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MBAA TQ http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/TQ-53-4-1016-01  |  VIEW ARTICLE
Fourth-Generation Maintenance

Louis Houle. Systemex Industrial Consulting, St. Johns, FL, U.S.A.

From the beginning of mechanized world maintenance, the initial focus was to fix equipment only when it broke. As equipment became more and more complex and the costs associated with keeping it running escalated, new approaches to maintenance were formulated. Maintenance has evolved from the initial "fix it when it is broke" reactive form, through preventive, predictive, and proactive approaches. Today, we are seeing a better approach that uses the best of all of these methods and integrates them into a balanced format. We use what has been learned and take it a few steps further. By integrating and using the best parts of each approach, a maintenance team can provide additional value to an organization by adding process improvement as well. This article is not a guide to each of these maintenance paths. Our focus here is to explain that there is a better way that will help an organization "keep the lights on" while always addressing the future. In some cases, this takes expertise to guide you along the correct path to success.