Herman Baets, EFNMS chair, and Coen Sanderink, BOM session chair, facilitated a session for the presentation of MORE4CORE results in Helsinki at the bi-annual EuroMaintenance conference from May 5-7. Over the three days, 200 participants from industry and research presented and discussed the results of preliminary projects along with ideas for next steps.
“The response to our work was very constructive,” explained Coen Sanderink. “Clearly there is an interest in what we do, and through this half-day session we have been able to engage with dozens of professionals, who contributed to our work and hopefully will take up results.”
Herman Baets also believes the event was of great value: “At this stage, of course, we can only present preliminary results, but MORE4CORE helps to move forward discussions on several key topics for the Maintenance world. I for one am looking forward to similarly successful events in the future.“
Preliminary results of a 300-company benchmark study on Maintenance were presented by Rob van Dongen of Mainnovation.
Perhaps one of the most surprising results of the study are the large inter-country differences in contract types for maintenance services. In the Netherlands, for example, about 40% of contracts are performance or results related, with about 20% being ad hoc. The situation in Belgium, however is much the opposite. In the Netherlands, an ageing workforce is an immediate problem, with a large percentage of the workforce retiring the coming decade. Belgium, conversely, seems to beat this demographic trend, with only 12% of its workforce retiring the next 10 years.
In the coming period, the benchmark will be extended to include German and French companies.
European Skills Passport workshop
Wim Vancauwenberghe (BEMAS) and Rene Strijbosch (MEC / KPC Groep) presented their outline for a Maintenance skills passport. Such a passport would enable skills comparison (whether obtained through formal education, training or work experience) at an international level, thus facilitating worker mobility.
The audience was asked to participate in the evaluation of a proposed international crediting organisation by indicating its likely strengths and weaknesses, and making suggestions for approaches to the set-up and implementation of such a system. The resulting discussion validated the idea that, for mid-level and specialised technicians, such system would likely help to increase worker mobility.
Innovation panel discussion
Rolf Bastiaanssen, Partner at Bax & Willems, recently facilitated a panel discussion on collaboration in Maintenance innovation. The panellists were: Helena Kortelainen, technology manager at VTT (Finland); Marc de Kerf, maintenance manager BASF (Belgium); and Denis Koch, Services Maintenance marketing manager at Scheider Electric (France). Each panellist was chosen to provide a different perspective on innovation, collaboration and the role of ‘Europe’ in the process.
The panellists stressed the importance of user-driven innovation, indicating that most improvement are expected to come not from new technologies, but in the world of Big Data and in particular through decision-support analysis. While such innovation could lead to operational improvements, it was recognised that for step-changes, a different approach is needed.
To achieve both, more collaboration between industry and research groups is considered key. “At Schneider Electric, we increasingly see the value of collaboration with research organisations at an international level and are actively developing such partnerships,” said Denis Koch.
Helena Kortelainen added; “There is a lot of expertise in research organisations that is not being exploited by companies. Increased collaboration at an international level helps to establish the necessary links. I believe that Europe has a role to play in realising this.“