Integrated Design within an Industrial Context

Those who work in the field of industrial maintenance will all tell you that they have heard about best practices in maintenance management. But what about the challenges inherent to facility or sector design? How can we ensure that a facility and the location of its various assets are designed to facilitate industrial maintenance management and execution?

We propose using a new approach to industrial design; an approach known as integrated design. Widely used in the fields of commercial and institutional projects, integrated design is an approach that reevaluates the ways in which facilities are designed to ensure that the entire asset lifecyle (project – production launch – maintenance – disposal) is taken under consideration during the design decision-making process. Every aspect of a facility or sector must be designed from a sustainable perspective to ensure future maintainability.

Four principles govern the concept of integrated design:

  • Continuous collaboration to ensure that all stakeholders are involved in a facility’s or sector’s design decision making process.
  • Top-down iterations to ensure that decisions and interactions between processes and systems are considered from a holistic and changing perspective.
  • Innovation to push existing boundaries and work using new perspectives.
  • Performance oriented decisions to compel decision-makers to consider all possible impacts — both short and long-term.

You have probably heard this before, but it is certainly worth repeating: [maintenance is] the largest, single controllable expenditure in a manufacturing plant. Isn’t it time we start acting accordingly… before breaking ground?


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