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Title: An investigation into the impact on manufacturing performance of the linkage between manufacturing and maintenance strategy
Author: Robson, Kenneth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 8549
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2010
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Maintenance organisations are rarely seen to add value to the business because they are often working in ways not obviously beneficial, or failing to utilise appropriate tools and approaches. It is therefore vital to focus and co-ordinate the work of Maintenance through properly considered and documented strategies. To ensure strategic cohesion, it is also important for the maintenance strategy to be linked to manufacturing and business goals. The primary aim of this thesis was to investigate the impact on manufacturing performance of linking maintenance and manufacturing strategy to ensure one enhances the other. The research began with a literature review which established the `state of the art'. This search failed to locate a suitable model or framework which linked maintenance and manufacturing strategies in a coherent way. Theory building was used to develop a new conceptual model and fill this gap. To maintain rigour the work was supported by existing literature as well as expert knowledge in maintenance and manufacturing strategy and operations. The result was a new model -a concise but comprehensive framework which describes the functional and cross-functional relationships between maintenance and manufacturing strategy and their internal and external links. From the matrix structure of the model a diagnostic tool evolved and, coupled with a specially designed questionnaire, a fully operational test instrument was produced. This tool proved highly suitable for measuring the situation in a manufacturing plant with respect to manufacturing and maintenance strategy, operations, performance, and the links between these. Although other contributions are made in this research, the development of the new conceptual model and diagnostic tool represents the main contribution. The model and diagnostic tool were tested in four manufacturing companies, as real-life case studies. The process involved a programme of semi-structured interviews held at the four case study sites. The questionnaire and diagnostic tool provided a framework for these interviews and furnished the `rich' data needed for the cross-case analysis. The research findings underlined the importance of coherently linking manufacturing and maintenance strategies together. As part of this work a number of inhibitors and enablers were identified. These were further themed to provide five generic recommendations for manufacturing practitioners to follow. The four case studies produced individual diagnostic footprints, each providing a snapshot of the situation in the company at the time of measurement. It was particularly evident that many manufacturing companies are not producing documented strategies and plans and there tends to be a lack of basic systems and procedures. More focus is needed on Human Resource management so that systems and cultural issues are addressed. Further longitudinal and action research would be beneficial to the case study companies involved in this research. The diagnostic footprints produced could serve as a benchmark, from which the organisations could measure improvements in performance which result from recommendations made as a result of the initial diagnostic and measurement. Other organisations could then utilise the tool as a means of identifying opportunities for performance improvement
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available