Systems integration in maintenance engineering
Integration in maintenance engineering systems provides a potential solution to some complex and conflicting problems. Decision making is often achieved with uncertainty and unknowns, while measuring against conflicting performance criteria. Maintenance decisions are made in the context of business priorities. Integration must consider the bi-directional flow of data and information into the decision making and planning process at all levels. This reaches from business systems right down to sensor level. Integration automates the organisation and operation of systems, data collection and actuation, information storage and decision making. Critically, integrated systems display the evidence of thorough top-down system design, which incorporates the elements above, and closes the loop from the minutiae of data collection to strategic decision making. This paper introduces the systems associated with maintenance and draws comparisons with adjacent disciplines such as control. A globalised model is proposed, and methods for selecting and adapting technologies for the model are discussed. Examples of industrial implementation are shown at several levels within the model.