The MACRO Project

Maintenance Cost/Risk Optimization

The European multi-industry collaboration project to collate best practices and
develop risk-based methods for the optimal maintenance of physical assets.
European Union Eureka Project EU1488

What was the MACRO project?

The MACRO project was a 3-year, £1.3 Million program of investment in the tools and methods for making better risk-based decisions about what maintenance is worthwhile and when.  Leading European companies collaborated to define how to make an optimal value & business case justification for planned maintenance,  These methods were designed to handle cost/risk/performance and other trade-offs, cope with incomplete information, and monetizing risks and ‘intangibles.. The results combined the best of structured thinking and range estimating methods with advanced reliability and optimization techniques into a completely new way of handling decisions and business value justification for asset interventions.

Project deliverables

MACRO was conceived to provide some standards and practical utilities for front line decision-makers. It included the application of several, individually familiar analysis techniques and generated guidance on which tools or techniques are applicable in which circumstance.

The terms of reference for the project identified two key deliverables:

  • A decision navigation guide that helps industrial decision-makers to identify which tools, techniques and data requirements are necessary for which decision types and operational/business circumstances.
  • A set of modular cost/risk evaluation and optimization software utilities, called the “Asset Performance Toolkit” (APT), designed for use with varying data quality and applicable to a wide range of industrial decision-support requirements.

Scope of optimization methods:

Project Evaluation, Asset Replacement & Life Cycle Costing

Cost/benefit evaluation and prioritising of modifications, project screening, capex/opex trade-off, repair versus replacement, life extension & refurbishment options.

Operating, Maintenance & Inspection Strategies

Reliability, performance and equipment lifespan, condition monitoring strategy and methods.

Resourcing & Materials Strategies

Spares and materials stock levels, supply chain decisions, min/max policies, logistics and warehousing strategies.

Who was involved?


The MACRO Project was an interesting and promising development – innovative thinking was brought together from a range of organizations,  all committed to implementing cost/risk decision-making in their respective activities. Tangible results emerged early in the project.

In 1997, the paper THE MACRO PROJECT: COST/RISK EVALUATION OF ENGINEERING & MAINTENANCE DECISIONS outlined the scope of the project, the key components identified and the “Asset Performance Toolkit” that was emerging. 

Download the paper here.

The principles and methodologies from the MACRO Project, now embedded within the SALVO process, continue to evolve and adapt to new challenges and technologies

The MACRO Project significantly influenced the development of the SALVO Project. SALVO builds upon the principles and lessons learned from MACRO, and these methodologies continue to be relevant and applied in today’s asset management practices. Here’s a breakdown of how these principles and lessons were integrated and continue to influence the SALVO process:

Principles and Lessons from the MACRO Project

Integration into the SALVO Project

The SALVO Project took these foundational principles and further developed them into a structured methodology aimed at optimizing asset value. Some specific ways in which these principles are applied include:

Ongoing Application

The principles and methodologies from the MACRO Project, now embedded within the SALVO process, continue to evolve and adapt to new challenges and technologies. This ongoing application ensures that organizations can achieve optimal asset performance and value in a dynamic and complex environment.

In summary, the MACRO Project’s influence on the SALVO Project is evident in the core principles of holistic management, data-driven decision making, risk prioritization, lifecycle cost analysis, and stakeholder engagement. These principles have been integrated into a structured, practical framework within SALVO, which remains a relevant and effective approach in modern asset management practices.

What the project participants and users say...

User Testimonials

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