Maintenance practitioners are faced with the daunting task of figuring out the challenges and opportunities of industrial digitalisation. They are expected to develop realistic yet visionary maintenance strategies to secure the success of highly digitalised production systems. However, this requires answers to many difficult questions. What type of technologies should be employed? What type of skills are needed? How should one collaborate with other parties? What are the benefits? Even with those answers in hand, the means by which the strategies can be realized are not well understood. How can we measure our current status and track our digitalisation progress over time? How should we prioritize our actions in order to reach our strategic targets? How can we learn from others? This thesis brings clarity to such questions. Specifically, this thesis describes future scenarios for maintenance in digitalised manufacturing, conceptualizes “Smart Maintenance”, and develops an instrument to measure Smart Maintenance in manufacturing plants.
The scenarios allow practitioners to see the bigger picture of digitalisation, consider changes that they might otherwise ignore, and begin to develop long-term strategies for maintenance organizations. The rich, understandable, and action-inspiring conceptualization of Smart Maintenance brings clarity to practitioners and policy-makers, supporting them in developing implementation strategies and initiatives to elevate the use of Smart Maintenance. Specifically, Smart Maintenance is defined as “an organizational design for managing maintenance of manufacturing plants in environments with pervasive digital technologies” and has four core dimensions: data-driven decision-making, human capital resource, internal integration and external integration. The measurement instrument makes it possible to measure Smart Maintenance in manufacturing plants, and consists of a set of questionnaire items that measure the four dimensions of Smart Maintenance. It can be used by practitioners to assess, benchmark and longitudinally evaluate Smart Maintenance in their organization, which serves to develop evidence-based strategies for successful implementation.
Taken together, this thesis provides a holistic understanding of Smart Maintenance that ensures high performance manufacturing in digitalised environments. To know more about what the future of maintenance entails, what Smart Maintenance really is, and how Smart Maintenance can be measured, you are kindly invited to turn this book around, open the first page, and start reading the thesis. I hope you will learn a lot.