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the role of technologists in maintenance and repairs

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In this paper the role of Technologists in maintenance and repairs is being focused as well as challenges militating against proper maintenance practice in Nigeria. It also highlights how schedule maintenance is being carried out and the need for opportunity and preventive maintenance to be followed rigorously; this would increase productively and efficiency of the machinery.

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Posted By OLUSOLA MICHAEL ROTIMI { follow user } 1 year ago 11/25/2020 2:30:59 AM in Miscellaneous { follow category }

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This paper tries to provide solutions to the challenges as well as how Nigeria can develop a maintenance culture through the technologists.

 

INTRODUCTION

Wikipedia Encyclopedia defines Engineering Technologist as a Specialist dedication to the development and implementation of existing technology in a field of engineering. While Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary defines Technologist as an expert in Technology. Chamber Encyclopedia define engineering as branch of human endeavor by which forces of nature are brought under control and the properties of Amatter are made useful to man in structure machines. But I would rather define technologist as a person by virtue of his technical training and exposure possesses that ability to design, build and maintains appliances, accessories equipment, machines, roads, infrastructure and instruments to perform their desired goal continually without breaking down in case there is a fault or complete breakdown, he is able to diagnose the fault(s) in the equipment or system and rectify it. That is able to bring such faulty equipment or system to “live” by clearing the fault and make it function or work.

 

In doing this, technologists must be able to know the appropriate tools to be used. He should be able to know the instruments needed to carry out the necessary tests to detect and confirm the fault(s) and able to use them. He should be able to carry out the necessary test before performing endurance test. The endurance test is the assurance that the faulty equipment or machines would work perfectly without any hazard to the customer.

 

In Electrical field according to 17th edition of institute of Electrical Engineers (I.E.E) regulations for wiring insulation resistance and continuity tests using meggar  insulation tester are required. The expected results should be a minimum of 1M and zero readings respectively. If it is less it means safety of equipment and consumers could not be guaranteed.  

 

In order for the equipment, machines, appliances to function properly schedule maintenance is necessary. Schedule maintenance is the planned maintenance ahead of time for all equipment, appliances and machines. A specific time to shut down the factory or production line even when there is no fault. During this time the necessary checks like clearance of bearing, winding insulation, earth leakage, insulation resistance as well as continuity test are carried out. In most cases all parts of the machines are carefully examined to see wear and parts to replaced. It is technologists and technicians that carry out this task. During this period where necessary machines are decoupled and coupled back and all necessary tests are carried out using manufacturer’s manuals and maintenance manuals. Schedule maintenance allows a maintenance officer to know when specific machines, equipment and appliances are due for servicing. The necessary special kits and tools are ordered before maintenance commences.

 

During Schedule maintenance, opportunity maintenance may come in. this usually occurs when some parts are bad but the parts are weak, retaining such parts inside the machine can cause future break down.

 

THE CHALLENGES OF ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGISTS IN NIGERIA

Fake spare parts and substandard materials are some of the challenges faced by maintenance technologists and engineers. Some cables are not pure copper or aluminum sold in the market when such substandard materials and cables are used, it usually lead to electrical fire hazard equipment, such equipment are not maintained, even where they are maintained such equipment are not kept in cool environment to maintain the accuracy and long life span of the equipment, these are neglected by the school management. As a result many equipment and machines are lying down fallow.

 

Training of technologists personnel is a problem to some organization/establishment. But in most cases the training to enhance the skill and technical know-how of the technologists are denied them yet such organization/establishment expect their technologist/maintenance officers to perform to optimum. In Nigeria new equipment are coming into the country but in most cases training of technologists/technicians who will be end users to maintain and service them are not included wrong personnel who are favorite of management are sent for such training. No wonder when such personnel are back they could not impart knowledge nor effectively maintain or repair the equipment/machines they have gone for training.

 

In Nigeria today lip services are paid to maintenance and repairs no wonder power supply is erratic, long break down time on transformers, fault on line, pot holes on our roads, building collapses with no attention, leading to economic loss, man power loss and even discomfort to consumers. This is because emphasis is placed on certificates rather than what the technicians could do with their hands . unless this trend is changed, vision 2020 for Nigeria to be among the top 20 economic of the world may be a mirage.    

 

Mustafa (2013) in his lecture development of water supply infrastructure in Nigeria warned that engineering development must be de-politicize as other consideration outside the use of professionals and indigenous personnel could spell doom for the economic future of our dear country. The Nigeria Society of Engineers also warned that unless implementation of workable engineering policy is pursed the dream of Nigeria vision 2020 would not be achieved (what a timely warning indeed). Workable engineering policy and engineering development are policies where each member of the engineering family are considered very important for an overall achievement for economic goals of the country. The engineering families are Engineer, Technologists, Technicians and craftsmen. Each member has a definite role to play in maintenance and repairs of infrastructure, roads, power, automobile, machines and equipment in order to make our life comfortable, have road without pot holes, regular power supply, good water supply, uncollapse buildings and bridges.    

 

CONCLUSION

In the vein technologists should rise up to the challenges of the present day technological development visa-vis pragmatic maintenance and repairs which is in tandem with that of the developed nations like Europe, Britain, United State of America (USA).

 

RECOMMENDATION

·         That Nigeria both government and individuals should develop maintenance culture.

·         That the government should change its policy of discrimination against HND holders by given them equal opportunities to serve, both in                      remuneration and dignity.

·         All members of the engineering family should be encouraged and allowed to play their role in engineering.

·          Necessary equipment, machines and personnel should be provided for training of technologists in Nigeria.

·         Total preventive maintenance (TPM) should be encouraged as this would boost productivity.

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