Industrial maintenance usually refers to the repair and upkeep of the different types of equipment and machines used in an industrial setting. The basics can be broken down into the following five categories: general knowledge, mechanical knowledge, electrical knowledge, welding knowledge, and preventative maintenance. According to this wide variety of areas of expertise, maintenance technicians usually are multi-skilled individuals, proficient in many tasks. Industrial maintenance also involves a great degree of problem solving skill. Identifying the problem alongside the best and safest means of resolving the difficulty typically are integral parts of the maintenance process.
The general knowledge usually required in industrial maintenance is an understanding of tools, blueprint reading, and safety. The correct tools and the comprehension of how to use them can be crucial for fixing potential machinery problems. Blueprint reading enables the technician to understand how a particular machine works. Safety is also a pivotal aspect of maintenance, as most industrial machines can be very dangerous. It is important for the technician to maintain his or her own safety, as well as those of the workers using the machinery.
Mechanical knowledge of how machines function may include a familiarity with concepts such as mechanical power transmission, fluid power, piping systems, pumps, and compressors. Since any number of mechanical parts can make up a piece of machinery, maintenance typically requires the knowledge of how machines function in general. A familiarity with wiring, transformers and basic industrial electronics allows for the repairing of machines experiencing problems with power supplies. The knowledge of welding techniques, such as arc welding and gas welding, also can be necessary.
Industrial maintenance technicians may be on-site employees or can be privately contracted in the event of required maintenance. Many manufacturers of machinery offer maintenance plans for their respective products and will send out service technicians periodically. These technicians are experts on the machinery produced by these companies and are familiar with how to fix any possible problems.
The field does not involve just the repair of already existing malfunctions. Preventative maintenance typically is an important part of the field. As modern industrial machinery is expensive, it is usually important for businesses to ensure the upkeep of their investment. Preventative maintenance also may help ensure that machinery is safe, which is good for workers and equipment users.