About the Project
During the last decade the adoption of green policies and a sustainable growth model where considered to be the most appropriate ways to create a competitive financial environment and competitive enterprises. In this context, Maintenance is considered to be one of the four basic pillars of sustainable growth.
Intense debates and discussions on that issue led to the foundation of the Hellenic Maintenance Society (HMS) three years ago. The objective of this society, with the participation of universities, public entities and private companies, was to highlight the role of Maintenance in a modern economy. During the previous Maintenance Forum (October 2010), executives from Bulgaria and Greece indicated that many Turkish companies have begun investing in advanced Maintenance Systems such as the “Total Productive Maintenance” system in order to reduce their costs and become more competitive. It was reported that in 2010 eight Turkish companies received the TPM award (JIPM Awards 2010) compared to none in Greece and Bulgaria.
The gap that separates these two countries from other European countries is even greater, considering that maintenance societies have existed in Europe since the 1970’s, whereas the HMS was established just three years ago, and no such society has been established in Bulgaria yet.
Finally, it has to be pointed out that the success such an endeavor depends on balanced contribution from all stakeholders. The public entities and the business associations will be charged with preparing and motivating the local economic sector in adopting Asset Management and Maintenance Policies, through conferences and workshops. The Research Center will mainly have the role of providing innovative tools for performing maintenance operations, and the Universities, in cooperation with the HMS, will have the role of providing lifelong training for the personnel that is needed to support the implementation of these Sustainable Growth Models.
The past 3 years of economic crisis are a grim reminder that only competitive economies will survive in the globalized market. Moreover, the required competitiveness must be sustainable by taking into account environmental, energy consumption and labor safety issues.
Globally, Life Cycle Asset Management and Maintenance are considered to be the basic driver for Sustainable Growth, for the following three reasons: a) Total Maintenance Policies reduce the Life Cycle Asset Management Cost up to 30%. (Euromaintenance, Verona May 2010) b) Well-maintained machinery and assets exhibit longer operation life, significantly lower energy consumption, lower emissions and reduced probabilities for environmental accidents. c) The probability for labor accidents is thrice-increased during maintenance procedures and the severity of the accidents is increased by 9-times compared to other labor accidents (European Agency For Health and Safety at Work –OSHA). Therefore, it is very important to have maintenance personnel with very good training.
Worldwide, the main problem for the implementation of Total Maintenance Policies has been the shortage of skilled technical personnel (Euromaintenance, Verona, May 2010). The problem in the cross-border area is more severe, due to traditionally agriculture-based local economies without the appropriate industrial culture. Furthermore, during the last two decades, while National Policies, mainly in Greece, have provided incentives for the development of new industrial areas in the cross-border area, they did not provide for proper training of the local workforce in order to support these investments. As a result, today, many organizations and enterprises lack in competitiveness and are facing serious problems of survival.
To overcome that problem, MainCODE project proposes an innovative total approach. The first target group is the State Authorities, which have to be mobilized to develop local strategies and regulations, in order to support the adoption of Maintenance Policies by the local industry. Τhe cross-border Maintenance conferences and workshops will provide a permanent forum for ongoing communication among stakeholders. The second target group comprises of the public entities and the local industry. The project will develop innovative maintenance tools and means to enforce the improvement of their competitiveness. The third and most important target group is the cross-border workforce which has to be trained on maintenance issues, in order to undertake the difficult role of supporting this new strategy. The two university partners and the HMS will collaborate to develop the appropriate training material which will cover the cross-border needs, while the business chambers will organize a series of seminars and workshops to improve the skills of the workforce. Furthermore, in order to increase cross-border labor mobility and to develop equal opportunities and fair competition, all the chambers will develop a shared database, accessible to all members, where all certified workers who successfully complete the seminar series will be registered.
Finally, the e-maintenance tools that will be developed by the academic institutions are going to be implemented in four (two in each country)pilot projects, in order to train the workforce in innovative and effective maintenance technologies.
Furthermore, these pilot projects will act as a powerful demonstration tool to convince even the most skeptical cross-border stakeholders that Life Cycle Asset Management and Maintenance can be the key to sustainable development and increased competitiveness of the local economy. Additionally, these pilot projects will act as a roadmap for other public and industrial entities interested in adopting these policies.
Strengths: The proposed Maintenance Policies have been implemented with great results in all developed economies. The quality of the partnership members guarantees the success of the project. Comprehensive approach of the problem, involving all cross-border stakeholders.Weaknesses: Shortage of skilled technical personnel in the Program Area.Opportunities:a)To create a competitive economic zone which will attract national and international investments. b)In times of economic crisis, everyone is more willing to accept and implement innovative policies.Threats: Turkey, which has already started implementing a similar project, could be ahead in attracting international interest.
The main objective of the project is to create a competitive cross-border economic zone, attractive for national and international investments, through the implementation of Life Cycle Asset Management – Maintenance Policies.
The achievement of the main objective depends on four specific sub-objectives:
- Lifelong training.
- Workforce Mobility.
- Innovative Maintenance systems.
- Establishment of forum.
Based on similar projects, we can conclude that only comprehensive approaches can lead to success. In MainCODE project the success of a “comprehensive approach” lies in the balanced development of four parameters:
- Public awareness
- Well-informed authorities
- Business motivation
- Skilled personnel.
- A cross-border Strategy and Need Analysis Study, in order to focus the attention of the project to the special needs of the region.
- Development of Training materials in 3 thematic areas: a) Asset Management & Maintenance Technologies, b) Health-Safety & Environment, c) Green Maintenance & Energy Saving
- Development of an e-learning platform, including training lessons in the aforementioned thematic areas. This platform will introduce innovative learning methods, such as learning through Web games.
- Fifteen seminars (10 in Greece- 5 in Bulgaria) in ten Maintenance Issues: a) Maintenance Management, b) Total Productive Maintenance, c) e-Maintenance, d) Spare part warehouse and KPIs, e) Lubrication, f) Safe Maintenance , g) CBM-Predictive Maintenance, h) Renewable Energy, i) Water network maintenance, j) Compressed air energy saving.
- Maintenance Certification of skilled personnel, based on their participation in the lifelong training program.
- Shared database with the names of certified technicians in each Maintenance Area.
- Four workshops (3 in Greece–1 in Bulgaria). Two workshops on Life Cycle Asset Management and two on the “Global Water Day” referring to Maintenance of water networks. Potential for the organization of these workshops on an annual basis.
- Bulgarian-Greek Maintenance Conference (twice). The first conference to be held in Greece during the first year and the second to be held in Bulgaria during the second year of the Program. Potential for the organization of this conference on an annual basis.
- Development of an e-maintenance platform, for maintenance through mobile devices which can be integrated with the CMMS.
- Development of an Augmented Reality maintenance tool, for on-the-job training and support.
- Four Pilot projects of the aforementioned maintenance tools in public organizations (2 in Bulgaria, 2 in Greece).
In order to achieve the main objective, during the two year period of MainCODE project, fifteen seminars will be organized to cover all basic areas on Life Cycle Asset Management & Maintenance area. From this intensive lifelong training program and through the certification procedure (developed during the project), at least 100 technicians and engineers are expected to certify their skills. This training program is also expected to increase the percentage of women involved in the maintenance sector, which currently is 5%. The achievement of that goal will be assessed by the percentage of women who become certified (expected to reach 15%).
It is also expected to improve collaboration between the academic and the business sectors. In MainCODE project three academic institutions will collaborate closely with three business chambers in eight joint actions (strategy-needs analysis study, four pilot projects on the implementation of innovative tools in organizations, developing an e-learning tool, developing certification procedures).
A significant contribution to improving the quality of life in the cross-border area, with substantial environmental added value, through four actions: a. Training in the use and maintenance of renewable energy equipment will increase their use and reduce their life cycle management cost, b. Training in Health-Safety-Environment will reduce labor and environmental accidents, c. Training in energy saving procedures, d. Organization of 2 events - every 22nd of March (Global day of water)- for optimal management of water resources .
Finally, project MainCODE will establish 3 partneships/networks a) Greek-Bulgarian Maintenance community (shared organization of two congresses and two workshops: more than 300 participants expected), b) A network on Maintenance Certification c) A network for the optimal management of water resources.