The Maintenance Standards What Standards Can Be Useful for the Maintenance Activities?


Many standardisation bodies at international, European or national levels produce maintenance standards, or standards that are directly related to maintenance activities. Thanks to them a framework is provided for experts to write documents that constitute state of the art in different maintenance areas.

Antoine Despujols

Antoine Despujols

EDF (R&D Division)


Typically, these standards establish concepts and terminology, methods, techniques, know-how and good practices, etc. used by maintenance professionals. These documents represent very valuable sources of knowledge and information available to all the maintenance actors.

Unfortunately these documents are not always known because they are produced by different bodies in different countries and on different topics. The European Federation of National Maintenance Societies (EFNMS) is very involved in maintenance standardisation, and has decided to launch a survey to identify existing standards and classify them according to the areas to which they apply.

The objective of this work is to allow all maintenance professionals to easily identify the standards that can help them find solutions to maintenance problems they are facing.

What is a Standard?

A standard is a document approved by a recognized standardisation institute (ISO, IEC, CEN, etc.). Some private entities can also publish documents, which are also good references, even if they do not have the official status of a standard (e.g. SAE).

The standards are the result of a consensus between the stakeholders at a given time and they are regularly revised to consider the evolution of concepts, techniques, methods, etc.

The decision to apply a standard reflects willingness to refer to the state of the art of maintenance, but in general it is not an obligation.

Why is Standardisation in Maintenance Useful?

The objectives of standardisation in maintenance are:

  • to facilitate communication between professionals and, in particular, to clarify the contractual relationships
  • to harmonize practices and disseminate ideas;
  • to define criteria that ensure the safety, reduce environmental impact of activities and provide satisfactory quality levels.

Who Produces Maintenance Standards?

At international level, maintenance standards are mainly produced by two organizations: ISO (International Standardisation Organisation) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).

The ISO Technical Committees TC108 and TC135 work respectively on mechanical vibration, shock and condition monitoring and on non-destructive examinations. In addition, the ISO/PC 251 is currently working on Asset Management where maintenance is concerned.

The IEC Technical Committee 56 (Dependability) writes standards about maintenance, maintainability and logistics-support applying to all types of equipment (and not exclusively to electrical equipment).

At European level, the CEN Technical Committee 319 is dedicated to maintenance and comprises several groups working on terminology, qualification of maintenance personnel, maintenance management, performance indicators, documentation, maintenance contracts, maintenance of buildings and infrastructures, methods for condition assessment of buildings, maintenance within asset management, Risk based Inspection, maintenance process.

At national level, each country in Europe has a standardisation institute and some of them produce maintenance standards (e.g. DIN, UNI, AFNOR, SFS, BSI, etc.)


Figure 1. Maintenance breakdown.


Classification of Maintenance Standards

To classify the maintenance standards, a maintenance breakdown in areas and sub-areas was carried out by EFMNS as shown in Figure 1. For each sub-area themes were listed to clarify their content.

Standards have been classified according to sub-areas. For each of them indications are given about their reference number, title, date of publication or last revision, their level (international/ European/national) and languages.

An example of the summary of the current maintenance standards is shown in Figure 2, the full list can be downloaded from the MaintWorld magazine’s web-page


SPM HD Successfully Monitors Low-Speed Autogenous Mill at Boliden Mine

»»On an autogenous mill in Garpenberg, Sweden the Intellinova online system monitors the condition of the motors and gearboxes using vibration measurement in combination with SPM HD.Boliden is a metals company operating mines and smelters in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Ireland. Production at the Garpenberg mine comprises complex ore containing zinc, copper, lead, gold and silver. Major expansion plans for the mine with SEK 3.9 billion investments over a period of three years also include investments in high-performance condition monitoring equipment for a number of critical applications such as the jaw crusher, main hoist and concentrator mill, all for the purpose of securing the planned production increase. The mill drum rotates at 15.7 RPM, driven by two frequencycontrolled motors on opposite sides. Via a two-stage gearbox, a pinion gear drives the drum itself. To monitor the mill, a total of twenty shock pulse and eight vibration transducers are used, covering the motor, gearbox and drive shafts. Two RPM probes are mounted on the drive shafts. During the period from January, 2012 to October, 2013, two serious problems were detected well before any serious consequences. The first incident was a bearing damage found in one of the two gearboxes. The other was a loose gear (wobbling gear) in the same gearbox. Both of these problems could have caused serious malfunctions with severe economic consequences, had they gone undetected. »»Further information