Some managers,keen to get as much extra mileage as possible out of their existing equipment rather than buying costly new gear have been turning to “asset maintenance” companies, which specialise in taking over all or part of a firm’s servicing activities and then running them more efficiently. “Downturns have always been good for the maintenance-service business,” says Jari Kaija, the head of the global service arm of ABB, a Swiss-Swedish firm that is one of the biggest in the asset-maintenance field.

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