Maintaining industrial equipment is just as important as running production. Malfunctions and/or defective parts can contribute to huge losses if not removed or repaired. Luckily, making sure this doesn't happen is part of the industrial maintenance job description.
Industrial maintenance technicians are the backbone of a company's continued production.
These professionals ensure that various industrial machinery such as production machines remain in perfect working order. However, the multiple positions under the industrial maintenance umbrella all have various responsibilities, and it's important for jobseekers to know them before applying.
In this article, I'll provide an industrial maintenance job description template for 2020, along with everything you need to know about this type of maintenance.
Let's jump right in.
Industrial Maintenance Job Description: Typical Roles in Organizations
An industrial maintenance professional is someone who diagnoses, repairs, maintains, and monitors industrial machinery and machine parts.
They use a variety of mechanical equipment such as power tools, hoists, forklifts, and hand tools, such as wrenches and precision measuring micrometers, to perform emergency, scheduled, and preventive maintenance.
There are several types of industrial maintenance personnel, including industrial maintenance mechanics, millwrights, technicians, and diagnosis experts.
Some industrial machinery mechanics use hand tools to perform lighter maintenance tasks, while other industrial mechanics operate control systems and perform diagnostic tests, as part of a preventative maintenance program.
Here is a brief overview of their responsibilities:
- Monitor equipment performance logs and early warning systems, in order to detect possible areas of malfunction in machinery.
- Perform routine repairs on constantly running machinery such as conveyor systems and assembly line robots.
- Perform early maintenance on vital electrical systems and circuitry to prevent system failures and/or fires.
- Help senior management develop maintenance plans by providing timely reports on all operational machinery.
Furthermore, the industrial maintenance mechanic job description may include oversight of general maintenance tasks such as sanitation.
Most industrial maintenances also function as point people for safety code implementation. Since different states have somewhat different codes and regulations for mechanical safety protocols, it falls on the industrial maintenance professionals to maintain operational compliance.
Industrial Maintenance Job Description Template
Industrial maintenance job duties have changed with the introduction of automation and smart machines.
This has created a more tech-forward work environment, with supervisors using monitoring systems instead of in-person supervision, and mechanics using laptops to discover issues, instead of disassembling machinery.
However, before they take on more diverse responsibilities, industrial maintenance personnel have to work in some basic areas of the job.
The most common responsibility for industrial maintenance professionals is spot-repairs.
Spot-repairs refers to repairs and fixes made to specific machine parts. It can also mean any repairs made outside of the routine maintenance schedule.
Also called emergency maintenance, this sort of work is usually done by mechanics or technical staff and supervised by managers and coordinators.
Spot-repairs are a major part of basic maintenance technician jobs, with professionals moving up to scheduled maintenance once they gain enough experience.
Most companies have an upkeep schedule that's developed according to the needs of the equipment being used. Industrial equipment, especially large machines, often need regular upkeep to stay in perfect running conditions.
This responsibility also falls on the shoulders of industrial maintenance professionals.
They determine the upkeep needs of machinery by monitoring usage cycles throughout the company.
In short, industrial maintenance professionals are the first line of defense for companies against random equipment failures or malfunctioning parts. They are also the first responders among the field crew when there is an off-site equipment failure.
Duties and Responsibilities
This section explains all the responsibilities that come with the industrial maintenance professional's job. It includes the duties for the starter maintenance assistant, as well as the senior technician operating under the industrial maintenance umbrella.
The typical duties and responsibilities of industrial maintenance professionals include the following:
- Disassembling machinery units or parts to discover faults and malfunctions, or diagnosing problems via a performance monitoring system.
- Collaborating with other maintenance workers to repair machinery and implementing safety measures.
- Performing assurance checks on repaired machines and recording their overall health.
- Determining the repair needs of machinery, and creating purchase lists for replacement parts or full units.
- Coordinating with engineers and senior technicians to update maintenance schedules.
- Performing repairs from a preventive maintenance standpoint and logging each procedure for future reference.
- Relaying third-party service provider requirements to maintenance coordinators.
- Monitoring early warning systems to detect malfunctions before they happen and replacing defective parts immediately.
- Calibrating and adjusting machinery and equipment to optimal specifications.
- Using CMMS and similar tools to aid in the maintenance process.
- Developing maintenance strategies with management to save money and resources [for senior officials].
- Assembling millwrights, mechanics, and technicians in varying combinations to work on various different maintenance types [for senior officials].
Additionally, industrial maintenance requires a great deal of flexibility from the field crew. This means that candidates who are starting out in the position may need to work in several capacities before they specialize in one area.
Any advanced maintenance management requires at least an associate's degree, with some years of experience in the field. The industrial maintenance professional's job is no different.
Generally, full-time industrial maintenance workers should have the following qualifications:
- High school diploma or GED with a long-term apprenticeship
- High-school or equivalent diploma with at least 3 years of experience in an industrial maintenance capacity
- A vocational certificate or practical diploma with at least 3 years of maintenance experience
- An associate's degree in a relevant discipline
- A graduate degree in a relevant discipline
- Intra-graduate work experience with a valid journeyman certificate
- Practical experience in the form of an internship or apprenticeship under a senior engineer
Additionally, a modern coordinator should have a working knowledge of maintenance management systems such as CMMS software.
There are multiple industrial and technical maintenance courses available online.
Taking some of these courses will diversify the skills of current industrial maintenance professionals and provide them with opportunities to advance their careers, even moving up to an engineer or maintenance supervisor's position.
Typical Skills and Abilities
Aside from the basic technical skills, industrial maintenance workers need an additional range of soft skills to be better at their jobs.
Here are some of the most important skills for modern industrial maintenance professionals:
- Appropriate organizational and problem-solving skills while working with a team of professionals.
- Keen understanding of how the company's and general industrial machinery works.
- Advanced troubleshooting skills and expertise in a wide range of maintenance activities.
- Working knowledge of modern maintenance management systems.
- Ability to communicate clearly and in a timely manner with all maintenance stakeholders.
- Good time-management and workflow development skills.
- Ability to multitask in dynamic environments, and without halting the repair process.
- Provide additional support to other technical departments such as engineering and IT.
- Maintain operations in accordance with local and national safety codes.
- Ensure technical compliance with the company's own operative regulations and union laws.
- Provide cross-functional support to maintenance coordinators and supervisors operating on the same projects.
- Good stamina and ability to perform allocated tasks on time and without taking excessive breaks.
In addition to these, a coordinator in 2020 should know about prevalent industry trends and technology.
Becoming the Ideal Industrial Maintenance Professional?
Like most jobs in the industrial realm, maintenance is changing with time. Robots, machine learning protocols, and site-wide automation have a lot to do with this.
Technicians, mechanics, and assistants are using software to diagnose problems with machines, instead of taking the unit apart piece by piece to find which part is not working right.
These software systems are also helping maintenance people reduce the time it takes to manually create reports, alert field crews about impending repair tasks, and create work logs for all involved personnel.
Considering this, any working industrial maintenance professional has to have some level of understanding of these software-based tools.
Candidates who are searching for an industrial maintenance mechanic or technician's position should also apply to long-term apprenticeships in companies that have already introduced these systems.
Although it is a technical job, industrial maintenance provides several opportunities for budding engineers.
A junior technician who's starting out now can become a senior maintenance engineer in the near future, given that they get the right qualifications, and the right continued training, early on.
Considering this, it can be very rewarding for maintenance professionals to keep learning and gradually taking more advanced courses, while also keeping an eye out for more fruitful opportunities in the market.