Reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS)

Reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS)

Tailored solutions

Failures and disruption to rail services incur delays and can lead to penalty payments or fines for poor performance.

In addition, there are the less quantifiable costs, such as damage to reputation and increased staff workload, and opportunity costs as a result of 'knock-on' effects on other activities and ventures.  

Scope of services 

Ricardo provides tailored solutions to help organizations to assess potential scenarios and their possible costs, and then to develop the proportionate and appropriate strategies to reduce the risk of service failure and ensure assets remain reliable, maintainable and available for use.

Our Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) services include:

  • Defining the strategy and plans for the management of the RAMS performance of new systems
  • Application and interpretation of international and European standards for RAMS management, such as CENELEC EN50126, BS5760, MIL-HDBK-217 and Def Stan 00-40
  • Deriving RAMS requirements and targets
  • Carrying out detailed RAMS studies, using techniques such as FME(C)A, FTA and RBD, supported by industry standard tools such as FaultTree+ and AvSim
  • Analysing the reliability and availability of designs and systems, identifying failures, assessing their consequences and developing appropriate control measures
  • Analysing failure data, developing reliability predictions and implementing reliability improvement programmes
  • Managing subcontractors to ensure their RAMS targets are achieved
  • Developing life cycle cost models to optimize reliability, availability and maintenance costs

The benefits 

We help organizations to effectively integrate RAMS management with safety management, ensuring compliance with both CENELEC EN50126 and asset management standards required by PAS 55. And, by actively managing RAMS, we will help clients to enhance their operational performance by optimizing existing equipment and systems, assuring the reliability, availability and maintainability of new equipment, and by reducing operational and maintenance costs.

The key RAMS deliverables include: 

  • Analysis work
  • Technical support
  • General project support during all RAMS phases
  • Development of RAMS management systems
  • Development of processes for continuous improvement

Example projects 

We have completed a wide range of projects, including:

  • Supporting the set up of a reliability assessment and demonstration programme for light transit systems in Asia
  • Assessment of performance (RAM) of the Taiwan High Speed Railway and its systems – throughout design and construction of the railway – as part of overall technical assessment and certification
  • Developing the RAM programme, performing RAM modelling (using Reliability Growth Models, FMECA, FTA and RBDs) and reporting against performance targets for the Hitachi Class 395 Rolling Stock
  • Developing a RAM Programme Plan for a high-speed project
  • Reviewing current design and alternative arrangements for both high-voltage (HV) and low-voltage (LV) switchgear, and providing independent recommendations for future switchgear designs for London Underground
  • Undertaking a range of RAM studies for the development of the Korean tilting train
  • Review of signalling system reliability for Queensland Rail, Australia
  • Development of a whole-life asset plan, including all electrical and mechanical (E&M) infrastructure and rolling stock, for London Underground
  • Performing RAM modelling (FMECA, FTA and RBDs) for the London Underground Cooling The Tube Project Mid Tunnel Ventilation System, including recommending design improvements based on the RAM results
  • Performing RAM (FMECA and RBDs) and Life Cycle Cost (LCC) modelling for the Network Rail Modular Signalling Project