Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is an extensive production system. Herby parallels can be seen to the terms Kaizen or Lean Production. In general TPM is a program to improve continuously all parts of a company. The focus is on avoiding losses and wasting mainly in the production. The objects are as follows:

  • Avoid breakdowns
  • Avoid interruptions and slow runnings
  • Avoid defects
  • Avoid accidents

The traditional approach to TPM was developed in the 1960s and consists of 5S as a foundation and eight supporting activities.In the following graph you can see the TPM model:


The foundation of TPM is 5S: Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize, Sustain, a workplace organization method used to build a strong cultural foundation, create stability and improve capability. Accordingly, TPM starts with 5S because problems cannot be clearly seen when the work place is unorganized. Cleaning and organizing the workplace helps the team to uncover problems. Making problems visible is the first step of improvement. 5S should be treated like a pillar of TPM:

  • Sort: Eliminating any unneeded parts in the work area
  • Set in Order: Organizing remaining items
  • Shine: Inspecting the work area
  • Standardize: Creating standards in order to perform the above activities
  • Sustain: Ensuring that the standards are regularly applied

In the following table you can see the responsibilities of the 8 pillars. Each of them has the goal to eliminate losses. They are focused on proactive and preventative techniques in order to improve equipment reliability:

Pillar What Is It? How Does It Help?
Autonomous Maintenance Places responsibility for routine maintenance, such as cleaning, lubricating, and inspection, in the hands of operators. Gives operators greater “ownership” of their equipment.
Increases operators’ knowledge of their equipment.
Ensures equipment is well-cleaned and lubricated.
Identifies emergent issues before they become failures.
Frees maintenance personnel for higher-level tasks
Planned Maintenance Schedules maintenance tasks based on predicted and/or measured failure rates. Significantly reduces instances of unplanned down time.
Enables most maintenance to be planned for times when equipment is not scheduled for production.
Reduces inventory through better control of wear-prone and failure-prone parts.
Quality Maintenance Design error detection and prevention into production processes. Apply root cause analysis to eliminate recurring sources of quality defects. Specifically targets quality issues with improvement projects focused on removing root sources of defects.
Reduces number of defects.
Reduces cost by catching defects early (it is expensive and unreliable to find defects through inspection).
Focused Improvement Have small groups of employees work together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements in equipment operation. Recurring problems are identified and resolved by cross-functional teams.
Combines the collective talents of a company to create an engine for continuous improvement.
Early Equipment Management Directs practical knowledge and understanding of manufacturing equipment gained through TPM towards improving the design of new equipment. New equipment reaches planned performance levels much faster due to fewer startup issues.
Maintenance is simpler and more robust due to practical review and employee involvement prior to installation.
Training and Education Fill in knowledge gaps necessary to achieve TPM goals. Applies to operators, maintenance personnel and managers. Operators develop skills to routinely maintain equipment and identify emerging problems.
Maintenance personnel learn techniques for proactive and preventative maintenance.
Managers are trained on TPM principles as well as on employee coaching and development.
Safety, Health, Environment Maintain a safe and healthy working environment. Eliminates potential health and safety risks, resulting in a safer workplace.
Specifically targets the goal of an accident-free workplace.
TPM in Administration Apply TPM techniques to administrative functions. Extends TPM benefits beyond the plant floor by addressing waste in administrative functions.
Supports production through improved administrative operations (e.g. order processing, procurement, and scheduling).

As it was described in this blog, TPM is a method to improve and enhance productivity. TPM permanently improves the overall effectiveness of equipment, with the active involvement of operators.

Interesting video regarding TPM:


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