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Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) involves fixing any sort of mechanical, plumbing, or electrical device should it become out of order or broken (known as repair, unscheduled, casualty or corrective maintenance). In the aircraft maintenance market sector, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services also include inspection, rebuilding, alteration and the supply of spare parts, accessories, raw materials, adhesives, sealants, coatings and consumables for aircraft manufacturing and MRO.
In all sectors, effective MRO involves performing routine actions which keep devices, equipment, machinery, building infrastructure and supporting utilities in working order (known as scheduled maintenance) and prevent trouble from arising (preventive maintenance).
The marine transportation, offshore structures, industrial plant/equipment and commercial facilities market sectors depend on scheduled or preventive paint maintenance programmes to maintain and restore coatings applied to steel, and also concrete and masonry assets in environments subject to attack from erosion, corrosion and environmental pollution.
MRO can be categorised by whether the product remains the property of the customer (i.e. a service is being offered), or whether the product is bought by the reprocessing organisation and sold to any customer wishing to make the purchase (Guadette, 2002). In the former case it may be a backshop operation within a larger organization or smaller operation.
The former of these represents a closed loop supply chain and usually has the scope of maintenance, repair, or overhaul. The latter of the categorisations is an open loop supply chain and is typified by refurbishment and remanufacture. The main characteristic of the closed loop system is that the demand for a product is matched with the supply of a used product. Neglecting asset write-offs and exceptional activities the total population of the product between the customer and the service provider remains constant.

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