Maintenance is an essential part of daily life.. This is reflected in the economic importance that maintenance has: € 400 billion of invested capital, annual cost of € 18 billion and more than 150,000 workplaces (in the Netherlands).

In practice, maintenance is often carried out on the basis of empirical approaches and experiences from the past. As a result, maintenance is a static process, which currently heavily relies on empirical data. Therefore, a leap forward in terms of efficiency and effectiveness must be made. This requires the right awareness among both the designer of the system as well the designer of the maintenance process regarding the physical principles behind the necessity of doing maintenance.

PDEng programme in Maintenance

The PDEng programme Maintenance educates technological designers who are capable to design efficient and effective maintenance processes from a multidisciplinary perspective. For a design to comply with an integral maintenance-aware solution, technical, financial, logistics and organisational specifications need to be set and fulfilled.

A major challenge in this comes from the fact that maintenance is a dynamic process, where the process should continuously be adjusted based on changes in the system and its environment. In this, a sound understanding of the physical mechanisms is key, as the basis for failing systems and components is in nature physical. To be able to predict the performance of a design in highly dynamic (undefined) situations requires a theoretical (based) approach.

Currently there is a large gap in maintenance approach between technical specialists and operations managers, originating from different perspectives on maintenance. By addressing both technical and operations aspects during the PDEng programme, a necessary, clear (however missing) link is established between these two fields of expertise.

Examples of design issues include:

  • The redesign of the texturing process in steel mills. Currently this is done using a texture on the rollers. However, this texture is subjected to very harsh conditions and is thus facing high wear rates. This results in an unwanted evolution of the imprinted textures. Using for example a contactless method can solve this issue; currently the possibility to use laser texturing is investigated. (Tata Steel)
  • Decision tool for determination of failure mechanism. One of the biggest issues in designing maintenance policies is the fact that historical data is needed. The more accurate this data is, the more reliable the models will be. However, in practice the number of failure modes of the different systems is almost infinite. In contrast the number of basic failure mechanisms causing the failure is very limited. Typically the engineer responsible for the repair in the field is not very motivated to write a detailed report about the underlying mechanism of a failure or is not trained to recognize the different failure mechanisms. Therefore, a predefined failure chart, which is linked to the physical failure mechanisms, will significantly improve the quality of failure reports from the field. (Wold Class Maintenance ( Sabic, Sitech, Nedtrain, etc.))

More information and Contact

Would you like to know more about the programme? Learn more about the programme structure and the courses
If you have any further questions about the PDEng programme in Maintenance, please contact programme director D.J (Dik) Schipper: