Home >Maintenance manager’s role subject to change

Maintenance manager’s role subject to change

01 September 2018

From September 24th to 27th, 2018, the European maintenance federation EFNMS, BEMAS and Reliabilityweb.com will welcome hundreds of participants from all over the world for the 23rd edition of Euromaintenance 4.0, the largest maintenance conference in Europe. Henriëtte van Norel explains.

It is the largest maintenance conference held in Europe. Never before have developments in the field of maintenance been more rapid than in recent years. Just think of the rise of IoT and predictive analyses: developments which have had a major impact on the maintenance manager's traditional role. The European Maintenance Manager Award will be presented to one of the four nominated candidates during the European Maintenance Manager Award night, held on September 25th , 2018. Candidates for the award have demonstrated to possess a refreshing look at the Maintenance Manager’s role.

From all European countries, the Salvetti Foundation and EFMNS nominated four candidates nominated for this prestigious award. The nominees are: Mario Cikojevic (Maintenance Manager with Cemex in Croatia), Marc De Kerf (Global Expert Maintenance & Asset Management Petrochemicals, with BASF in Belgium), Jimmy Öberg (Technical Manager with Kopparberg in Sweden) and Antonio Ros Pau (former Maintenance Manager with SEAT in Spain).

Focus on the long term

Marc De Kerf has been nominated for his vision on the maintenance of the future. De Kerf says: "At BASF Antwerp, as a Maintenance Manager, I was responsible for managing the maintenance activities within a cluster of 3 BASF chemical companies until 1 year ago. I carried out annual shutdowns of some 20 to 25 weeks. In order to keep this on track, I set up the Heavy Duty Large Rotating Equipment department, as well as a preventive maintenance system. It had a major impact when I divided the traditional role of maintenance manager within our cluster into two different jobs: those of the Maintenance Manager and the Asset Manager--two officials with different characters, having to work very closely together. The Maintenance Manager’s expertise focuses on short-term activities. He is the 'people manager' who sees solving malfunctions as a real challenge, and often operates under high pressure. The Asset Manager, on the other hand, focuses on long-term perspective as the person responsible for installation reliability. He or she knows better than anyone else, which actions are needed to guarantee installation reliability at all times so as to reach a high quality standard. "This division into two jobs certainly gave rise to an interesting dynamic compared to the previous approach. Previously, the Maintenance Manager was responsible for both the short-term and long-term activities. In practice, this meant that the short-term activities were usually performed, whereas long-term activities, such as carrying out analyses, were often skipped due to lack of time. Consequently, managers simply operated intuitively when attempting to implement improvements in the production process.

New Model and new roles

While my team members developed a 'model of responsibilities' based on the given distribution of tasks, I focused on the transformation from SAP R2 to R3 in accordance with PAS55. An essential requirement in setting up SAP entailed the possibility of a more accurate cost allocation. This was particularly crucial for the Asset Manager’s new role, who had to be able to continuously generate cost drivers and performance killers. The achieved results are noteworthy. Formerly, BASF allocated the costs at the right equipment level in only 40% to 50% of all cases. Currently, this number has risen to 90%. No longer the Asset Manager has to make decisions based on intuition, instead, he can now utilise reliable data.

Focus on Reliability

The second candidate, Mario Cikojevic, comes from Cemex, one of the largest internationally operating construction materials distributors. He owes his nomination to his successful manner of positively influencing his employees’ mindset. Mario engages each team member to actually contribute to the realisation of organisational objectives. For example, Cikojevic and his team are responsible for ensuring that all installations within the Croatian cement factory operate optimally, day in and day out. All this must be achieved at a minimum cost and with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Says Cikojevic: "It soon became clear to me, that even the best ideas would not land if the people within the organisation doubted their usefulness. Therefore, it was essential for me to demonstrate that my ideas constituted the correct approach. In order to share his ideas and experiences, Cikojevic wrote 'Maintenance Strategy - of Industrial Facilities through RCM Methodology Implementation'; a handbook explaining the advantages of RCM, how it should be implemented and how it should actually be applied in practice.

Giving Trust

Similar to the Croatian nominee, the third nominee, Jimmy Öberg of the Kopparbergs Bryggeri brewery from Sweden also recognizes the importance of good leadership in achieving an objective. Öberg explains: "In 2014, we invested in the implementation of a new CMMS maintenance management system within our organisation, both to reduce the number of failures, as well as to boost performance. The new software tool was introduced in phases. Implementation took about 1 year and it went smoothly. According to Öberg, the biggest challenge was to teach employees how to make good use of the system. "Show employees what you are doing, explain the new system’s benefits and how they can benefit from it. After all, in systems of this kind, there are always people who first look on in a wait-and-see manner. It is important to ask what you can do for them to make it even better. Involve them in the process and give them sufficient feedback and instil trust. The success of the approach was subsequently reflected in the results. In the old situation, the Technical Service employee spent 60% of his time repairing machines. Currently this now only amounts to 20%. The number of acute failures has been substantially reduced, while the focus has shifted to preventive maintenance and to the development of long-term plans.

The fundamentals for Maintenance 4.0

Last but not least is the fourth nominee, Antonio Ros Pau, a former Maintenance Manager at SEAT in Spain. Ros Pau owes his nomination to the various projects he carried out at SEAT, empowering the maintenance department in this company. As a result, the department is no longer seen as a cost item but as a centre of expertise, effectively contributing to increasing the automotive manufacturer’s profit margins. Among other things, Ros Pau introduced SCADA and opened several control rooms in order to completely centrally monitor the data from various SCADA systems. In this way, Ros Pau took the first steps at SEAT on the road to digital transformation, as well as towards performing Big Data analyses in maintenance. Ros Pau also carried out intriguing projects in the field of energy saving. In 2011, for example, he invested in a complete renovation of the 20 MW CHP plant while implementing Euroenergest within the factory. This is an energy management system with artificial intelligence. Two years later, he commissioned the installation of a photovoltaic system, which has generated over 112 million kWh of solar energy for SEAT since the system was put into operation.

The winner of the 'European Maintenance Manager Award' will be announced during a prestigious and interesting award event. Participants will learn everything about the winner's strategy and approach. Keynote speaker is futurist and thought leader Ben Pring. He is co-author of the book 'What To Do When Machines Do Everything: How to Get Ahead in a World of AI, Algorithms, Bots, and Big Data'. He will talk on the valuable rules of thumb to spearhead automation and improvement in every facet of your organisation in order to stay competitive in the next decade. The award evening takes place within the framework of the Euromaintenance 4.0 conference. With 106 speakers, 50 cases, 20 workshops and a focused exhibition with 60 innovations, this conference is a unique opportunity to learn how maintenance, reliability and asset management can contribute to the results of a manufacturing by combining best practices and the new intelligent solutions. There are still seats available for both the conference and the European Maintenance Manager Award Night (Sept. 24th - 27th, 2018)  - www.euromaintenance.org.