Reliability centered maintenance was a product of airline maintenance schedules which are among the most intensive of any industry. Airlines have to undergo extensive servicing for safety but these services must be balanced with the need for the airline to generate revenue and continue operating. Balancing these two elements are difficult as machinery (i.e. airplanes) becomes increasingly complex and has multiple possible failure modes.
Reliability centered maintenance requires more time up front but helps with this balancing act. It helps companies establish a maintenance plan that is both cost and equipment effective.