Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Total Productive Maintenance is a Lean Manufacturing methodology that ensures the availability and expected reliability of operations, equipment, and system. So, we can achieve this by applying the concepts of prevention, zero defects, zero accidents, and total participation of people.

In other words, we can best describe Total Productive Maintenance as a method highly focused on employee empowerment that guarantees availability, performance, and quality.

Table of Contents

Advantages of Total Productive Maintenance

The TPM has the following advantages or benefits:

  • Quality improvement: Equipment in good condition produces fewer non-conforming units.
  • Reduction of operating costs.
  • Productivity improvement: By increasing the time available.
  • Continuous production flows: The balance and continuity of the system not only benefits the organization based on time availability, but also reduces planning uncertainty.
  • Reduction of corrective maintenance expenses: The breakdowns are minor, likewise the item of urgent purchases is reduced.

8 pillars of Total Productive Maintenance

The eight pillars of TPM focus on proactive and preventive techniques to boost the equipment reliability and are the following:

Autonomous Maintenance

Autonomous Maintenance makes operators responsible for basic maintenance activities, freeing up maintenance personnel to attend more complex maintenance tasks. Plant workers will perform basic machine cleaning, lubrication, greasing and tightening of nuts and bolts, inspection and diagnosis of possible problems.

Carrying out these and other actions will increase the productive life of the machines or equipment. In addition, workers become more responsible with their work and downtime is reduced because there is no need to wait for maintenance personnel.

On the other hand, maintenance personnel would be more concerned with problems that require more technical expertise, such as repair and replacement of internal components. They will also carry out scheduled maintenance, which will ensure unnecessarily interruption on production.

Autonomous Maintenance brings benefits for organization and personal as well:

  • Operators take responsibility and care on a daily basis for the condition of the equipment they use.
  • Workers’ skills increase as they gain an understanding of the general operation of the equipment.
  • The machines operate at their optimum level because basic maintenance is carried out regularly.
  • Problems are identified and corrected before they spiral out of control and cause major equipment failure.
  • Engineering personnel focus on perform high-level maintenance on sensitive and critical equipment.

Planned Maintenance

Planned maintenance schedules, activities based on observed machine behavior, such as failure and breakdown rates. Scheduling these activities breaks the cycle of breakdowns and failures, which contributes to longer machine life.

Compared to being reactive to technical problems, planned maintenance has several advantages:

  • Breakdowns steadily decrease by organizing maintenance activities, and as a result, we improve production capacity.
  • Without interruption, production area continues with its operations and they know exactly when maintenance will take place.
  • We perform maintenance when the production floor is not very busy.
  • We can reduce investments in machinery when we use equipment on its maximum potential.
  • As there is better control of the different types of components, we do not need to keep expensive machine parts in inventory.

Quality Maintenance

The maintenance quality aspect is very important because it prevents defects from leading to large amounts of reprocessing. By using Lean tools such as autonomization (jidoka) and andon, the machines detect and report any abnormal conditions. As a result, operators are freed from the tedious monitoring that is common in non-Lean operations.

With this pillar the workforce develops the habit of finding the root cause of problems instead of finding temporary solutions. Ishakawas diagrams and root cause analysis of the 5 why are excellent tools for finding the real reasons for a problem.

Quality Maintenance offers a number of benefits such as:

  • Specific improvement activities address quality problems that arise from time to time in the workplace by taking permanent countermeasures.
  • We can minimize or eliminate defects entirely.
  • When we detect errors and their cause in a timely manner, we reduce the cost of poor quality.

Focused Improvement

To achieve systemic changes in machine efficiency, this pillar is about getting smaller groups of people to work proactively. Cross-functional teams will also recognize recurring problems and resolve them. It also combines a talent pool within the organization, further catalyzing continued development.

The teams work together to implement the solutions found and complete the follow-up activities within the correct time frames. Therefore, the TPM focused improvement pillar is advantageous because results are quick. In addition, it helps to promote Lean methodology among workers who may not have accepted the program.

Early Equipment Management

Early Management uses the experience of the previous pillars of Lean to ensure that new machines reach maximum efficiency much faster than average. The organization will begin working with highly reliable and efficient teams by interacting with a wide range of stakeholders, including vendors.

This strategy has a positive effect on the profitability of the company, as we can significantly reduce maintenance costs. From the first day of use of the equipment, we will also ensure the quality and production efficiency of the machinery.

When designing new equipment, there are many things to consider, including:

  • Ease of cleaning and inspection
  • Lubrication is easy
  • Accessibility of equipment sections
  • Increased machine reliability by ergonomically positioning controls so operators can use them comfortably.
  • Simplify or eliminate redundant processes for a better transition.

Education and Training

This pillar includes the completion of any information gaps that prevent the organization from achieving the TPM objectives. It is relevant for managers, maintenance personnel, and operators. Managers and development and training staff receive training in these concepts.

Management personnel must learn the proper strategies for preventive and proactive maintenance. Finally, operators develop the expertise to identify emerging problems and properly maintain equipment.

Safety, Health and Enviroment

Although any company wants to create value for the consumer, it must do so without compromising the well-being of employees. Therefore, it is important to consider in particular the welfare of the workers in each implemented solution.

When staff are in a safe and healthy environment, their work attitude and productivity change dramatically. Accidents or fatalities are minimal when we make a significant effort to keep the workplace accident-free.

Multifunctional teams work to protect the operation of machines by using features such as guards, work standards, PPE and first aid kits for the work area. Each of these initiatives seeks to improve machine safety for a more efficient workforce.

Total Productive Maintenance in Administration

The next logical step for the entire company to speak from the same page is to implement TPM in administrative functions. The application of Lean concepts to its activities allows the efficient supply of resources to the value-generating systems.

The initiative also promotes horizontal collaboration among workers by applying it to other roles. There will also be a large community of staff who appreciate the values of TPM.

We can also apply TPM principles to improve the performance of these support functions as separate techniques. If Administration, for example, improves its order handling systems, the material can seamlessly enter the plant and have a beneficial impact on workflow.

Summarizing Importance of Total Productive Maintenance

While we can implement each TPM pillar as a standalone component, our goal should be to incorporate each one sequentially to achieve a system of maximum benefit. The next image represent the sumarize of total productive maintenance:


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