Being a maintenance technician is one of the most widespread jobs in the maintenance field. Maintenance technicians work in teams on a wide variety of machines and their main objective is to prevent rather than cure breakdowns.
As in all maintenance professions, the industrial maintenance technician is at the heart of the evolution of industrial systems. Their tasks are increasingly varied and require more and more advanced technological skills, in particuliar in connection with the growing use of digital tools: CMMS, virtual reality, IoT, BIM, etc.
What does a maintenance technician do?
The main mission of a maintenance technician is to ensure the proper functioning of the production system by maintaining it in its optimal state.
The tasks of a maintenance technician
In practice, the activities of the maintenance technician consist of:
- diagnose and control machines, equipment and installations;
- organize maintenance operations;
- carry out corrective or preventive maintenance operations;
- participate in the continuous improvement of maintenance processes within the company.
What are the missions of a maintenance technician?
They can be synthesised into 5 main missions:
- analyze and organize to anticipate breakdowns;
- repair and fix breakdowns;
- improve production tools;
- train and be trained;
- manage spare parts inventory.
Which technical skills are expected of a maintenance technician?
Maintenance technicians must be able to:
- monitor, control and maintain regularly the equipment for which they are responsible;
- diagnose possible malfunctions on this equipment and detect the origin of a breakdown;
- organize and plan maintenance activities;
- intervene in the event of a breakdown in coordination with their team;
- suggest solutions to improve the safety and performance of tools, machines and equipment;
- master the use of a CMMS software (Computerized Maintenance Management System);
- capitalize and share information;
- respect safety rules;
- analyze maintenance data;
- work in a team.
The future of the profession
Maintenance technicians are called upon to master more and more technical skills (electricity, mechanics, automation) and in an increasingly advanced manner. They will also work more often in teams and in conjunction with other company departments. With the development of preventive maintenance, their activities will be more planned and less urgent.
Thus, anticipating breakdowns will become more and more important in the coming years. This anticipation is based on the exploitation of maintenance data collected by new digital tools and on the increasing sharing of technical information within communities of maintenance professionals.
In addition, maintenance interventions will be more and more often performed thanks to technologies such as augmented reality or 3D imaging. Maintenance technicians will therefore have to work regularly with specialists in certain digital technologies applied to maintenance, or even become more specialized themselves.
The maintenance needs of tomorrow
Most economic sectors use maintenance activities: industry, agriculture, transport and logistics, but also real estate (with “facility management”) or IT.
The need for maintenance professionals will therefore always be important and will undoubtedly increase with companies’ efforts to optimize the financial and ecological use of their equipment.
A current trend is likely to become more pronounced in the coming years: the decline in internal industrial maintenance staff and the increasing use of external maintenance specialists.
Generally speaking, there is a lack of applicants for maintenance jobs, even though these professions have become essential to the proper functioning of a large number of companies.