The Icelandic Maintenance Association Looks to Strengthen Education in the Field
The Icelandic Maintenance Association (EVS) members appreciate EVS for emphasizing collaboration and knowledge sharing.
With the growth of Icelandic industrial production, the need to increase knowledge in the maintenance field has grown significantly. While local companies are aware of their responsibilities in the professional and technological development of the maintenance industry, investment should also be made in training and education.
The President of Icelandic Maintenance Association Steiner Ómarsson believes that focus should also be given to training in the field. According to him, it will take a lot of work to raise the level of education and training, but without proceeding, there will be no opportunity to learn enough about the field and keep up with international standards.
– Looking back at my own study times, I see that although it was possible to focus on technical studies as a major, the teaching was somewhat lacking, says Ómarsson.
In 2005, Ómarsson completed his Mechanical Engineer degree at the University of Reykjavik and has since worked on a wide range of processes in the field.
– I was really excited to start working on new maintenance functions in my hometown, he recalls from the early stages of his career.
Ómarsson has gained a strong knowledge and experience in maintenance. He says that he even grew up in the proximity of the maintenance industry from an early age in a small town where maintenance and repair provided a livelihood for many.
Today Ómarsson holds the position of Maintenance Manager at HS Orka, a private company. The company operates in the renewable energy sector and builds electricity and waterpower plants.
Ómarsson considers his personal strengths to be good knowledge of maintenance processes and practices. That's what he wants to focus on in future as well. He thinks the quality level of the maintenance sector in Iceland should be higher than what it is. Until now, maintenance in Iceland has mainly meant repair work that the industry has been used to.
– I see that, we are in a very good position to strengthen monitoring and preventive maintenance in companies, and also in training, he says.
Ómarsson aims to strengthen maintenance processes across the country through the Icelandic Maintenance Society.
– This year we will be able to expand the power plants so that we can get more power from them. Of course, the project requires a lot of work and new equipment that we have acquired for it. A lot of interesting work to come, he says.
To strengthen maintenance training
Through increasing teaching, the Icelandic Maintenance Society would have the opportunity to take responsibility. Cooperation is already taking place with different schools and is exploring opportunities to offer courses or training.
According to Ómarsson, there is no need to take big steps to add training immediately, but any course that increases the expertise of the maintenance industry is useful.
It is popular for Icelandic students to apply for a course or a whole degree abroad and then return to Iceland for work.
Information is disseminated and shared not only in education but also through companies.
– For example, aluminium operators have a huge amount of expertise and knowledge in the maintenance sector, where information can be transferred to those at the beginning of their careers or to partners as well.
– I would say that, after all, we are well placed to offer stable career paths in the field of maintenance, within for example the fishing and aluminium industries and electricity companies. Employment is good and the work is of high standard, Ómarsson says.
As an island, Iceland's physical cooperation with its neighbouring countries can be challenging. Although cooperation is active, particularly with other Scandinavian countries as well as with the UK, the geographical distance and suppliers sometimes causes grey hair.
– If we need a special service from other countries, it can be challenging to arrange it quickly.
Despite the distances, The Icelandic Maintenance Management Association is an active member of the European Federation of National Maintenance Societies (EFNMS) and participates in international conferences, Annual Assemblies and other events. EVS also holds annual general meetings.
- EVS, the Icelandic National Maintenance Society was established in 2009
- In 2016 EVS became a part of EFNMS, the European Federation of National Maintenance Societies, first as an observing member but then as a full member from 2019.
- EVS has facilitated training events, meetups for members, translated the ISO 55000 standards into Icelandic in association with the Icelandic Standards (IST) and is currently working on translating EN 13306 Maintenance terminology with IST.
The Finnish Maintenance Society, Promaint works hard to bring maintenance into the minds of people and the society.
The Hellenic Maintenance Society (HMS) is headed by an experienced chairman, Mr. George Effraimidis, who has worked in the maintenance industry for over 25 years. As he claims, the maintenance sector characterises him from the professional point of view.