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Life Cycle Logistics

NPS Research Paper on CBM+ Implementation

For your reading pleasure, encourage DoD product support managers and life cycle logistics to take a look at a publicly available Naval Post Graduate School (NPS) research paper entitled “…

NPS Research Paper on CBM+ Implementation

NPS Research Paper on CBM+ Implementation
Bill Kobren

For your reading pleasure, encourage DoD product support managers and life cycle logistics to take a look at a publicly available Naval Post Graduate School (NPS) research paper entitled “Implementing Condition-Based Maintenance Plus as a Ground Maintenance Strategy in the Marine Corps.” This study follows on the heels of an earlier 2021 research paper entitled “Incorporating Predictive Maintenance Best Practices into Marine Corps Training and Operations on this topic.

According to the authors, “the U.S. Marine Corps is transitioning to a Condition Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+) strategy, which detects subcomponent anomalies in advance through data analytics so maintenance can be conducted before failure occurs. We studied the implementation of CBM in industry, and identified common themes, including guidelines for identifying platforms most suited to CBM---in particular those that are critical and costly to replace. We studied people and processes for implementation of CBM+ and identified critical barriers, including orders and policies that delineate Marine Corps maintenance strategy and many legacy policies directly conflict with CBM+ strategies.”

They go on to remind readers that “…Inspections heavily influence maintenance actions at the operational unit level and hinder implementation of CBM+ initiatives. Competing priorities reduce focus and capacity necessary to change maintenance strategies. Our primary recommendations for improving CBM+ implementation are focused on aligning the effort with other enterprise priorities and aligning policies to permit and support innovation in implementing CBM+. Existing tools within the Marine Corps policy refinement process, such as the Total Life Cycle Management Cross Functional Team model, can be used to establish a CBM+ guiding coalition. We recommend creating an environment that fosters short-term wins through interim exceptions to policy and consolidating these gains in a single volumized maintenance order. The Field Supply and Maintenance Analysis Office can be utilized as a key contributor in communicating and enabling the CBM+ vision for Marine Corps maintenance through evaluating, training, and consolidating best practices of CBM+ processes. This further supports the current Commandant’s priority initiatives, both Force Design 2030 and Talent Management 2030. Reducing unnecessary maintenance actions and cross-functional training will support both retention and development of high-performing Marines (emphasis added).”

Additionally, the authors identified both barriers and opportunities to successful CBM+ implementation, writing that “…four major themes emerged as barriers to CBM+ implementation in the Marine Corps. First, there is a lack of clear and consistent understanding of CBM+ across the Fleet Marine Force. Second, there is conflict among various orders and policies that delineate Marine Corps maintenance strategy and many legacy policies directly conflict with CBM+ strategies. Third, inspections heavily influence maintenance actions at the operational unit level and hinder implementation of CBM+ initiatives. Finally, competing priorities reduce focus and capacity necessary to change maintenance strategies. Four themes emerged as opportunities to support CBM+ implementation. First, leaders within the organization need to drive the CBM+ maintenance strategy implementation process. Second, interim exceptions to policy (ETP) for policies that restrict CBM+ maintenance strategies can accelerate integration. Third, experiences…demonstrate opportunities to remove non-value-added tasks within maintenance processes to achieve measurable and observable gains by integrating CBM+ processes prior to adopting sensors and other technology solutions. Finally, ownership in the change process and the application of cross-training within operational units will make CBM+ implementation more effective.”

Condition-Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+) is not a new concept, but it is a vitally important one, with application opportunities across the entire Department of Defense. Encourage those interested in learning more on this important topic to take a look at the range of available policy, guidance, and related resources, including:

Finally, DAU also offers a number of related learning assets on this subject, including: