Maintenance Technician 4.0

For Swedish industry to be competitive, it is necessary for our companies to keep up with developments, especially in the maintenance industry. What tools and skills should we put on today's maintenance technicians to be best equipped? How do we go from remedial work to a more data-driven organization using Smart Maintenance? This is discussed in this article which is produced by Hanne Ingvarsson who is studying at a vocational university, Göteborgs Tekniska College.

Hanne Ingvarsson
Hanne Ingvarsson, student at Göteborgs Tekniska College

Together with Plant Maintenance at Volvo Cars Torslanda and the Smarta Fabriker project, a model will be developed in the spring of 2020 for what is called “Maintenance Techniques 4.0”, where the focus is on this subject.

Currently, almost all preventive maintenance is calendar-based, where you service or carry out periodic replacements on the machine park without taking into account operating time and the machine's actual health and degree of utilization. The result is unnecessary costs in the form of man-time, unnecessary replacement of spare parts and time-incorrect priorities.

There are already tools to use to predict maintenance in a better way, which through measurement data indicates when it is time to service a machine. For example, it could be a sensor used for vibration measurement on a motor that can trigger a service order in a maintenance system. Or AR technology that can be used for troubleshooting purposes, where special expertise can guide the technician through problem solving from a different location - but also as instructive support for larger jobs. This can be, for example, exploded view, 3D models or wiring diagrams that facilitate the work of the maintenance technician. The challenges lie in finding functional areas of use and ensuring that staff are on the train throughout the development.

Generally, it is about going from remedial and calendar-based maintenance to computerized decisions - partly technically but also culturally. There must be an understanding of both the tools and the data collection and its uses throughout the maintenance organization - not just the maintenance manager. It therefore takes an effort from all instances to work properly, because the system will never be better than the data you feed it with. In addition, it is an art to take care of large amounts of data and present it in an accessible and user-friendly way.

To be able to meet these challenges, competence and education are required. That is why "Maintenance Techniques 4.0" needs to be discussed and developed. How can we use Smart Maintenance to solve the problems we have today and what will the maintenance of the future look like?


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This article is categorised as Intermediate  |  Published 2020-02-25  |  Authored by Johan Bengtsson