rcm comes to korea

South Korea Welcomes RCM3™

Considered the most wired and educated country in the world by CNN, 82.7 percent of South Koreans are connected to the Internet and 98 percent of the population receives a high school education. However, in the realm of asset management, the Asian country is not as advanced.

Dr. Gang-Min Lim, PhD, CEO, Asset Technology Group, Seoul, is working to change that. On the heels of training with Marius Basson of Aladon and receiving RCM3™ Practitioner certification, Dr. Lim is now working with South Korean utility clients to teach the RCM3 methodology and assist with implementation. 

“Asset management is still a new concept and not fully accepted in South Korea,” explains Lim. “Some government-owned corporations are starting to understand what it is, but we need to offer more seminars and training.”

South Korean Development

To better understand the history of this industrialized country, dating back to the 1970s, the main focus was building and construction and not on maintenance. By 2000, this started to change, but the main method was Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), originating from the Japanese automotive sector. 

While TPM is good for operators and field technicians, it’s not useful for reliability engineers or maintenance specialists. TPM does not preserve critical functions of the assets and it doesn’t find root causes of failure. 

TPM is more of a process and philosophy, not a methodology that can be embraced by professionals at all levels. “TPM is not a solution for difficult engineering issues,” explains Dr. Lim. In contrast, RCM fosters cross functional teamwork for all parties including engineering, operations, maintenance, health and safety in all departments across the organization.

Dr. Lim Discovers RCM

Through his experiences working for different Korean companies, Dr. Lim struggled with communicating his maintenance-related ideas to top level management. This eventually led him to pursue a PhD in asset management. In 2002, he was then hired by the biggest food company in South Korea to assist with upgrading operations, which also involved some consulting work. 

Dr. Lim’s next move was starting his own business offering engineering and consulting, including predictive maintenance and maintenance optimization. At the same time, he became very interested in full lifecycle asset management and wanted to learn more. Impressed by Aladon’s experience and network of expertise, he contacted Aladon. 

Aladon owner, Marius Basson worked together with Dr. Lim and his team to train them as Aladon RCM™ Practitioners and becoming Aladon Network members. Dr. Lim and Jung Wook Sun are both now certified Aladon RCM3 Practitioners. Marius worked with the ATG team to perform strategic planning for KEPCO, South Korea’s Electric Power Corporation, and Korea Water, while Korail, South Korea’s national railway operator, attended the meeting as well. 

What’s Next?

Around the corner is Dr. Lim’s first RCM 3-day introductory course for his power, gas and water clients, to be held in ATG’s offices, Nov. 13 – 20. In attendance will be the Korea Hydraulic and Nuclear Power Corporation, Korea Western Power Co., Korea Midland Power Co., Korea Electric Power Research Institute, Korea Gas Co. and K-water Co.

Dr. Lim would ultimately like to run these courses on a bi-annual basis, take on new clients and projects, and promote good RCM practices in South Korea. Part of this process involves translating the new RCM3 book by Marius Basson into Korean, which his team is in the process of doing, chapter by chapter. The next step will be taking the book to prominent South Korean professors in the reliability field to review for quality control.

In addition, Dr. Lim is working to establish a professional body for asset management in the country.

The Asset Technology Group (ATG) is a leading company specialized in Predictive Maintenance technologies, Asset Management Optimization service in Korea. The first mission of ATG is to provide the best values to our customers whose main concern is asset management since 2011. ATG provides its original services, as well as artificial intelligence, IoT technologies for asset management by PdM and Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM3™) to its customers.