Diving into the maintenance ecosystem and highlighting talents and opportunities: this is Mobility Work’s mission! We are launching a brand new series called “Job Fact Sheet”, to help you discover or rediscover maintenance jobs: definition, missions, daily life and testimony… To start with, learn about the maintenance engineering technician, the technical asset of the maintenance service. Thanks to Jean-François Lambalais, maintenance engineering technician at FMGC, the foundry subsidiary of material transformation specialist Farinia Group, for helping us write this article.
What is a Maintenance Engineering Technician?
The main mission of the maintenance technician is to provide workshops with technical work instructions for the production, manufacturing or assembly of a good or a piece of equipment, or to support the performance of a service. He is in charge of the study and optimization of these instructions, and ensures that the costs, deadlines and quality are respected.
To do so, he needs to draw up specifications, and is also responsible for drafting and updating them when needed: manufacturing procedures, tools, parts, components, assemblies, tests, controls, inspections, monitoring times and operation costs, etc. and more generally, the plant’s documentary, relational, technical and statistical (KPI) systems. One of his main missions is to gather, in the form of technical documents or instruction sheets (plans, general techniques, PDF documents, intervention photos, etc.), regulatory standards and quality requirements, as well as costs and deadlines, particularly in the case of an ISO certified maintenance service, or aiming for ISO certification. The engineering technician is in charge of coordinating industrial maintenance actions with the technical manager and of creating targeted monitoring indicators.
This position requires excellent communication skills and a sense of team spirit, since this technician is responsible for the organization and supervision of internal and external industrial maintenance activities and interventions. The engineering technician has to manage relationships with suppliers or external service providers, as well as to monitor, coordinate and negotiate subcontracting and suppliers contacts. He has to keep up to date the company’s address book in the CMMS, which implies a substantial workload: searching for contacts and information, contacting them, requesting for appointments, drawing up estimates if required by the maintenance manager, ordering spare parts or services.
Access all documents (photos, videos, etc.) and checklists from the equipment sheet in your Mobility Work application
His monitoring role applies to different production processes, as well as to stock management: the maintenance engineering technician is working in collaboration with the purchasing department and the store manager. He is involved in the management and ordering of spare parts stock, sometimes following inventories for specific interventions, as well as in the creation of store and warehouse references and spare parts namings along with the purchasing department.
The engineering technician is also able to implement first level industrial maintenance interventions (lubrication, repetitive actions…), and to create and implement recurring tasks (maintenance plans) using the company’s CMMS software (Computerized Maintenance Management System). A CMMS is an essential tool of his daily life: he is in charge of informing and integrating information into the software, by creating or modifying equipment and using this tool to follow up interventions. He also has to manage the spare parts related to the equipment. He supports other technicians and co-workers in the use of the CMMS, manages them and solves their issues; he is also responsible of user integration into the CMMS, and training the maintenance, production and office staff. Jean-François Lambalais, a maintenance engineering technician at FMGC, says: “This is a very cross-functional position: in addition to my duties, I am also a 5S pilot in the foundry. The person I work in pair with and I are in charge of carrying out internal audits regarding the cleanliness of workstations, storage, PPE, etc. for the quality and environment department. I am also involved in the company’s human resources: I am in charge of controlling working hours by comparing hours of intervention in Mobility Work CMMS and our human resources management software Sigma-RH, in order to see if the hours are matching”.
It is a very skillful position, in contact with many departments within the company.
Challenges of the Maintenance Technician Within the Maintenance Service
The technician, whose mission is to centralize all documentation, allows the company to access this information 24h/24h, which ultimately improves the equipment life and the traceability of maintenance interventions. This leads to a reduction in costs thanks to the optimization of industrial maintenance ranges and spare parts. The technician participates directly in improving the quality of the maintenance service for customers and the production department.
The maintenance engineering technician is key within the company, and therefore sometimes has to face challenges in his daily work. Jean-François Lambalais points out: “Most technicians prefer to ask me if a spare part is available, rather than asking the store directly!”. He provides them with important support by preparing and making all spare parts available, dismantling and lubricating ranges necessary for the proper execution of interventions. He elaborates and develops procedures for industrial maintenance interventions with the help of maintenance technicians and/or managers.
He is also able to detect the origin of a breakdown on the field or remotely, and to establish a diagnosis. He can intervene in case of breakdown and/or coordinate the teams, and use advanced condition monitoring methods and techniques (thermography, vibration analysis, temperature and/or pressure measurement, oil analysis).
He must also keep or have kept in stock spare parts that are critical or require a long supply period. If a spare part is not available in the store, he must try his best to be supplied as soon as possible to restore the equipment to its original condition. If this part has never been stocked, he must call on his entire network of suppliers in order to obtain it as quickly and cheaply as possible. The maintenance engineering technician is thus responsible for updating minimum stocks in the ERP tool.
Integration of the CMMS software in the Maintenance Engineering Technician Position
Among the maintenance engineering technician’s many indispensable tools (CADCAM, CAD – AutoCAD for instance, CAPE, Trello for checklists, etc.), the CMMS software is key: it enables to anticipate the most frequent maintenance operations. This tool contributes greatly to the evolution of the service, both in terms of speed (search for documentation, equipment, etc.) and reliable maintenance execution in the field.
All news related to ongoing interventions are available from Mobility Work mobile application’s newsfeed, available on iOS and Android.
Most importantly, this tool is used for preparing and planning interventions for all the company’s employees. The CMMS software plays an indispensable role in researching and making specific spare parts available for original replacement or for testing and modifications. A good service activity and costs by equipment analysis allows the company and its services to improve their operation.
The production department also benefits from the CMMS features, since they help optimize production tools and ensure the proper equipment operation by performing effective and rapid corrective and preventive maintenance.
More generally, the whole company is able to observe improvements following the implementation of an efficient CMMS tool, in particular a reduction in maintenance costs and an optimization of the production tool. A next gen maintenance management system such as Mobility Work makes it possible to recover KPI(s) maintenance data and indicators, to measure the reliability and maintainability of production tools and thus to answer this well-known question from maintenance services: should we maintain or invest? The final objective is to optimize the input, improve costs, develop the activity and reduce investments.
How to Become a Maintenance Engineering Technician?
A technical diploma (Advanced Technician’s Certificate) or vocational baccalaureate diploma completed by a field experience is required for this position, which offers many career opportunities in various industrial sectors. Jean-François Lambalais, for his part, became an engineering technician after an experience as a maintenance technician, during which he helped the maintenance manager preparing tasks for summer works.
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