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Maintec: Building on the base

14 March 2019

Following the successful re-launch of Maintec in November 2018, IP&E contributing editor, Andy Pye looks forward to the next event (NEC, 30-31 October 2019) and how it is building on what was achieved then.

Few things can damage the financial stability of a manufacturing facility more than unexpected downtime. On average, manufacturers suffer with 30% or more downtime during their scheduled production time. In some industries, such as automotive assembly, downtime can cost up to £17,000 per minute (a mind-blowing £1 million an hour).  

Traditionally, maintenance has been done on a fixed schedule, replacing items at constant intervals. But parts wear out at different rates for all kinds of reasons and constant intervals do not take into consideration the varying circumstances of a machine being maintained. Thus, although general purpose schedules are easy to manage by arranging for spares to be delivered in a predictable manner, they risk wasting money by replacing parts that are still operational. 

On the other hand, predictive maintenance is about getting the most life out of equipment while minimising the risk of failure. It ensures that parts are used to the end of their natural life, but risks downtime due to delays in delivery of replacements or additional costs due to higher stock levels. The ideal combination is predictive maintenance with just-in-time supply chains. 

In the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, maintenance is a profession in transition. Industry 4.0 offers the ability to measure parameters at the coalface, and pass that data, remotely if needs be, for analysis. The more data is obtained over time, the more confidence can there be in the predictions made. This helps with planning maintenance schedules and the logistics of having spare parts available at the right time. 

Instruments for condition monitoring will look for variances in acoustics, vibrations, thermal output, motor current signatures and other areas, which help determine maintenance schedules and reactive steps needed to keep machinery running optimally. 

Visitor interactions 

It is a core philosophy of Maintec that it provides a full experience for visitors, not only forging relationships with suppliers and solutions providers, but providing a problem-solving environment with experts and the opportunity to participate in a debate with industry leaders. The associated conference combines presentations from exhibitors, case studies from end users and panel "Reliability Dialogue" sessions on industry themes. 

Keen to build on the extremely successful partnership which was initiated in 2018, the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE), the professional engineering membership organisation, has once again confirmed its involvement. 

At Maintec 2018, SOE provided official CPD approval for the events’ seminar programme. This featured over 30 specialist speakers from the world of maintenance and reliability engineering delivering 10 hours of free discussions. In 2019, the programme will cover a wider range of topics presented in more ways, with more practical sessions. 

Daniel Moir, Chief Operating Office, SEO stated “Maintec is a great opportunity for SOE to showcase our insight into the industry and, by approving a quality CPD programme, help improve the technical understanding of those present at the show. It reinforces to our members the SOE commitment to professional development.”