of a building or facility is to support one or multiple business purposes. The environment for this 'value-creating" activity is almost always critical. While a facility is often composed of many individual assets, there are frequently a critical few that, if not operational, would preclude the business from achieving its objectives. It is imperative that these critical assets and subsystems be properly identified and put into perspective for the ultimate purpose of operational (and oftentimes, safety) risk mitigation. In order for facility maintenance to minimize risk and be essentially invisible to the business, facility management must anticipate needs of not only the people but the business enterprise as well. Facility management must also effectively evaluate and constantly monitor the capability of the facility assets. Needless to say, this is easier said than done.
Types of critical equipment that may often exist in buildings include material egress, safety systems, environmental controls, hazardous substance handling, energy management , cooling , utility supplies, security systems , etc. Common maintenance operations metrics that involve reliability such as Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), Mean Time between Failures (MTBF), and Expected Useful Life are essential inference points that must be considered in the classification of an asset being critical as well as what a "work around plan" needs to provide to render reduced risk or reduced duration of failure. Mean Time to Repair, or MTTR, is defined as the average time required to repair a failed component or device. Mean Time Between Failures, or MTBF is defined as the predicted elapsed time between inherent failures of a system during operation. Expected Useful Life, or EUL, is the estimated lifespan of a given asset. MTTR and MTBF data often can be generated from the organization's computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) .
Providing a safe and productive work environment (e.g. a manufacturing facility) requires an efficient method to manage the building's assets. After establishing a comprehensive and labeled inventory of the assets, it is of utmost importance to accurately identify which facility assets are critical. In order to have universal assurance that this is properly done, a common approach or standardized method is strongly recommended. Chiefly, the common critical asset identification process should include the following aspects:
- A quantifiable inventory of assets
- Support documentation including location, manufacturer, model number, (e.g. shop drawings, control schematics, building layouts, maintenance manuals, etc.)
- Information necessary to receive support and spare parts on a timely basis
- Understanding the rationale as to why the asset is deemed critical (e.g. "Under what circumstances is this asset critical?")
- An action plan to mitigate the criticality for each identified asset
- Communication to capital planning for refurbishment or replacement of the asset at the end of its useful life.
In order to achieve all of these vital aspects, a method for the valuation of each asset is necessary. A common score sheet should be developed, recorded, and maintained for each critical asset that poses significant risk to the enterprise. The record should include:
- Whether the asset is critical
- The rationale as to why it is critical
- What efforts may have been undertaken to mitigate or eliminate risk, hence rendering the asset no longer critical
Please note that the completion record is best completed by a cross functional team of both management as well as maintenance operators. A tool that can be used to accomplish this is a Five Step Asset Criticality Calculation Record Sheet. (An example of such a sheet can be found below.)
A Five Step Asset Criticality Calculation Record Sheet first looks for whether safety is an inherent issue upon failure, and then whether any governmental regulation would be in violation upon failure. These would be recorded in the affirmative and the assets would be deemed critical if there would be a direct causational condition to create these dangers.
Secondly, the questions relate to key business priorities (e.g. Key Performance Indicators (KPI's), Constraints, etc.) and to what degree is there a viable "work-around" plan to ameliorate the above risks. The robustness of the set of "work-around" plans for the asset would be scored as per:
- The need for special tools
- The lead time for repair
- The complexity of the repair.
Lastly, it is recommended that if there is a Failure Mode Effects & Analysis for the business operation, the asset would be deemed as being critical if the asset's failure would create a failure in a high priority business process (Risk Priority Number or RPN is greater than the value of the organization's critical benchmark).
If an asset achieves an above average criticality score, the asset would be deemed critical. The following is an example of a Five Step Asset Criticality Calculation Record Sheet that incorporates all of the above recommendations:
The following recommendation should be applied to all high risk facility assets that are required to ensure the correct and reliable function of the building.
Business strategies of being responsive to customers, being competitive, or low cost producers, or being first to market require cost-effectiveness concerning building operation and maintenance . As much as possible, all circumstances and risks that may pose a threat to business operations must be foreseen, anticipated, and mitigated. For existing operations, the current asset list should be prioritized for cross-functional review and scoring. With regular periodic reviews, even the most complex facility can be analyzed within a year. After that, every score sheet can be revisited annually for reconsideration. Developing annual risk mitigation objectives can very well be facilitated by the use and review of these records.
For new facilities or business operations, this process may be useful to comprehend within the design and construction where operational risk mitigation can be undertaken at the outset.
Anticipation of operational risk and the communication thereof, are the primary goals of this critical asset identification process. Preventive maintenance strategies and technologies are primary means of risk assessment and mitigation that should be incorporated in this record. Such preventative maintenance technologies include but are not limited to the following:
Thermography. Thermography is a method of inspecting electrical and mechanical equipment by obtaining heat distribution pictures. This inspection method is based on the fact that most components in a system show an increase in temperature when malfunctioning.
Vibration analysis. Vibration Analysis, applied in an industrial or maintenance environment aims to reduce maintenance costs and equipment downtime by detecting equipment faults. Most commonly Vibration Analysis is used to detect faults in rotating equipment (fans, motors, pumps, and gearboxes etc.) such as unbalance, misalignment, rolling element bearing faults and resonance conditions.
Eddy current analysis. Eddy current analysis has become the dominant nondestructive test (NDT) used to inspect nonferrous shell & tube heat exchangers used throughout the military, nuclear, heavy equipment, comfort cooling, cogeneration/power, pulp/paper mill, process, & HVAC chiller industries.
Ultrasound inspection. Ultrasound inspection is a predictive maintenance technology that is applied to thickness, density, flow and level sensing. It is associated with the measurement of sound above 15 kHz.
Meter based maintenance. Meter based maintenance is maintenance performed as a result of a meter reading trigger. The meter might measure, for example, the number of hours the equipment has been in use, the kilometers it has been driven, the number of parts that have been produced, or an operating condition such as pressure or flow rate.
Tribology. Tribology is the science and engineering of interacting surfaces in relative motion. It includes the study and application of the principles of friction, lubrication and wear.
Communication of both mitigated and unmitigated risk is imperative to the business operation leadership, maintenance operators, as well as the capital planning resources of the organization.
Case Study Examples
- An Approach for Identification of Critical Equipment for Preventive Maintenance of a Plant by Dr. V.N. Narayanan Namboothiri and P.J. Joshy. First International Seminar, SAFE '99, on Safety & Fire Engineering, Cochin, India, November 24–26, 1999.
- A Study of Current Maintenance Strategies and the Reliability of Critical Medical Equipment in Hospitals in Relation to Patient Outcomes by Khelood A. Mkalaf, Peter Gibson, and John Flanagan. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic and Management Engineering Vol: 7, No: 10, 2013.
With an increased focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility, an increased depth of risk mitigation strategies is often needed to complement and support organizational goals with respect to regulatory compliance and environmental stewardship. Simple uptime or reduction plans are frequently no longer satisfactory in the communication of performance. The application of statistically based confidence interval forecasting in determining equipment failure modes has been an increasing trend in order to show organizational commitment to investors, regulatory agencies, and the community at large, especially as it pertains to operational aspects that have a direct impact on the environment.
- Chapter 3: O&M Management—Section 3.4 Measuring the Quality of Your O&M Program
- Chapter 5: Types of Maintenance Programs—Section 5.4 Predictive Maintenance
- Chapter 8: Metering for Operations and Maintenance
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Technical groups, follow aiche, critical equipment.
Equipment, instrumentation, controls, or systems whose malfunction or failure would likely result in a catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals, or whose proper operation is required to mitigate the consequences of such release. (Examples are most safety systems, such as area LEL monitors, fire protection systems such as deluge or underground systems, and key operational equipment usually handling high pressures or large volumes.)
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What is Critical Equipment, and How Should it be Maintained?
Aug 13, 2012 | Prevailing Attitudes Maintenance | 0 |
Binseng Wang, ScD, CCE, FAIMBE, FACCE
In December of 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a clarification of hospital equipment maintenance requirements 1 contained in the State Operations Manual Provider Certification. This clarification stated that critical equipment must be maintained at the frequency recommended by the manufacturer, whereas the frequency of noncritical equipment can be modified using evidence-based assessments.
CMS did not provide a definition for critical equipment but stated “[e]quipment that is critical to patient health and safety is not a candidate for an alternative, less frequent maintenance activity schedule. Such equipment must be maintained at least as often as the manufacturer recommends. At a minimum such critical equipment includes, but is not limited to, life-support devices, key resuscitation devices, critical monitoring devices, equipment used for radiologic imaging, and other devices whose failure may result in serious injury or death of patients or staff.” While useful, this statement does not preclude a precise definition that hospitals can use to for maintenance management.
Most people would probably associate the term “critical” with “indispensable” or “essential.” However, the fact that CMS mentioned safety suggests that potential failure consequences should also be considered. Therefore, I would propose the following definition: Critical equipment is essential for patient care under normal operating conditions and whose failure could cause imminent serious injury or death to patients or users. Here, the term “essential” is preferred because it helps clinicians to relate to “essential medicines.” 2 “Under normal conditions” excludes natural and man-made emergencies in which most equipment could become critical due to challenges in obtaining backups and prompt repairs. “Cause” is used to stress the causal linkage between equipment failure and patient/user impact. Examples of critical equipment as defined above include but are not limited to: (1) life-support equipment 3 such as ventilators, (2) resuscitation equipment such as defibrillators, (3) mission-critical equipment such as a CT scanner, (4) dialysis systems, and (5) sterilizers. On the other hand, some of the CMS examples would not fit into this definition. For example, the manual resuscitation device popularly known as an “Ambu bag” is not a piece of equipment but a single-use, disposable device. The intensive care unit patient monitor is connected to the central monitoring system, so failures are unlikely to cause harm. Likewise, radiological equipment has proven to be safe even if it fails catastrophically and backup is typically available.
Some may question the inclusion of mission-critical equipment, as it is traditionally considered “diagnostic” equipment and, thus, apparently less likely to cause harm. However, the unavailability of this kind of equipment can delay physicians’ decisions and interventions to the point of harming not just one but several patients.
Even if the definition proposed above were widely accepted, it is difficult, if not impossible, to create a single, universal list of critical equipment for the entire nation. This is because hospitals have different specialties, patient acuity, and geographical limitations. Some may have multiple CT scanners, whereas others may have only one of a kind. For this reason, the list of critical equipment should be decided by the hospital through a consensual process led by its safety authority with the participation of clinical engineering leaders.
Even more challenging is finding the right answer to the second question in the title because maintenance alone does not ensure reliability and safety. All man-made machines will eventually fail for one reason or another, and not all failures can be prevented. Furthermore, maintenance need does not depend on whether a piece of equipment is considered critical, but on how the equipment is designed and built. Some equipment has moving and/or wearable parts that need to be lubricated and/or replaced periodically (known as preventive maintenance or PM), whereas others are based on solid-state electronics that fail in a random manner. Some of the unpreventable failures are unknown to users (“hidden”) or could be in the process of occurring (“potential”); these failures can be detected by technicians using specialized test equipment in a process called safety and performance inspection, or SPI.
From the proposed definition, critical equipment presents high severity of harm in case of failure, so its maintenance should be composed of PMs, if there are replaceable parts, and SPIs, if there are hidden and potential failures.
These actions will reduce the probability of failure and, thus, risks of harm to patients and staff. 4 As data from TJC Sentinel Events 5 and reports published previously 6 have shown, most of the injuries and death are actually caused by use error (or human factors). It would be wiser to invest the limited clinical engineering resources in working more closely and helping to better educate the users and the manufacturers in using and producing better health care equipment.
References and Notations
- The full text is available at: www.cms.gov/Surveycertificationgeninfo/downloads/SCLetter12_07.pdf .
- Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population. They are selected with due regard to public health relevance, evidence on efficacy and safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness. Essential medicines are intended to be available within the context of functioning health systems at all times in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality and adequate information, and at a price the individual and the community can afford. Extracted from www.who.int/topics/essential_medicines/en/ , consulted on 5/15/2012.
- The Joint Commission defines life support equipment as: “Any device used for the purpose of sustaining life and whose failure to perform its primary function, when used according to manufacturer’s instructions and clinical protocol, will lead to patient death in the absence of immediate intervention (for example, ventilators, anesthesia machines, heart-lung bypass machines, defibrillators).
- Wang B, Poplin B. Are You Managing Risk or Severity? 24×7 . August 2011. www.24x7mag.com/issues/articles/2011-08_10.asp .
- Available at: www.jointcommission.org/topics/default.aspx?k=795&b= .
- Wang B, Fedele J, Pridgen B, et al. Evidence-based maintenance: Part III, Enhancing patient safety using failure code analysis, J Clin Eng. 2011;36:72-84.
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Critical Equipment is any equipment, instrumentation, controls, or systems whose malfunction or failure leads a catastrophic accident that is essential in preventing the occurrence of or mitigating the consequences of an uncontrolled event, and significantly impact the ability to safely meet business objectives; adversely affect quality levels; violate environmental standards of the business organisation. (e.g., flares, alarms, interlocks, fire protection equipment, etc.)
Reference Definition by Aiche.org : Critical Equipment means equipment, instrumentation, controls, or systems whose malfunction or failure would likely result in a catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals, or whose proper operation is required to mitigate the consequences of such release. (Examples are most safety systems, such as area LEL monitors, fire protection systems such as deluge or underground systems, and key operational equipment usually handling high pressures or large volumes.
Related Definitions in the Project: The Engineering ; HSE Management ; Mechanical Engineering
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Equipment and other systems determined to be essential in preventing the occurrence of, or mitigating the consequences of an uncontrolled event. Such equipment may include vessels, machinery, piping, blowout preventers, wellheads and related valving, flares, alarms, interlocks, fire protection equipment, and other monitoring, control, and response systems.
Source: API RP 54, Recommended Practice for Occupational Safety for Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Servicing Operations, Third Edition, August 1999 (2007). Global Standards
Equipment and other systems determined to be essential in preventing the occurrence of, or mitigating the consequences of an uncontrolled event.
Source: API RP 74, Recommended Practice for Occupational Safety for Onshore Oil and Gas Production Operation, First Edition, October 2001 (March 2007). Global Standards
Equipment and other systems determined to be essential in preventing the occurrence of or mitigating the consequences of an uncontrolled release. Such equipment may include vessels, machinery, piping, blowout preventers, wellheads and related valving, flares, alarms, interlocks, fire protection equipment and other monitoring, control and response systems.
Source: API RP 75, Recommended Practice for Development of a Safety and Environmental Management Program for Offshore Operations and Facilities: Upstream Segment, Third Edition, May 2004. Global Standards
Critical equipment refers to vessels, machinery, piping, alarms, interlocks, and controls determined by the management to be vital to preventing the occurrence of a catastrophic release.
Source: API RP 750, Management of Process Hazards, First Edition, January 1990. Global Standards
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Identifying Critical and Non Critical Industrial Equipment
When it comes to maintaining industrial equipment efficiently, it’s important that you always prioritize those assets that are the most critical for the operation of your business. This will ensure that you maximize your return on the time and money expended on maintenance, as critical assets, when selected properly, represent the best opportunity for you to further your company’s goals and objectives. The following tips will help you determine asset criticality ( how important an asset is ), decide how they should be handled differently, and use enterprise asset management software to help you through the maintenance process.
Determining the Criticality of an Asset
While it’s a very subjective exercise, one way of thinking about the criticality of an industrial equipment is to calculate the effect that its failure would have on your business and determine which equipment or machinery would bring about the greatest consequences. Only you can determine what level of failure is tolerable for your business, but in general if these assets have a large effect on customer happiness, brand loyalty or productivity, for example, then it is probably critical.
Another way that businesses and enterprises determine the criticality of assets is through bottleneck analysis . With this technique, you map out and identify all the equipment and machinery dependencies that occur throughout your business operations. The critical assets are those that need to be fully operational to avoid a bottleneck that threatens to slow the process down.
For example, the presses in a printing operation are highly critical because, without them, the rest of the business can’t continue. Cranes are another example of critical assets, which are used on factory floors, on ports, in the construction industry as well as in a variety of other industries for transporting heavy goods.
In general, a critical asset is one that would have catastrophic health, safety, environmental or customer-related consequences if it failed, whereas the failure of an asset with low criticality would have negligible consequences.
Classifications of Assets by Criticality
The following rating of asset criticality can serve as a start :
Shuts down the entire plant, multiple production lines, safety & / or environmental reasons, equipment affecting multiple zones or areas. Equipment classified as highly profitable or with high customer service needs or high volume demands. Equipment with high repair costs when they fail.
Some reduced capacity, Equipment that can be bypassed economically for a period. Components on a single line.
Comfort items (HVAC, air make-up units, etc.)
No impact either because of redundancy or not directly involved in the process.
Treating Critical Assets Differently
To ensure that you only expend your precious resources on the more important assets, you need to treat the assets differently. The following are the ways that you should be favoring the more critical assets:
1. Maintenance Scheduling. The assets that are more critical should take precedence over other assets when it comes to important tasks like maintenance.
2. Asset Replacement. The more critical an asset, the more funding it should get for new parts or replacement. In general, it’s more important than critical assets work “as new”.
3. Life-cycle Costing. By tracking the cost of ownership of an asset, or the life-cycle cost, you’ll get an accurate asset costing that includes the cost of maintaining the asset throughout its lifetime.
4. Failure Analysis. There are a few different techniques for analyzing how assets have failed, how they might fail in the future, and what can be done about it. Of course, these techniques are often time-consuming and expensive and should be used for critical assets.
How Enterprise Asset Management Software Can Help
Most Enterprise Asset Management ( EAM ) and CMMS software has the ability to help you prioritize your maintenance work based on how industrial equipment or machinery is. Some have numeric fields for assets that have health, safety or environmental impacts, and others will have user-definable priority fields that give you more flexibility. Some systems like Mainpac AI can also calculate the probability of failure and relative risk so that you always know when to schedule maintenance.
Since most companies don’t have an unlimited amount of funds, it’s important to be able to separate the critical assets from the non-critical ones. Once you do that, you can focus your resources and attention on those assets that really matter.
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Reliability Engineering for Maintenance Posts about Reliability Engineering for Maintenance Critical Equipment Lists Registered Member 9/26/12 3:39 PM 35 replies
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Critical Equipment means any equipment that comes into contact with Product or is essential to the manufacturing process or is designed to assure that Product
Critical equipment is any piece of equipment or machinery that could do any of the following: ... Critical equipment often impacts safety
Equipment, instrumentation, controls, or systems whose malfunction or failure would likely result in a catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals
Therefore, I would propose the following definition: Critical equipment is essential for patient care under normal operating conditions and whose failure could
Reference Definition by Aiche.org: Critical Equipment means equipment, instrumentation, controls, or systems whose malfunction or failure
Critical equipment refers to vessels, machinery, piping, alarms, interlocks, and controls determined by the management to be vital to preventing the occurrence
In general, a critical asset is one that would have catastrophic health, safety, environmental or customer-related consequences if it failed
If one says that critical means one cannot make the product without it (I think you called it "production-critical"), then every piece of
(2) The term “ship critical safety item” means any ship part, assembly, or support equipment containing a characteristic the failure, malfunction
The following are agreed definitions for terms used within this paper. Catastrophic failure Failure of a large piece of equipment where a large component fails