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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