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Maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) or maintenance, repair, and overhaul involves fixing any sort of mechanical, plumbing or electrical device should it become out of order or broken (known as repair, unscheduled, or casualty maintenance). It also includes performing routine actions which keep the device in working order (known as scheduled maintenance) or prevent trouble from arising (preventive maintenance). MRO may be defined as, "All actions which have the objective of retaining or restoring an item in or to a state in which it can perform its required function. The actions include the combination of all technical and corresponding administrative, managerial, and supervision actions." 
MRO operations can be categorised by whether the product remains the property of the customer, i.e. a service is being offered, or whether the product is bought by the reprocessing organisation and sold to any customer wishing to make the purchase (Guadette, 2002). In the former case it may be a backshop operation within a larger organization or smaller operation.
The former of these represents a closed loop supply chain and usually has the scope of maintenance, repair or overhaul of the product. The latter of the categorisations is an open loop supply chain and is typified by refurbishment and remanufacture. The main characteristic of the closed loop system is that the demand for a product is matched with the supply of a used product. Neglecting asset write-offs and exceptional activities the total population of the product between the customer and the service provider remains constant.
Manufacturers and Industrial Supply Companies often refer to MRO as opposed to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). OEM includes any activity related to the direct manufacture of goods, where MRO refers to any maintenance and repair activity to keep a manufacturing plant running.
Industrial supply companies can generally be sorted into two types:
Generally speaking, there are three types of maintenance in use:
Preventive maintenance is maintenance performed in an attempt to avoid failures, unnecessary production loss and safety violations.
Corrective maintenance is probably the most commonly used approach, but it is easy to see its limitations. When equipment fails, it often leads to downtime in production. In most cases, this is costly business. Also, if the equipment needs to be replaced, the cost of replacing it alone can be substantial. It is also important to consider health, safety and environment (HSE) issues related to malfunctioning equipment.
Corrective maintenance can be defined as the maintenance which is required when an item has failed or worn out, to bring it back to working order. Corrective maintenance is carried out on all items where the consequences of failure or wearing out are not significant and the cost of this maintenance is much greater than preventive maintenance.
Corrective maintenance is the program focused on the regular task that will maintain all the critical machinery and the system in optimum operating conditions. The major objectives of the program are to 1.Eliminating breakdown 2.Eliminating deviation 3.Eliminating unnecessary repairs 4.Optimize all the critical planned system
Reliability centered maintenance is an engineering framework that enables the definition of a complete maintenance regime. It regards maintenance as the means to maintain the functions a user may require of machinery in a defined operating context. As a discipline it enables machinery stakeholders to monitor, assess, predict and generally understand the working of their physical assets. This is embodied in the initial part of the RCM process which is to identify the operating context of the machinery, and write a Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA). The second part of the analysis is to apply the "RCM logic", which helps determine the appropriate maintenance tasks for the identified failure modes in the FMECA. Once the logic is complete for all elements in the FMECA, the resulting list of maintenance is "packaged", so that the periodicities of the tasks are rationalised to be called up in work packages; it is important not to destroy the applicability of maintenance in this phase. Lastly, RCM is kept live throughout the "in-service" life of machinery, where the effectiveness of the maintenance is kept under constant review and adjusted in light of the experience gained.
In many organizations because of the number of devices or products that need to be maintained or the complexity of systems, there is a need to manage the information with software packages. This is particularly the case in aerospace (e.g. airline fleets), military installations, large plants (e.g. manufacturing, power generation, petrochemical) and ships.
These software tools help engineers and technicians in increasing the system availability and reducing costs and repair times as well as reducing material supply time and increasing material availability by improving supply chain communication.
One of the functions of such software is the configuration of bills of materials or BOMs, taking the component parts list from engineering (eBOM) and manufacturing (mBOM) and updating it from "as designed“ through "as built”, "as delivered", “as maintained”, and “as used”.
Another function is project planning logistics, for example identifying the critical path on the list of tasks to be carried out (inspection, diagnosis, locate/order parts and service) to calculate turnaround times (TAT).
Other tasks that software can perform:
MRO goods are typically defined as any goods used in the creation of a product but not in the final product itself. Examples include:
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