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Strategic Maintenance Improvement: Driving Forces and Obstacles


Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


World Congress on Engineering Asset Management




Global trade, increased levels of automation and ambitions to apply lean production increases the demand for effective maintenance of production equipment. Still, the maintenance function is often regarded as having mainly a tactical role for the assets. The fact that many companies have no clear goals for their maintenance activities is serious since goals and strategies are driving forces for increasing the maintenance effectiveness. Several studies have recognized that the absence of clear strategies obstruct maintenance development initiatives. Also, maintenance strategies should support the corporate strategy and business drivers considered critical success factors of the company. Maintenance development is the discipline of development of strategies, methods, and tools to be applied in any organization. However, well defined maintenance strategies have to be well implemented in order to contribute to the competitiveness of the company. The aim of this paper is to identify some of the driving forces and obstacles that have to be dealt with when implementing maintenance strategies. In the paper, three industrial cases are presented to exemplify which implications to be dealt with when implementing maintenance strategies. The paper is based on interviews and direct observations in three manufacturing companies in Sweden. All three companies have used the same method, within the same time frame to formulate maintenance strategies, fully aligned with their overall strategic goals. All three companies have their own specific challenges, but share the ambition to improve their maintenance programs. The case studies show that implementation of maintenance strategies to a large amount resembles a typical change project with all its challenges. However some of the obstacles, and also some of the driving forces are more likely to appear in the maintenance context such as the organizational and cultural barriers between the maintenance and production departments.


author = {Antti Salonen},
title = {Strategic Maintenance Improvement: Driving Forces and Obstacles},
editor = {Mathew, Ma, Tan, Weijnen, and Lee},
pages = {809--820},
month = {November},
year = {2010},
booktitle = {World Congress on Engineering Asset Management},
publisher = {Springer-Verlag},
url = {}