Lack of maintenance resource impacting manufacturing

Maintenance budget constraints are having a significant impact on machinery uptime, according to one of the UK’s leading drives and controls manufacturers.

The warning, from Bosch Rexroth, has been issued to manufacturers who restrict the resource available to maintenance departments, despite the complexity of equipment continuing to advance.

A recent survey conducted by the drives and controls specialist, in conjunction with The Institution of Engineering and Technology (The IET), revealed that the maintenance budgets of more than 50 per cent of manufacturers had stagnated or reduced over the past five years.

This is despite the fact that more than two thirds of manufacturers stated that the breadth of equipment they maintain has increased, as well as three quarters advising the complexity of equipment utilised is far more complex compared to five years ago.

“There are some outstanding examples of maintenance practice in UK industry,” said Richard Chamberlain, UK service manager at Bosch Rexroth. “However, it is clear that MRO is often perceived to be a cost, not an investment or a potential profit driver.”

“The majority of maintenance budgets are stagnant or have been cut, but at the same time we are asking for more and more from our maintenance teams as the complexity of manufacturing technologies increases at a rapid rate.”

He continued: “As machines have become more complex, we need a higher level of skills, not just in operations, but also in maintenance and training. If we can establish better communication between maintenance and operations teams and a better understanding of the benefits of proactive maintenance in finance departments and procurement, this will go a long way to ensuring British manufacturing remains competitive on the world stage.”

A detailed analysis of the survey has been compiled into a report. ‘What you don’t repair you destroy – A report into maintenance practices in UK Industry’ can be downloaded from www.boschrexroth.co.uk/UKmaintenancereport.