Facilitating the Implementation of Smart Maintenance
Doktorsavhandling, 2021

Innovations and rapid advancements in digital technologies in the manufacturing industry are setting high expectations of highly automated, intelligent and interconnected production systems. To bring these expectations to realisation and secure productive and sustainable production systems, maintenance organisations must develop accordingly. Thus, there is a need for organisational innovation in maintenance.

The way in which maintenance is organised in digitalised manufacturing is called “Smart Maintenance”, and industrial companies need evidence‐based guidance in pursuing such an implementation. Thus, the purpose of this thesis is to facilitate Smart Maintenance implementation. To this end, the thesis aims to support organisational innovation in maintenance, with organisations and all targeted employees becoming increasingly skilful, consistent and committed to working with Smart Maintenance. This aim was achieved through a mixed‐methods approach comprising six studies.

Firstly, digitalisation in general and Smart Maintenance in particular, will require investment. This thesis reviews 24 maintenance models which can be used as support in calculating and describing the effects of maintenance. It also demonstrates an example of how to evaluate new technology (the impact of 5G technology on manufacturing performance). The thesis also identifies 11 factors influencing the investment process.

Secondly, to benefit from the technology, an organisation must develop accordingly. This means that development initiatives need to be managed. This thesis presents an overall consideration model for leading maintenance in digitalised manufacturing. In short, the role of a maintenance manager is changing from that of a technical manager into a leader of people and organisations in change. Further, the effects of Smart Maintenance can be followed up using maintenance performance indicators (PIs). This thesis analyses 170 PIs and structures them into 13 categories.

Thirdly, a strategic approach to Smart Maintenance helps in structuring such an implementation. This thesis proposes a strategy development process for Smart Maintenance implementation. The process is cyclical and continuously assesses the maintenance organisation to find new improvement areas. It thus continuously develops maintenance organisations and their way of working with Smart Maintenance.

All studies are related to the diffusion of innovations (DOI) theory, to structure the findings into a framework that supports organisational innovation in maintenance. This is a novel perspective in both research and practice. The framework provided in this thesis can be used as guidance by industry practitioners as they implement Smart Maintenance. Thus, industrial companies can continue their development towards digitalisation and move towards increasingly competitive and sustainable production systems.

Industry 4.0





Online at Zoom (for passcode to the link below, contact clarissa.gonzalez@chalmers.se) and Virtual Development Laboratory
Opponent: Tomohiko Sakao, Linköping University


Camilla Lundgren

Chalmers, Industri- och materialvetenskap, Produktionssystem

Factors influencing maintenance-related investments in industry: a multiple-case study

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering,; Vol. 27(2021)p. 203-224

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Determining the impact of 5G-technology on manufacturing performance using a modified TOPSIS method

International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing,; Vol. 35(2022)p. 69-90

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

A Strategy Development Process for Smart Maintenance Implementation

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management,; Vol. 32(2021)p. 142-166

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Performance indicators for measuring the effects of Smart Maintenance

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management,; Vol. 70(2020)p. 1291-1316

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Quantifying the Effects of Maintenance - a Literature Review of Maintenance Models

Procedia CIRP,; Vol. 72(2018)p. 1305-1310

Paper i proceeding

How Industrial Maintenance Managers Perceive Socio‐technical Changes in Leadership in the Context of Digitalized Manufacturing

Today’s technological advancements and innovations are developing rapidly, and digital technologies have become for many of us a regular part of our daily lives. Similar technological development takes place in the manufacturing industry, where industrial companies are aiming for highly digitalised production systems. This development impacts the function responsible for keeping production systems working; the maintenance
function. However, maintenance has long been a traditional field, and the traditional ways of working often prevail. Thus, there is a need for organisational innovation in maintenance to keep up with the technological innovations in digitalised manufacturing.

Maintenance in digitalised manufacturing is called “Smart Maintenance”, and many industrial companies need guidance in pursuing such an implementation. This thesis contributes by looking at Smart Maintenance implementation through the lenses of attributes that impact innovation; relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability and observability. This thesis reviews 24 models and demonstrates one example of how to evaluate new technology, to support investment in Smart Maintenance. Such models may be used to describe the relative advantage of Smart Maintenance, thus helping industry practitioners to prepare investment proposals. Moreover, the role of the maintenance manager is described, i.e. maintenance managers must ensure that Smart Maintenance presents compatibility with the rest of the organisation. This thesis also proposes a work procedure for Smart Maintenance strategy development that supports stepwise implementation with a learning focus. This increases trialability and decreases complexity. Further, this thesis reviews 170 performance indicators that may be used to follow up the work with Smart Maintenance to ensure observability.

Taken together, this thesis provides a framework with inspiration and guidance for maintenance managers on strategically approaching the implementation of Smart Maintenance. Ideally, it supports the organisational innovation in maintenance that is needed to realise highly productive production systems in digitalised manufacturing.

SMASh – Smart Maintenance Assessment

VINNOVA, 2017-05-01 -- 2019-10-31.

5G-Enabled Manufacturing II (5GEMII)

VINNOVA (2018-02820), 2018-06-21 -- 2019-09-01.


Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi


Hållbar utveckling





Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 5035



Online at Zoom (for passcode to the link below, contact clarissa.gonzalez@chalmers.se) and Virtual Development Laboratory


Opponent: Tomohiko Sakao, Linköping University

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