The President of the French Association for Maintenance Engineers, AFIM, talked to Predictiva21 about the importance of maintenance and how this activity is perceived in Europe.
The activity of maintenance and everything related to it created, by itself, a whole culture within the business world. Persuading the board of directors from different companies about the benefits of having and applying a maintenance plan, based on the fundamental paradigms of asset management, can be a challenge, depending on the geographical area. For example, in Europe the topic of maintenance dates back a long way, compared to other regions of the world. In France, the French Maintenance Association, AFIM, coordinates activities, conferences and meetings to keep everyone in the field informed about the latest advances and standards that regulate asset management. Claude Pichot, president of this association, was present at the 7th World Congress of Asset Management, and made evident that, for the French, maintenance is a priority.
According to the bulletin offered by the Press Office of the congress in Cartagena, Pichot’s lecture “European Experience Sets the Pace in Asset Management” presented a series of strategies to improve competitiveness in companies, following comparative analysis data on maintenance investment from Germany, Belgium, France and The Netherlands. He remarked the importance of maintenance at the time of reducing costs, avoiding failures and preventing accidents, as well as Europe’s serious approach on the matter. As a result of these studies, it was established that training in maintenance (as well as educating people on asset management), industrial safety (health and zero accidents among workers) and standardizing of good practices (AM international standards) have a notorious influence on the competitiveness of enterprises.
Predictiva21: What is your opinion on the event?
Claude Pichot: I’m very impressed by the exhibition of people, and I’m very surprised to see 500 people in the room, here in Latin America. And I’m very impressed for the kind of cooperation between different associations from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and also Brazil. In France we organize events but we don’t have the same number of exhibitor companies. I was invited by ACIEM, and tomorrow we have to discuss with our colleagues matters concerning how to cooperate, specifically regarding safety at work and management of surprise.
P21: What is the association doing to expand the culture of maintenance in Europe?
CP: AFIM was formed in 1933, so we have a history. Concerning the education, since the 80’s we have considered that it is very important to have a system for teaching maintenance in our country, so our system was launched in this decade. It’s the reason why in France we have a public education system of maintenance which is able to graduate up to 900 people a year, and we train all the workers, technician and engineers that we need in France. AFIM is one of the promotors of the system, and we participate in all the documentation referred to training, so the relation between training and profession is not so bad.
Transcription: Richard J. Skinner