Sustainability in industrial maintenance

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In recent years we have seen an increased focus on sustainability in industry. This is a healthy trend, and all of us working with industrial maintenance must ask ourselves what sustainability means for us, our employees and our customers. Sustainable development can be divided into three categories:

•Social sustainability - Building a society where basic human needs are met
•Ecological sustainability – How to economize human and material resources
•Economic sustainability - Financial growth taking environment and human health into account

In order to be able to evaluate how different companies deal with sustainability, Dow Jones has introduced a sustainability index that shows how companies work with anti-corruption, ethical taxes, human rights, environment and social responsibility.

Sustainable development within industrial maintenance can be summarized as a balance between social responsibility, and environmental and economic development. Social responsibility in industrial maintenance is important. The branch employs a large number of people, who earn their living and develop as individuals when they work with industrial maintenance. Social responsibility is also about being able to attract and employ people to the industry. Youth unemployment is a growing problem in Europe and industrial maintenance performed in a good way can attract young people to maintenance-related studies. Maintpartner works actively with social responsibility on several levels. Our management system Maintpartner Way® is the base and structure for the systematic work. Maintpartner is also developing new solutions to attract new people to the industry and to retain existing persons while at the same time improving efficiency for the customers. As an example, all employees are provided with tools such as smartphones in order to reduce administration and improve efficiency.

The development of environmental work within industrial maintenance has been excellent over the past ten years. Today, most customers as well as suppliers are working actively with environment, health and safety. The transparency and openness that exist in the industry makes one feel good. There is a lot to learn from each other in this area and even if the development has been great we will have to continuously develop ourselves towards zero deviations. Suppliers in industrial maintenance have a huge opportunity to spread knowledge about environmental work between different industries and countries. For Maintpartner, the environmental work is a natural part of the daily work and this includes a systematic approach regarding incident reporting, risk analysis and behavioral training as part of Maintpartner Way.

Environmental work in industrial maintenance can also include decisions whether to repair a component or equipment or to buy a new one. The number of service workshops is continuously decreasing and the trend is that old equipment is scrapped and replaced with new. Scrapped equipment could in many cases have been repaired with good results. The trend to scrap is not necessarily wrong in all cases. Old electrical motors or pumps can, for example, be replaced with new ones that consume less energy. The key is to make an assessment of each individual case or equipment category and to base decision whether to repair or to buy a new one on facts. In this regard, Maintpartner can help by offering productized services, Value Elements®, or by supporting the customers with highly qualified employees.

Economic development in industrial maintenance is very interesting. Industrial maintenance has been an industry characterized by customers that have been doing a great deal of the maintenance themselves. Demand to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase technical competence as well as to manage a volatile workload has increased the need for purchased maintenance. In order to be able to develop the industrial maintenance in a sustainable way, the suppliers will be required to have adequate resources, size and competence.

Maintpartner has developed processes and tools called MP Flow®. These processes and tools ensure a highly efficient industrial maintenance delivery process. This will not only increase efficiency but also reduce costs. The development of industrial maintenance, where the major focus is on change and efficiency in combination with health and safety will have a positive effect on the customer's economic development as well as that of the supplier.

As a summary it can be concluded that industrial maintenance and sustainable development are linked together. As a front runner within industrial maintenance Maintpartner has the offering and processes that support sustainable development.

The writer is the Country President at Maintpartner Sweden.

Contact information:

Peter Jonsson, +46 70 864 56 42