In larger companies, the role of a Maintenance Technician can be more specialized, including areas such as instrumentation, facilities, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic or electrical. In smaller companies or at smaller facilities, Maintenance Technicians may be required to take a more general role.
They may also be consulted in regard to continuous improvement of manufacturing equipment and processes.
Maintenance Technicians often work in shifts and can also be required to supply “on-call” support to their facility, depending upon the specifics of the job role. Maintenance Technicians usually work as part of a wider maintenance team within the facility.
Specific tasks can include:
- Perform diagnostic tests and root cause analysis to figure out problems with machinery or equipment.
- Disassemble the machinery or equipment when there is a problem then repair or replace any broken or malfunctioning parts.
- Test the machine or run an initial batch to make sure that the machine is running properly.
- Assisting in the installation of new manufacturing equipment.
- Adjust and calibrate equipment or machinery as per specifications.
- Routine inspection and testing of equipment and machinery – this needs to be planned to ensure minimal disruption of processes.
- Test malfunctioning machinery to determine whether major repairs are needed.
- Preventative maintenance tasks to try to minimize unexpected issues with equipment.
- Responding to alerts and carrying out corrective procedures and repairs in line with SOPs and maintenance protocols.
- Keep all documentation of both routine checks and repairs up-to-date and in line with both internal and external procedures.
- Maintains logs of any downtime within the manufacturing system.
- May be involved in the training of production staff on routine maintenance procedures.
- May also be required to keep a stock of spare parts, ordering and replacing as necessary.
A maintenance technician’s role and job description can cover a huge variety of industries and tasks. Let’s take a look at some of the more common categories of maintenance technicians you might find in an industrial setting.
Mechanical Maintenance Technicians – The role is focused on the upkeep and repair of machines within the manufacturing facility. The focus could be on mechanical, pneumatic or hydraulic systems. The skills requirement can vary hugely depending on the sophistication and complexity of the machines. Generally speaking and depending on the country, mechanical maintenance technicians will have served an apprenticeship as a fitter, toolmaker, plumber, welder or even a mechanic or have undergone significant training for the role either on the job or at a third level institution.
Electrical Maintenance Technicians – The role is focused on the upkeep and repair of industrial-scale electrical equipment. Again, the skills required can vary hugely depending on the sophistication and complexity of the electrical equipment. Generally speaking, electrical maintenance technicians will have served an electrician’s apprenticeship or have undergone significant training for the role. The role could extend to instrumentation and calibration and even industrial automation.
Building Maintenance Technician – This role is focused on the upkeep and repair of a building or facility. For smaller and less complicated buildings, the role is sometimes referred to as a “maintenance worker” and the duties may be less technical than those of an industrial maintenance technician. Maintenance workers often take on more of a handyman role, performing routine maintenance on common breakdowns. However, for larger and more sophisticated facilities, the role may require extensive training particularly if the building uses complex electrical wiring, mechanical or plumbing systems. Or if the building uses complex HVAC systems for cleanrooms such as semiconductor or pharmaceutical or vaccine manufacturing. Those who have served an electrical or plumbing apprenticeship or have a relevant university qualification could be recruited for these types of roles.