The Changing World of Maintenance
Over the past twenty years, maintenance has changed, perhaps more so than any other management discipline. The changes are due to a huge increase in the number and variety of physical assets (plant, equipment and buildings) that must be maintained throughout the world, much more complex designs, new maintenance techniques and changing views on maintenance organization and responsibilities.
Maintenance is also responding to changing expectations. These include a rapidly growing awareness of the extent to which equipment failure affects safety and the environment, a growing awareness of the connection between maintenance and product quality, and increasing pressure to achieve high plant availability and to contain costs.
The changes are testing attitudes and skills in all branches of industry to the limit. Maintenance people are having to adopt completely new ways of thinking and acting, as engineers and as managers. At the same time the limitations of maintenance systems are becoming increasingly apparents, no matter how much they are computerised.
In the face of this avalanche of change, managers everywhere are looking for a new approach to maintenance. They want to avoid the false starts and dead ends that always accompany major upheavals. Instead they seek a strategic framework that synthesizes the new developments into a coherent pattern, so that they can evaluate them sensibly and apply those likely to be of most value to them and their companies. ......