Maintenance and Profitability


Profitability is directlt linked to Maintenance Engineering among other things.

Industrial organisations exist to make profit, they use equipment and employ labour to convert raw material of relatively low value into finished products of higher value. Take an example of petroleum oil processing plant where crude oil of relatively low value is converted to a range of finished products of much higher value – petrol, diesel, aviation fuel, etc.

One way of considering the profitability of a plant is on a life cycle basis. Investment on a plant occurs from its conception to its commissioning. If all goes well, the return on that investment begins when the plant comes into use and continues until the plant is disporsed of.

To maximise profit, the lead time from conception to first use should be as small s possible, while the operating life and total return should be as large as possible.

Such aims may be obvious but their achievement is difficult – the main reason being uncertainty, uncertainty about continuing product demand, uncertainty about obsolescence, uncertainty about reliability and life cycle costs.

However, during the last few decades, there has been considerable continued development of technology and techniques for assessing plant reliability, and life cycle costs, which influence the choice of plant. Another factor affecting life cycle profitability, which is of growing importance is maintenance.

Te dependance of life cycle profitability on availability and hence on maintenance has greatly increased as plants become larger and more sophisticated.


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Maintenance Engineering

The discipline and profession of applying the concept of engineering to the optimization of plant equipment , procedures, costing of budgets to achieve better online reliability and availability of equipment is known as Maintenance Engineering.

An appreciation of the full implication of maintenance is something that has come to industry in the recent decades. Official recognition of the gravity of the problems of maintenance and its effect on industry’s profitability is now well understood.

Maintenance question has attracted the interest of many both from industry and academic world, and has obviously influenced the attitudes and actions of the industry.

Today, where profitability is lways ‘ marginal ‘, effective maintenance planning and life cycle¬† costs are considered to be very important.

Elements of Maintenance management

The elements of maintenance management are:

  1. Understanding the functions
  2. Decidinhe objectives
  3. Forecasting
  4. Planning
  5. Schduling
  6. Organising

Maintenace and Maintenace Engineering is increasing in importance due to size and complexity of the modern plants, systems, machies and infrastructure, which require a host of personnel and related systems required to maintain them.