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An evaluation of maintenance practices in Kenya: preliminary results

Abstract

Over time, the definition of maintenance has evolved from activities meant to keep equipment in an operable condition, to a set of activities required to keep the means of production in the desired operating conditions or to restore them to this condition. Further, all those systematic activities geared towards the actual execution and improvement of maintenance are referred to as maintenance practices. There is a general assumption that maintenance practices in the developing world are below standard, when compared to what happens in the developed world. However, this is not a fact that has been determined empirically, but rather a perception. This paper presents the results of an assessment of maintenance practices in Kenyan industries, using a maintenance practices evaluation tool. The analysis provides a critical overview of the current status of maintenance practices, and shows how these maintenance practices compare with the best practices globally. Research was carried out through a survey, using a questionnaire developed to establish the maintenance practices in a number of Kenyan companies. The survey clustered industries into different categories, namely, service, power generation, food manufacturing and processing, agro/chemical, metal processing, motor vehicle assemblers, transport, maintenance and construction industries. The responses from the survey were analyzed using three aspects of maintenance practices, namely, technical, managerial and human aspects. For each of these aspects, an evaluation index was developed and calculated. Subsequently, the general evaluation index was determined. This index showed that Kenyan companies are at the managed level of maintenance practices, where processes are partially planned, and performance depends on the operators’ experience and competence. It is recommended that Kenyan companies should aim at improving the index to the highest level, namely the optimizing stage, by focusing more on improvements in the technical aspects of maintenance.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the National Commission for Science and Technology (NACOSTI: NCST/5/003/3rd CALL PhD/068), Wärtsilla (EA) Ltd and the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology for the support given towards this research.

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Correspondence to A. K. Muchiri.

Appendix: Survey questionnaire

Appendix: Survey questionnaire

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Muchiri, A.K., Ikua, B.W., Muchiri, P.N. et al. An evaluation of maintenance practices in Kenya: preliminary results. Int J Syst Assur Eng Manag 8, 990–1007 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13198-016-0559-3

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Keywords

  • Maintenance practices
  • Maintenance actions
  • Evaluation criteria
  • Maintenance in Kenya