How is the Maintenance Manager Role Changing?

How Is Maintenance Manager Role Changing

Industrial organisations are going through a rapid period of digital transformation, with renewed interest in the Internet of Things (IoT), data collection, and smart analytics to drive more informed decisions. With increased emphasis on predictive maintenance, how is the role of maintenance manager changing? 

In this film, Senseye's Alexander Hill and Rob Russell are joined by Jim Davison from Make UK and Peter Gagg of MCP Consulting Group to discuss how the digital maintenance manager role differs from more traditional ones, and the skills and tools digital maintenance teams need to be successful.



Alexander Hill, Senseye: The face of maintenance is changing and we’re now seeing more and more companies talk about digital maintenance. This is the realization that actually, the mechanical world, the digital world, and the IT world are not necessarily separate things - they’re all connected.

There’s a transition from a traditional maintenance manager who might often be quite reactive or following a scheduled plan, into a digital maintenance manager. The distinction, really, is that they can be much more proactive and prescriptive about what they’re doing, and they’re much more interconnected with other areas - like logistics, production, and engineering - because they’re all looking at the same data set.

Jim Davison, Make UK: Those individuals need to understand about the plant and the equipment that they’ll be supporting. Clearly, they need to understand how manufacturing operations run so they’re cognizant of the times they can and should be undertaking those activities.

I guess the big change though is if I was a maintenance engineer and I’ve come to the end of my career, would a company want a similar person with the same skill set to replace me? Probably not. In addition to those core skills you also have to have that digital understanding and capability because the skills and boundaries are really blurring across all sorts of disciplines in manufacturing.

Rob Russell, Senseye: The role of the maintenance manager is becoming far more related to the use of data and information that’s coming from systems they’ve got access to. Whether that’s predictive maintenance tools like Senseye or computerized maintenance management systems and even more advanced stock and inventory systems.

The key thing for a maintenance manager or maintenance planner is looking for the opportunities to remove the firefighting aspect and firefighting culture of emergency orders, to one where things are being dealt with in a timely manner and more proactive manner.

Peter Gagg, MCP Consulting Group: They need to understand and appreciate the opportunities available to them from using real-time data that’s forecasting what’s actually happening around their plant and where they need to focus their attention.

Jim Davison, Make UK: You’re seeing an enterprise-wide collection of real-time manufacturing data and being able to turn that into active information that you can make enlightened decisions in real-time - about your factory, about the types of jobs you’re running, about the performance of machines.

Alexander Hill, Senseye: Predictive maintenance is a crucial part of the jigsaw puzzle of maintenance and maintenance efficiency, particularly as you look into newer business models.

Digital maintainers and logistics people in operations and engineering are all working with the same data set. Now, with predictive maintenance, we are able to say, ‘Ok, what is going to be happening based on the real-world data that we're seeing?’

So you now have maintenance managers able to have very straightforward interactions with the financial people, to understand what those requirements are. The more people we have talking, sharing the same data, working from the same platform, the more efficient you are and the more money you save.

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