Title: Socio-technical networks: a tool for integrating the maintenance dimension in the design of equipment for small food-processing units in Western Africa

Authors: Frederic Bationo, C. Marouze, J.F. Boujut, Francois A. Giroux

Addresses: Institut de Recherches en Sciences, Appliquees et Technologies (IRSAT), CNRST 03, BP 7047, Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso. ' CIRAD-PERSYST, UMR Qualisud – 73 rue J.F Breton, Montpellier Cedex 5 34398, France. ' G-SCOP, Grenoble INP, UJF, CNRS, 46, av. Felix Viallet, Grenoble 38031, France. ' CIRAD-PERSYST, UMR Qualisud – 73 rue J.F Breton, Montpellier Cedex 5 34398, France; Ecole superieure d'agronomie, BP 5098 34033, Montpellier, France.

Abstract: In Burkina Faso, as in other Western African countries, maintenance in small food-processing units is carried out by several actors. These actors form an informal network and contribute to ensuring that equipment is operationally available in a more or less satisfactory manner. Our field studies have revealed how important informal networks are in the economic life of African countries, especially those in West Africa. This paper describes a formal method for representing and analysing sociotechnical maintenance networks and proposes its integration within the wider framework of the CESAM design method. Three types of equipment illustrate the above hypothesis. Lessons learned from the analysis of the representations have served as a basis for an improvement of the CESAM design methodology that ensure that, during the design phase, the maintenance aspects are reasonably tackled.

Keywords: maintenance; sociotechnical networks; design engineering; food processing; equipment design; Burkina Faso; CESAM design.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2009.030998

Journal of Design Research, 2009 Vol.8 No.1, pp.23 - 41

Available online: 16 Jan 2010 *

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