Maintenance in UK industry remains too ‘reactive’, finds report

Posted on 3 Mar 2016 by Jonny Williamson

A third of manufacturers consider their maintenance programmes to be reactive rather than planned or predicted, according to a recent study by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Bosch Rexroth.

The study – What you don’t repair you destroy – A report into maintenance practices in UK Industry– surveyed nearly 300 engineers in UK industry and found that maintenance practices continue to be a cause for concern.

Almost a third (32%) of those who took part in the survey described their maintenance as being reactive. with less than 30% implementing either predictive or preventive maintenance regimes.

UK Service Manager at Bosch Rexroth, Richard Chamberlain explained: “The fact that nearly 30% of manufacturers in our recent poll would class their maintenance strategy as predictive or preventive is something to be celebrated.

“However, there is still some way to go both to help bridge the gap for those that continue to take a reactive approach and helping forward looking manufacturers take that extra step towards a more planned maintenance programme.”

One of the key barriers to adopting a more forward thinking approach by maintenance teams is resource, according to the report.

More than half (53%) of respondents answered that maintenance budgets have stagnated or decreased in recent years, and 64% responded that maintenance personnel numbers have similarly stayed the same or reduced.

Chamberlain added: “Maintenance resource is the major issue for manufacturers.

“All-too-often, maintenance teams are stretched too thinly to be able to be more planned and predictive, instead resorting to firefighting to keep machines running.”