This paper discusses the technical background of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) “Guide for Survey Based on Reliability-centered Maintenance” to improve reliability for vessels’ machinery systems and receive credit towards certain machinery survey requirements. Risk assessment techniques and RCM analysis are used to provide a process to optimize maintenance tasks and achieve optimal reliability. A process for spare holding requirements incorporating risk is discussed. A sustainment process was developed so the operator can keep the preventative maintenance tasks current as the system ages, new failure modes or system modifications occur. The approaches taken to address the lack of quantitative data for equipment failures, consistency of analyses among operators and types of consequences and descriptions related to their severity are discussed.

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