Adapting the SHEL model in investigating industrial maintenance

Lasse Metso, Salla Marttonnen, Nils Thenent, Linda Newnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (SciVal)
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify and categorise problems in knowledge management of industrial maintenance, and support successful maintenance through adapting the SHEL model. The SHEL model has been used widely in airplane accident investigations and in aviation maintenance, but not in industrial maintenance. Adapting the SHEL model in investigating industrial maintenance

Research limitations/implications – The data was collected only from Finnish companies and from the perspective of knowledge management. In practice there are also other kinds of issues in industrial maintenance. This can be a topic for future research.

Practical implications – The paper presents a new systematic method to analyse and sort knowledge management problems in industrial maintenance. Both maintenance service customers and suppliers can improve their maintenance processes by using the dimensions of the SHELO model.

Originality/value – The SHEL model has not been used in industrial maintenance before. In addition, the new SHELO model takes also interactions without direct human influence into account. Previous research has listed conditions for successful maintenance extensively, but this kind of prioritisation tools are needed to support decision making in practice.

Keywords - Industrial maintenance, SHEL, SHELO, knowledge management, information management, qualitative data analysis

Design/methodology/approach – The data was collected by two separate surveys with open-ended questions from maintenance customers and service providers in Finland. The collected data was coded according to SHEL model -derived themes and analysed thematically with NVivo.

Findings – We found that the adapted SHELO model works well in the industrial maintenance context. The results show that the most important knowledge management problems in the area are caused by interactions between Liveware and Software (information unavailability), Liveware and Liveware (information sharing), Liveware and Organisation (communication), and Software and Software (information integrity).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-80
JournalJournal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering
Issue number1
Early online dateJan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2016


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