ICT tools for e-maintenance

Sammanfattning: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have made an impact on various parts of a company. The need of many companies of integrating the wealth of information and processes for profitable business has been highlighted since the middle of the 1980s. Further, the commercialization of the Internet began during the middle of the 1990s. The combinations of these developments and the positive impact of ICTs on maintenance and thereby on productivity have been, lately, realized by academia and industry alike, and a new concept, e-maintenance, has been coined.The main problem of the present work was "How ICT can be used for integrating various data and information to provide better decision support and improve productivity". The main problem addressed was divided into three sub research questions. (1) Which approach should be considered to develop e-maintenance systems? (2) How can web and agent technologies be used in e-maintenance? (3) Which ICT architecture and ICT tools should be used to enhance productivity in the organization/maintenance department and the decision-making process? The research process in this study was based on design science, .i.e. constructive research approach. However, during the first phases of the study has empirical studies been conducted to get an overall understanding of the domain of study.The present study first presents the state of the art. It was found that in many research projects the application of ICTs to condition-based maintenance (CBM) has been part of the whole work. Since CBM is the most desirable maintenance strategy it needs more focused attention. However,it was found that limited consistent and systematic efforts have been made, in an isolated manner,in industry and academia. A few researchers are using mobile devices, especially personal digital assistants (PDA) with embedded technology and even fewer with web technology.The study continues by presenting e-maintenance solutions. It goes through the modelling phase in the development of a system and suggests an ontology approach. Further, the use of web and agent technologies on a conceptual level was studied and an architecture was proposed for the same purpose, i.e. e-maintenance. Finally, a prototype was developed with the use of the ICTs tools and an architecture was proposed, Web and mobile architecture. It is an n-tier architecture, where the main client was a mobile device, i.e. PDA. The developed system with the use of various ICTs, viz. web technology, mobile device and wireless communication is believed to make maintenance personnel more productive and help to achieve better decisions.

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