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Electronics Production | January 13, 2012

AWS Group sees increase in MRO sevices

More customers opt for maintenance & repair rather than new products in times of economic uncertainty.
Under the pressure of the current economic downturn, many companies are looking at their equipment and are deferring a decision to purchase new machinery, opting instead to keep the older legacy equipment going for longer. When government and government agencies are affected by the current round of spending cuts, the deferral period can last as long as 20 years.

Specialist electronics contract manufacturer AWS reports that interest and orders relating to MRO (Maintain, Repair, Overhaul) is increasing and it has been involved in several new inquires about extending the life of an asset. Over the last couple of years, AWS reports that the proportion of its MRO work has increased across the Group and now represents about 12% of revenue, a significant increase on the 2009 figure of 2.5%.

Extending the life of an asset is not a straightforward decision and several aspects have to be considered carefully, particularly in the specialist area of electronics that AWS operates in. The obvious one is obsolescence of component parts, quickly followed by loss of knowledge - in some instances, original OEMs are no longer trading and information on specifications and test procedures is lacking, all of which requires AWS to reverse-engineer some applications.

Comments Mike Berridge, Director of Business Improvement at AWS Group: “Our Whole Life Support strategy epitomizes the Group’s dedication to customer service and technical excellence. We are finding that customers are seeking complete solutions more and more when looking to outsource. We have gone from being just a contract manufacturer to providing services at the product development stage right through to end of life and in particular MRO. Our skills in electronic engineering, procurement and project management that serve us well in these traditional areas are now proving invaluable at a time when our customers have restricted capital spending and are seeking cost-effective solutions to asset management."

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