Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a system of maintaining and improving the integrity of production and quality systems through the machines, equipment, processes, and employees that add business value to an organization.

TPM focuses on keeping all equipment in top working condition to avoid breakdowns and delays in manufacturing processes.

Objective of TPM

  • Improving the effectiveness of machines
  • Improving the efficiency, reliability and effectiveness of maintenance of machine
  • Scheduling maintenance for avoiding early maintenance
  • Involving operation team also in smaller scale maintenance, such as machine checklist inspection before starting and after closing the machines
  • Arrangement of training for amending the skills of employees

The 8 pillars of TPM

  1. Autonomous Maintenance: Operators monitor the condition of their own equipment and work areas
  2. Process & Machine Improvement: Team leaders collect information from operators and work areas, then prioritize preventative maintenance and improvements
  3. Preventative Maintenance: Operators and team leaders share preventative maintenance tasks and schedules
  4. Early Management of New Equipment: Team leaders anticipate and plan for parts of equipment lifecycles and report to mangers, based on maintenance reports
  5. Process Quality Management: Shared responsibility for operation and maintenance encourages quality improvement ideas from all areas of work
  6. Administrative Work: Managers prioritize data from the previous pillars and share outcomes with team leaders and work areas
  7. Education & Training: Continuous improvement includes operator and work area education and training which improves morale, retention and efficiency
  8. Safety & Sustained Success: Facility-wide safety is prioritized, which positively impacts sustained success of the TPM program

As maintenance is traditionally considered an inevitable and “not-for-profit” function, TPM is considered the most difficult lean manufacturing tool to implement. Shifting cultural beliefs within a facility, from the CEO to machinists and janitors, may take years but the pay off for both the finished product and employee morale is worth the investment.

Benefits of TPM

Acknowledges the Importance of Maintenance to the Organization

For too long, maintenance has been viewed as a cost center that does not provide value to the organization. Thankfully, times are changing. With approaches like TPM and reliability centered maintenance (RCM), maintenance is now viewed as vitally important to the business. TPM’s maintenance-oriented approach helps to reinforce the perception that maintenance is something that adds value to the organization.

Less Unplanned Downtime

As machine operators become more familiar with their equipment, they can more easily recognize when things seem out of the ordinary. Because they are on the front lines and able to spot problems sooner, operators can alert the maintenance team before equipment breaks down. Maintenance can then be planned for a time when it will not interrupt production.

Safer Work Environment

TPM also brings focus to workplace safety. Introducing or improving safety-related maintenance tasks means that employees are able to work in low-risk environments. When accidents are reduced and potentially dangerous situations are avoided, employees’ attitudes become more positive, which can improve job satisfaction and productivity.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Unplanned downtime is costly. TPM’s focus on proactive and preventive maintenance reduces maintenance costs in many ways. For example, equipment that is regularly cleaned, lubricated, and inspected should experience fewer unexpected breakdowns, requiring less maintenance resources.

Reduced Backlog

With everyone contributing to maintenance, less pressure is placed on the maintenance team. Over time, the backlog of preventive maintenance jobs and maintenance requests will shrink, freeing up the maintenance team to work on capital improvements and other projects.

Predictable maintenance activities allow for better control over MRO inventory stocking levels, ensuring less overstock or expedited inventory purchases. Operators can identify emerging problems with their equipment before they become major failures, resulting in potentially low-cost, less significant repairs.

TPM can also help lower production costs. When equipment is not available, there is a domino effect that can result in stopped production, defective product, idle employees, and employee overtime, not to mention the increased stress of “catching up” when the problem is fixed. When maintenance is viewed as a team effort, production losses due to poor maintenance can be minimized.

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