Maintenance: A Necessary and Important Function in the Future

Euromaintenance 2016 will take place in Athens at the end of May. It is the ideal moment to reflect on maintenance in a European context. Euromaintenance is known as the summit for all involved in maintenance across Europe, it’s the place to be. The conference, with the support of the EFNMS, is the only commercially independent conference covering the topics we deal with in the maintenance world.

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Although we are convinced, is maintenance really as important as we, professionals in maintenance, think? Let us search an objective view. Based on a study executed in the European project More 4 Core, we learn that roughly 1.200 Billion €/year are spent on maintenance in general, inclusive of that which we spend in our own homes.

Brought back to the industry, which makes it more tangible, 600 billion € are spent on maintenance in the industry. This is realised by 6 Million people. The net replacement value, where they act on has a value of about 10.000 billion €.

These really are impressive figures, especially when we compare those with a well-known industrial sector: the turnover of the chemical industry is “only” 550 billion € and their personnel 1.25 million people strong.

To give a final number: 55 million employees, which create in the most important industries in Europe a turnover of more than 5.000 billion €, depend, for their production, on the good maintenance provided by 6,000,000 people.

Despite these impressive figures, we can’t find maintenance as an important branch in EU documents. We find only different services, which are creating all the maintenance actions. Well, let us be happy about that.

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Maybe we maintenance workers are looking from a different perspective: the maintenance view, which is traditionally rather technical. For me it’s a sign that the maintenance profession doesn’t exist, but no doubt, the maintenance function really is a necessity whether you are an asset owner or a service provider. This function is built together out of the different services.
The division of work is a matter of market interactions. So we, supported by European studies, are really convinced: maintenance is important, and it will become even more important. In a permanently changing world, we need to keep continuous improvement in the maintenance function alive and kicking.

Buzz words like:
• integration • sustainability • factories of the future • big data

…are coming, also in maintenance, closer than many people think.

It will bring challenges and opportunities. Let us use this conference as a lever to improve different aspects like:

• Stimulating the mobility of maintenance workers by mutual evaluation of the skills
• Widening the market by creating and using a European service company index
• Integrating the European maintenance by harmonising the guidelines and internationalizing the market.

Let’s do it in a way that we become stronger for the challenges and threats of the future.

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Editorial
Herman Baets
President, EFNMS

EFNMS | 20.5.2016

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