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Raul Martins

Why Maintenance?

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Hi all,

Since we were really young, we were asked by our parents, relatives and friends what we want to become when we grow up.

Some say doctor, teacher, singer, civil engineer and so on and so forth. However, we not often hear a child saying "I wanna become a Maintenance professional".

In my case, when I as a child, I always mentioned engineering related areas, but never Maintenance and Reliability Engineer itself. However, as I come from a family with many maintenance technicians, especially boilermakers and mechanical fitters, I grew up listening weird codes, such as "TK-7101"  and I did not understand what that was. When asking my father, he used to say something like "It is the Ammonia Vessel".

Ammonia? Vessel?

I simply had no idea about what he was talking about, but that triggered my curiosity, that became my profession later.

Some people see in maintenance roles an opportunity to develop a career, some start as they like production related stuff and much more.

For this week's topic the question is not technical at all. Basically, it is a flashback of our "why" as maintenance and reliability professionals:

 

Why Maintenance?

 

What made you become a M&R professional? When did that start?

 

Share your maintenance story with us!

 

Regards,

Raul Martins

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My journey to being a M&R Professional wasn't quite straight forward for me. Like most Malawian students, I wasn't really sure what field i wanted to venture into. I got selected to the university to study Industrial/Mechanical Engineering. It was just a normal thing for me, solving problems, passing exams and presenting academic projects was the norm.

It wasn't until I went for industrial attachments (at Illovo Sugar Company, Dwangwa), that I develop keen interest in maintenance. I was there for 4 months, working with the maintenance technicians. I got interested to see how good maintenance was at the heart of production. Even in my final year at the university, I can say that Plant Maintenance and Reliability, was one of my favorite subjects. I am a strong believer in M&R, plant performance and uptime rely on it. From that time, I have never looked back, even though i have worked before in the production department, and now I am more of a design engineer; M&R lies closest to my heart. And i believe with the right approach and using the right tools of M&R we can increase productivity, up-time, and execute quality and thorough work in as far as M&R is concerned.

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Well my mum wanted me to study Accounting so I can work in Banks and knot tie but after my Junior school, I told her I want to start learning Auto mechanic after class.....was funny at start because my classmate will come around just to make jest of me............it was not a common thing because everyone was focusing on only school.

But it became clear after the first 2 years of studying mechanical engineering and I had to do IT with Procter and Gamble, then I develop a kin interest in maintenance and after which I was also employed in the company, worked in both PM and AM as a team member to a Team leader creating lot of maintenance standards for equipment.........I av diverted a bit but I am working on going back fully. 

 

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Thanks for sharing your stories @Raul Martins, @Cornelius Mpesi and @Bukola. Looking forward to reading more of these!

In the mean time here's how I ended up in maintenance & reliability, like most my path was not really a deliberate choice, but more the result of taking an opportunity that presented itself. 

I joined Shell in the Netherlands back in 1997 having completed a general degree combining engineering and management. Within a few months I was asked to start a development path towards an Instrument Engineer, which was interesting at first, but I did not want to become a technical specialist. After 3 years of working in the UK as a graduate engineer in the instrumentation & control discipline I was offered a broadening role supporting the local management team, which I gladly accepted. Great opportunity and that is how I ended up moving to the Philippines, one of the UK Asset Manager's moved across to the Philippines and several months later asked me to come across too (after i was refused a work visa in Brunei).

I initially had a business role in the Philippines and was due to become a project engineer after 2 years, but the project was cancelled. The Asset Manager asked if would be willing to spend some time analysing our maintenance performance as we had some major issues in that area. I thought that maintenance would be a decent choice as it would allow me to work across other industries too... Besides the other choice would have been to leave the Philippines and we had only just been there for 1.5 years. I ended up staying for 7 years in the Philippines, before moving to Oman and later Australia. All the time I was involved in maintenance and reliability improvement of either existing assets or the maintenance build for major projects. 

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Hi all,

Different beginnings , but them all led to a similar spot! Thanks for sharing that with us.

Just one more thing that I forgot mentioning about me... My father was a boilermaker supervisor at a pretty reactive maintenance department and he used to tell to choose another profession, as maintenance could be quite hectic sometimes.

Then I decided to study engineering and the rest is history.

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