Changes in Technical Maintenance Workforces

Part
01
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Part
01

Changes in Technical Maintenance Workforces- Skills

While there is plenty of available information addressing a gap in the technical skills available and those that are needed among technical maintenance workers in the workforce in light of robots, automation, and artificial intelligence, there was little information regarding specific technical skills. Employers now need employees that are technologically capable of programming machines to perform small tasks and to use their skills to advance workplace procedures and products. Articles, blogs, and reports were used to identify trends in the technical maintenance workforce while an examination of recent job postings for technical maintenance workers and case studies identified some specific skills that employers need that were not required in the past.
Modern skills that are required of technical maintenance workers revolve around digital competencies and include knowledge of advanced manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing, IoT, BigData, AI/VR, computer-aided design software, and Cloud-based technologies and applications.

DIGITAL LITERACY

  • Maintenance and repair operations (MROs) are among the professions with the biggest workforce shortages as current workforce knowledge has not caught up to the necessary advanced digital expertise necessary for the "Industry 4.0 era", and there are few with adequate STEM education. Lifelong learning programs and training in digital technologies such as IoT, BigData, and AI, as well as development of academic partnerships should be offered to the existing workforce to increase their proficiencies.
  • MRO job descriptions are changing to reflect new digital roles and skills associated with "smart" manufacturing driven by digital technologies and cyber-physcial systems. These roles include chief digital officer, digital engineers, VR/AR system specialists, worker experience designers, and digital maintenance engineer.
  • Chief Digital Officers identify areas that need improvement and implement digital solutions while the Design Manufacturing Engineer designs and builds systems and processes using advanced manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing to increase accuracy and efficiency. Worker Experience Designers streamline interactions between workers and the machines or digital technologies such as inventory management apps, while the Digital Factory Automation Engineer helps employees by keeping systems up-to-date and make information about projects and processes accessible.

SPECIFIC SKILLS

  • Information technology security is a growing concern with the growth of IoT and employees need to have an understanding of industry codes and practices, functional knowledge of triaging, threat hunting and analysis, and incident management/escalation to protect their organizations from unauthorized access and attacks.
  • AI requires employees be identify areas where machines can carry out tasks efficiently or using available data and the demand for developers is also growing and should use a mixture of tools and applicable certifications to stay up-to-date in the workforce.
  • Cloud engineers develop solutions using in-house and external technologies to design, plan, manage, and support systems and the need for cloud engineers has increased. In addition to strong technical skills and working knowledge of new technologies tech employees need experience with AWS, Azure and/or Openstack, web services such as API, and knowledge of methodologies necessary for operating in the cloud for disaster recovery, failover, etc.
  • According to Deloitte, the top five skills require employees to have the ability to adapt to new technologies in addition to understanding of computer technology and how to use it to design and manufacture products with computer-aided design software such as AutoCAD, and even being able to take on a robot teaming coordinator role to monitor the performance of automated technologies and ensure smooth interactions with human workers.
  • Facility managers now need to be familiar with smart building platforms such as SmartCSM that integrate cloud technology with building infrastructure to facilitate the execution of their duties and alert them to potential issues to proactively troubleshoot and repair. They also need to be experienced with using data and analytics much more so than in the past.

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Changes in Technical Maintenance Workforces- Leaders

Four companies that are leading the way when it comes to the changes the technical maintenance workforce has experienced are Mobility Work, Aircraft Technical Publishers, Bernhard, and Optimal Solutions Technology. Through the use of innovative software, the integration of IoT, a global database for the aviation industry, and providing sustainability, these companies have enhanced the duties of technical maintenance workers by creating social platforms for them to share good practices, opinions, and suppliers.

LEADING COMPANIES IN TERMS OF CHANGES IN THE TECHNICAL MAINTENANCE WORKFORCE

1. MOBILITY WORK

  • Mobility Work had an innovative idea to create a social maintenance network that would allow companies to create a register of their equipment, and they launched the Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software.
  • The software allowed maintenance workers from around the world to share technical issues and solutions about the same equipment anonymously.
  • It also enables users to forecast maintenance, share spare parts, and ethical practices.

2. AIRCRAFT TECHNICAL PUBLISHERS (ATP)

  • In 1972, ATP developed a technical system which allowed maintenance professionals, owners, and operators, access to a single source of aviation information as regulatory, technical, and maintenance for aircraft was continually changing.
  • ATP changed the way aviation professionals accessed and maintained industry information through its Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions.
  • ATP's SaaS regularly provides industry professionals with the most up-to-date publications to support safe aircraft globally.
  • It also saves money for aviation companies by helping them to stay in regulation.
  • ATP has a unique relationship with aircraft manufacturers, global regulatory agencies, and maintenance providers.
  • "By uniquely enabling customers to streamline their maintenance and business operations, ATP provides a tremendous amount of value in terms of productivity, cost savings, speed, and equipment utilization, as well as improved safety and compliance.

3. BERNHARD

  • Bernhard is multidisciplinary. It provides engineering and construction services, operations and maintenance, and Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) solutions, to help cut down the high operation costs of some companies. It, thus allows the funds to be allocated to other parts of the business.
  • Bernhard can plan, build, and maintain sustainable infrastructures.
  • Its innovation in technology and experience allows it to provide their services to district energy systems, central utility plants, heat and power plants, renewable energy plants, and other distributed generation and energy-efficiency projects, nationwide.

OPTIMAL SOLUTIONS TECHNOLOGIES (OST)

  • OST provides smart infrastructure to organizations that want to become sustainable and efficient.
  • By utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT) platform, OST provides environmental sustainability, safety and security, and operational optimization.
  • Its services maximize revenue and reduce cost by using real-time analytics to help make better decisions.
  • It provides energy-efficient upgrades help to optimize HVAC systems, thus enhancing communication for emergency service providers.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "creating the first maintenance social network. Technicians from all around the world service the same machines and face the same technical issues. We want to connect them anonymously and let them share expertise, information and spare parts."
Quotes
  • "By uniquely enabling customers to streamline their maintenance and business operations, ATP provides a tremendous amount of value in terms of productivity, cost savings, speed, and equipment utilization, as well as improved safety and compliance."
Quotes
  • "We offer turnkey Energy-as-a-Service solutions to deliver sustainable outcomes that reduce energy use, risk, and cost."
Quotes
  • "As the developer and operator of district energy systems, central utility plants, heat and power plants, renewable energy plants and other distributed generation and energy-efficiency projects nationwide for commercial, governmental and institutional clients, we provide comprehensive solutions that encompass all phases from engineering and design through ongoing management of energy resources."
Quotes
  • "By digitally enhancing physical assets, such as buildings, roads, and lighting, Smart Infrastructure adds value by enabling stakeholders to more intelligently and effectively use assets, adding capacity without needing new-build solutions. "