The extent and nature of problems experienced in maintenance: the story behind the text

Leonie Gouws

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    686 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] ‘Maintenance’ is big business. The cost of maintaining physical assets can typically range between 3% and 9% of a country’s gross domestic product. Some organisations spend a large proportion of their turnover on asset maintenance. The impact of maintenance costs on business profits, and the potential harm to people and the environment from catastrophic equipment failures, contribute to the willingness of businesses to spend huge amounts of money on improving their maintenance strategies and procedures.
    A growing realisation of the wide-ranging impacts of maintenance on business operations, led to major improvements in maintenance practices in recent years. Landmark books have been published, international standards and guidelines have been established and updated, legislation in many countries has changed to make production plants safer, and the understanding of how and why equipment fails has also improved significantly. Improvements in technology also contributed towards this change. Instrumentation has become better and cheaper, computing capacity has increased hugely, and there is an abundance of software packages and solutions available to organisations interested in optimising their maintenance practises. Maintenance strategies have also changed from fixing failures after they had occurred, to tracking the condition of critical equipment and addressing problems before failures occur.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2014


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