Clustered Maintenance At Waternet:
A Future-Proof Maintenance Approach That Works


Waternet is the water cycle company responsible for the water cycle of the municipality of Amsterdam and part of the provinces of North-Holland and Utrecht. In addition to sewage treatment and surface water management, Waternet also provides sewage and drinking water in the area. This provides a large portfolio of assets. The water company’s maintenance organization copes with challenges such as the aging of its technical staff, digitalization and increasing pressure on the assets due to climate change, among other things. Together with MaxGrip, Waternet developed ‘Clustered Maintenance’ to be able to do smarter maintenance and thus better anticipate those challenges.

Objective: Condition-Based Maintenance Based on Data

Asset Performance Management (APM) is influenced by three connected elements: people, processes and systems. Processes and people are especially important for Clustered Maintenance.

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Clustered Maintenance, therefore, provides structure and clarity to the maintenance organization. To implement Clustered Maintenance, we work with Waternet on:

  1. Checking and optimizing current maintenance concepts;
  2. Mapping the available capacity;
  3. Developing work processes (team meetings, checklists, formats, etc.);
  4. Making maintenance cluster-proof: implement adjustments such as the separation between plannable and non-plannable maintenance;
  5. Clustering maintenance concepts per location and per asset;
  6. Drawing up maintenance planning appropriate to Clustered Maintenance;
  7. Assisting Waternet’s organization in the execution of Clustered Maintenance; focus on getting and keeping the PDCA loop going.

In order to have Clustered Maintenance adopted internally, a lot of attention is paid to organizational change. Clustered Maintenance involves working in multidisciplinary teams that work flexibly across the locations. Knowledge is better facilitated through collaboration in teams with employees from maintenance, operations, production and projects. In addition, the team fulfills a flying keep function. Erwin de Witt, MaxGrip consultant and project leader: “At its core, the assets of drinking water and sewage installations do not differ much. It is therefore perfectly possible to deploy employees flexibly to locations and the different types of installations. It broadens and deepens the knowledge and skills of employees.” MaxGrip initiates collaboration between the departments and ensures that Clustered Maintenance is widely supported within the organization; not only in the technical department, production/ operations also play a role in Clustered Maintenance.

Results: Less Failures

Despite the fact that this way of doing maintenance has yet to be fully implemented, it is already yielding results. Preventive maintenance has gained more weight because its importance and successes are emphasized with this way of working. Clustered Maintenance boosts efficiency so downtime of the installations has decreased and the first time right percentage is higher. Previously, at the end of the year Waternet often had a legacy of 10-15% preventive maintenance, that has been reduced to nil.

We also see that first and second priority failures are lower and assets are much more stable; in addition, failures with a third and fourth priority have been drastically reduced. These are expected to decrease further in the longer term as a result of good preventive maintenance. Clustered Maintenance will be the standard at Waternet by the end of 2021.

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Marcel Morsing


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+31 6 29 04 61 46

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