Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). is a process that uses machines, equipment, and employees to improve and maintain the quality and integrity of the production system.

What is Total Productive Maintenance?

According to Aberdeen Research, the average cost per hour of downtime for all businesses is $260,000 and seems to be increasing. This is an increase from the data for 2014, which was $164,000. This is particularly concerning since almost all industrial and manufacturing products are produced using machines. They depend on these machines running continuously.

How can you assist in resolving this problem? Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a process that uses machines, equipment, and employees, as well as supporting processes, to maintain the integrity and quality of production systems. It’s a process that involves employees in the maintenance of their equipment while focusing on proactive and preventive techniques. Total productive maintenance aims for perfect production. This is:

  • No breakdowns
  • No stopping or running slowly
  • No defects
  • No accidents

Implementing a total productive maintenance (TPM) program over time can have a significant impact on your overall equipment efficiency (OEE). Preventive maintenance is key to achieving this. Total productive maintenance does not allow you to run machines in the way that “we will fix it when it fails”. TPM helps eliminate this mindset and instead focuses on maximizing the availability of machinery and placing it at the center of operations.

To improve OEE by TPM, small multidisciplinary teams are often formed to focus on core areas like preventive and autonomic maintenance, employee training, security, and standardization. Total Productive Maintenance focuses on efficient and effective production means, which is why all departments are involved. These small teams are working together to increase productivity and reduce downtime by improving equipment reliability.

Total Productive Maintenance Benefits

Implementing a TPM is a great way to move from reactive maintenance to predictive maintenance. Reactive maintenance, or “firefighting”, is expensive. Not only do you have to pay for repairs of machinery but also the costs associated with unplanned downtime. Take a look at the direct and indirect advantages of total productive maintenance.

The 8 Pillars to Total Productive Maintenance

Seiichi Nakajima, a Japanese engineer, developed the traditional total productive maintenance. Seiichi Nakajima’s research on this subject resulted in the TPM system, which was implemented in the early 1970s. Nippon Denso, a company that produced parts for Toyota was among the first to implement TPM. The TPM program became a benchmark that was accepted internationally. TPM incorporates lean production techniques and is based on eight pillars. The 5-S System is an organization method that revolves around five Japanese words.

  • Seiri – (Organize) Eliminating clutter from your workspace
  • Seidon (orderliness). Ensure order by following the “a place for everything and everything in its own place” principle.
  • Seiso: Clean the workspace, and keep it clean.
  • Seiketsu: Standardize all work processes and make them consistent
  • Shitsuke: Constantly reinforce the first four steps

Total productive maintenance is based on eight pillars that focus on proactive, preventive methods to improve equipment reliability. These eight pillars include autonomous maintenance, focused improvement (Kaizen), planned maintenance, quality management, early equipment management, and training and education. Here’s a breakdown of each pillar.

  1. Maintenance that is autonomous: Assuring that your operators have the necessary training to perform routine maintenance, such as cleaning, lubricating, and inspecting equipment, is a key part of autonomous maintenance. It gives the machine operator a sense of ownership and helps them to learn more about their particular equipment. This ensures that the machinery is always lubricated and clean, identifies problems before they become failures, and allows maintenance staff to focus on higher-level tasks. In order to implement autonomous maintenance, the machine must be cleaned according to a standard “baseline”, which the operator is responsible for maintaining. The operator is trained in the technical skills needed to conduct a routine check based on the manual of the machine. After training, the operator can set up his own inspection schedule. Standardization is important to ensure everyone follows the same processes and procedures.
  2. Focused improvements: The Japanese word “kaizen” means “improvement.” Kaizen is a manufacturing term that requires continuous improvement of functions and processes. Focused Improvement looks at a process in its entirety and brainstorms ways to improve it. The key to TPM is to get small teams to work together to make regular, incremental improvements in processes related to equipment operation. The diversity of team members helps identify recurring issues through cross-functional brainstorming. This also allows teams to see how different departments are affected by processes. Focused improvement also increases efficiency through the reduction of product defects, the number of processes, and safety through the analysis of the risks associated with each action. Focused improvement also ensures that improvements are repeatable and sustainable.
  3. Maintenance Schedule: The planned maintenance process involves analyzing metrics such as failure rates and downtime history, and scheduling maintenance tasks around these measured or predicted failure rates. You can also schedule maintenance to be performed at a time when the equipment is idle or is producing low capacity, thereby minimizing interruptions in production. Planned maintenance also allows for the building of inventory for scheduled maintenance. This inventory will help to mitigate any production loss due to equipment maintenance since you’ll be able to know when maintenance activities are scheduled. This proactive approach reduces unplanned downtime, as the majority of maintenance can be scheduled at times when production is not planned. This proactive approach allows you to plan your inventory better by allowing you to control the parts that are more prone to failure and wear. The benefits of this system include the gradual reduction in breakdowns, which leads to increased uptime. It also reduces capital expenditures on equipment because it is used to its full potential.
  4. Maintenance of quality: The best maintenance strategy and planning in the world will be for nothing if the maintenance is not performed to a high standard. The quality maintenance pillar is focused on integrating design error detection and preventative measures into the production process. This is done by using Root cause analysis The “5 Whys” can be used to identify and eliminate sources of defects that recur. Processes become more reliable by proactively detecting errors or defects. The biggest benefit to quality maintenance may be that it stops defective products from being sent further down the line. This could result in a lot more rework. Targeted quality maintenance addresses quality issues and implements permanent countermeasures to minimize or eliminate defects and downtime associated with defective products.
  5. Early equipment management TPM is a pillar in early equipment management that uses the knowledge gained through total productive maintenance to improve the design. By incorporating the opinions of those who will use the equipment most, suppliers can improve the maintainability and functionality of the machine in future designs. It’s important when discussing equipment design to discuss things like ease of cleaning, lubrication, and accessibility of parts. Also, talk about how the changeovers are done, safety features, and ergonomically placed controls. This approach can increase efficiency because the new equipment is already designed to meet desired specifications, has fewer startup problems, and will reach planned performance levels faster.
  6. Education and training: A lack of understanding about equipment could derail a TPM program. The training and education is for operators, managers, and maintenance staff. The goal is to make sure everyone understands the TPM process and to fill in any knowledge gaps. Operators learn how to identify and prevent problems as well as maintain equipment proactively. Maintenance team members learn how to create a proactive maintenance program, while managers gain knowledge of TPM principles and employee development. Single-point lessons can be used to train operators about operating procedures.
  7. Safety, Health, and Environment: A safe work environment allows employees to perform their duties in a place that is free of health risks. While it is important to create an environment that increases production efficiency, this should not come at the expense of employee safety or health. In order to achieve this, all solutions that are introduced as part of the TPM process must always take safety, health, and the environment into consideration. Apart from the obvious advantages, employees tend to have a better attitude when they come to work each day in a safer environment, as they are not worried about this important aspect. This can boost productivity in an obvious way. Safety should be a priority during the initial equipment management phase of the TPM.
  8. TPM for administration: The sum of the parts is what makes a good TPM program. Total Productive Maintenance should go beyond the plant floor to eliminate wasteful administrative functions. It means improving order processing, purchasing, and scheduling. Administrative functions are usually the first steps in the manufacturing process. It is therefore important that they are efficient and waste-free. If order-processing processes are streamlined, the material can be delivered to the factory floor faster and with fewer errors. This eliminates potential downtime as missing parts are tracked.