The introduction of ever more complicated machinery and associated operating procedures is placing an increasing strain on the maintenance function. The options available to a company engaged in the manufacture of a range of sheet metal products, for which a flexible manufacturing facility has been installed, are examined. The introduction of this system has caused the company to examine its maintenance procedures, which are based on a traditional breakdown and repair approach, and has prompted an investigation into the possibility of implementing a condition based approach to maintenance. This investigation is presented here, together with a review of currently available options, and an outline of the planned move towards condition based maintenance.
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