Lifting the game of Maintenance Engineering in NZ

Andrew Ouwejan is Director at Metlab Ltd. He runs his own metallurgical consultancy specialising in the microstructure, properties and performance of metals.

Andrew Ouwejan is Director at Metlab Ltd. He runs his own metallurgical consultancy specialising in the microstructure, properties and performance of metals.

This year’s much anticipated National Maintenance Engineering Conference (NMEC) is happening in November 12 and 13, 2014. Presented by the Maintenance Engineering Society of New Zealand (MESNZ), a technical interest group of IPENZ, the conference and its associated trade expo is created and managed by industry leading engineers who understand what drives real engineers in the real world.

This year’s theme, Lifting the Game of Maintenance Engineering in NZ, is significant, says MESNZ secretary and NMEC event director Craig Carlyle. “New Zealand’s engineering future depends on us upskilling and training our engineers. This conference is run by engineers passionate about passing on their knowledge for free.”

He adds that many engineers are making expensive guesses on things they don’t know that they don’t know. “This conference provides a great heads-up on a lot of those ‘don’t know’s’. This is really vital information for engineers, things every engineer should be aware of.

“We don’t run this conference to make money or waste time – this is the down-and-dirty on important stuff we see repeatedly costing big money in industry.”

NMEC has a history dating back to 2003, and is known to deliver beyond expectations for all quarters. The event cuts no bones about losing ties and attitudes, breaking down barriers and getting real people talking to each other about their experiences and solutions, making it a must-attend event for the maintenance engineering and engineering supply community.

The two day conference is preceded by a Public Day featuring training opportunities and a Public Trade Expo representing engineering supplies, careers and employment, hydraulics, pneumatics, bearings, software, preventative maintenance, condition monitoring, electric motors and many more.

Learn so much from the networking opportunities offered by the so many registered attendees. As of mid-September registered attendees represent maintenance engineers from the dairy, meat, food and beverage, forestry, health, quarries/mining, wood products, pulp and paper, textiles, agricultural, packaging, engineering, site maintenance and manufacturing industries.
The conference has a stable management history, demonstrating remarkable growth even in tough times. Its success is no secret: all attendees, speakers and exhibitors are regarded as valid components of the overall industry and are invited to attend and participate in the forum sessions.

Registration forms and background details can be found on the society website at or by contacting the Event Manager Leanne Powley direct on (09) 296 1333 [email protected] or

Engineer-to-engineer talk

Among the timely issues that will be on the table is the new Health and Safety Act and the associated regulations and guidelines, like machinery guarding, and how these present the greatest change to industry and maintenance engineers in the last 20 years. You need to be at the NMEC to learn what the changes are, how they will affect the way you work and have your say while it still counts.

The presentation topics range from the broad (i.e. How to create business tools for maintenance, and Asset Management via Connected Technology [AM via CT]), to the specific (i.e. Common plant failures caused by electric motors, and Electrical inspections using ultrasonics) to the factual case studies (i.e. How one speaker attained 8% plant operational efficiency improvement, and Failure analysis of fake materials). See the full schedule on page 20.

Among the engineering practitioners who will be sharing their experiences are:

  • Andrew Ouwejan is Director at Metlab Ltd. He runs his own metallurgical consultancy specialising in the microstructure, properties and performance of metals. He gets involved in the nitty-gritty details of how and why metals fail and why they perform the way they do.
  • Barry Robinson is General Manager, S.A.F.E. Ltd. His working life has been in the heavy engineering industry, specializing in hot-forging, heat treatment, material selection and failure analysis. He is passionate about failure prevention and training engineers.
  • Bill Sole is currently the Product Development Manager for Competenz, the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for the engineering and manufacturing industries. He has held leadership roles in engineering education for many years, most recently on the Governance Group for the National Engineering Education Plan (NEEP) project.
  • Craig Carlyle is Director at Maintenance Transformations. His mission is to pass the benefits of his extensive experience to tradesmen, engineers and line managers. He achieves this with his involvement in the MESNZ, the NMEC and his own company’s systems and training.
  • Daré Petreski is Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Delta Asset Reliability. He is an Asset Management and Reliability Improvement Professional with over 25 years’ experience in application, training, strategic support, multi discipline condition monitoring and business development. He will discuss some of the difficulties faced with implementing a Predictive Maintenance strategy (CM System) on a brown field site where a culture of reliability hasn’t yet had the time to take hold.
  • Graeme Washer is a specialist General Surgeon with a major interest in abdominal. He has been a Trustee of the Men’s Health Trust New Zealand since 2007 and has led the development of the Trust’s education programme.
  • Ganesh Natarajan is Business Manager, Asset Management Services at SKF Reliability Systems. He is an Asset Management Practitioner with over 25 years’ of maintenance and consulting experience in a range of industries including food and beverage, mining, mineral processing and oil and gas, to name a few. He is currently engaged in designing and delivering solutions that deliver enhanced asset availability, efficiency and productivity to key clients.
  • Dr James Neale is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Waikato Energy Research Centre. He will talk on electrical inspections using ultrasonics.
  • Kerry Passau is Director of South Auckland Armature Winders Ltd. He has 30 years’ experience servicing electric motors and will talk about the common plant failures caused by electric motors. He is a past president of the Electrical Apparatus Service Association of New Zealand (EASA NZ).
  • Larry Wiechern is very passionate about apprentice training and the development of industry training to prevent mistakes constantly being repeated. He is Manager of Maintenance and Reliability Centre based at Manukau Institute of Technology.
  • Nick Holroyd is Technical Director at Emirates Team New Zealand and will share about reliability versus performance in the Americas Cup. He started with Team New Zealand in 1997, designing the appendages for the successful 2000 Cup defense. He has led the technical development team since 2007, including the pioneering foiling AC72 catamarans.
  • Peter Maloney is CEO of Composite Helicopters International. A licensed aircraft engineer for more than 40 years, he designed the Composite Helicopter, a 6-seat single turbine engine helicopter. He is a commercial pilot and flight instructor. He is also test pilot for the Composite Helicopter program.
  • Steve Richmond is the founder and chief executive of Projetech Inc. the 2012 Tivoli Award Winning IBM Business Partner of the Year. He maintains certification and affiliation with the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP), the Association of Facilities Engineers (AFE) and the Building Owners and Management Institute (BOMI).