What is Total Productive Maintenance?

Learn Total Productive Maintenance and how to bring TPM to your preventive maintenance process with Azumuta’s Audits and Digital Checklist Module.
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Published on:
16 August 2023
Updated on:
15 February 2024

Imagine this scenario: it’s a typical Monday morning at a bustling manufacturing plant in Manchester. The factory floor is alive with the rhythm of machines working in sync, and the production line is flowing seamlessly.

Suddenly, without warning, the hum of productivity grinds to an abrupt halt. One of the central machines has broken down, bringing operations to a standstill. The ripple effect is immediately felt throughout the supply chain, as production targets are missed, costs escalate, and customers are left waiting.

Such a situation is not uncommon in manufacturing firms across the globe. When it does occur, it throws into sharp relief the need for an efficient maintenance strategy. One that goes beyond merely reacting to problems when they arise, and instead, anticipates and prevents them from happening in the first place.

Enter the concept of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) – a proactive and systematic approach to ensuring maximum equipment efficiency and reliability.

TPM is more than just an isolated strategy. It represents a shift in culture and attitude towards maintenance that involves everyone in the organisation. From machine operators to the upper echelons of management, TPM mandates a shared responsibility for equipment care, fostering a collective commitment to eliminate equipment failures.

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In the following guide, we will delve deeper into the world of Total Productive Maintenance, its integral components and its benefits. We will also explore how a platform like Azumuta can support your TPM strategy, particularly with respect to the ‘planned maintenance’ pillar, thereby ensuring smooth, uninterrupted operations at your manufacturing plant.

What is Total Productive Maintenance?

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a maintenance strategy that seeks to maximise equipment effectiveness throughout its entire life cycle. Originating from Japan in the 1970s, TPM aims to create a maintenance-conscious culture within an organisation where all employees take part in preventative and proactive maintenance activities.

Unlike conventional maintenance approaches that focus solely on repairing broken equipment, TPM takes a more holistic stance. It aims to prevent equipment failure and production defects, reduce unplanned downtime, and extend the lifespan of machinery and equipment.

The underlying philosophy of TPM is zero: zero accidents, zero defects, and zero breakdowns. In other words, TPM seeks to eliminate any losses related to equipment, processes, and products by engaging all employees, from top management to the shop floor workers.

What’s the difference between TPM and 5S?

While TPM and 5S may seem similar, given their shared goal of improving efficiency and productivity, there are some critical differences.

5S is a methodology for organising, cleaning, and sustaining a productive work environment. The 5S’s stand for Sort (seiri), Set in Order (seiton), Shine (seiso), Standardise (seiketsu), and Sustain (shitsuke). These Japanese terms embody a philosophy of keeping a clean, organised, and efficient workspace to improve productivity, quality, and safety.

On the other hand, TPM goes beyond the physical organisation of the workplace. While 5S might be seen as a component of a broader TPM strategy, TPM encompasses a much wider scope, including planned maintenance, early equipment management, focused improvement, and more.

Simply put, while 5S primarily focuses on establishing an efficient workspace through cleanliness and organisation, TPM is a broader concept that aims to maximise equipment efficiency by encouraging a culture of shared responsibility towards equipment care and maintenance.

TPM Pillars

There are eight primary TPM pillars, each playing a crucial role in driving TPM principles throughout an organisation. These pillars are as follows:

Pillar 1: Autonomous Maintenance

This involves training operators to perform basic maintenance tasks, such as cleaning, lubricating, and inspecting their machines. This encourages a sense of ownership and facilitates early detection of potential problems.

Pillar 2: Planned Maintenance

Planned maintenance refers to the systematic planning, scheduling, and execution of maintenance tasks, including routine inspections and servicing of equipment. This pillar aims to increase equipment reliability and prevent unexpected breakdowns.

With platforms like Azumuta, you can effectively plan maintenance audits and create a preventive maintenance checklist, ensuring the right people carry out each task at the right time. You can learn more about Azumuta’s audit and checklist module here: Azumuta Audits & Checklists.

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Pillar 3: Quality Maintenance

This pillar focuses on preventing defects during the production process, thereby ensuring the consistent output of high-quality products.

For instance, if you notice a defect in the manufacturing processpreventive maintenance allows you to fix it immediately and avoid replacing the entire product. Or if you don’t have direct access to the production line, you can use data analytics to monitor performance and identify any issues before they become too costly.

Critically, this pillar encourages employers to train employees on proper maintenance techniques and ensure they follow all safety protocols. Rather than focusing solely on fixing problems after the fact, this pillar encourages proactive maintenance and preventive measures.

Pillar 4: Focused Improvement

This involves a structured problem-solving approach where teams work together to identify and resolve chronic equipment and process problems.

Rather than simply making adjustments to the product after it has been produced, focused improvement emphasizes proactively finding and removing sources of defects.

For example, if there is a recurring problem with an assembly line machine, instead of just fixing it every time it breaks down, this approach encourages employers to investigate why the machine keeps breaking down to permanently resolve the issue.

Focused improvement also promotes continuous improvement by tracking and measuring performance to ensure goals are met. With this approach, it is easier to identify areas that need improvement, set clear objectives, and measure progress, leading to more productive employees and better-quality products for customers.

Pillar 5: Early Equipment Management

Here, the focus is on designing and installing new equipment to reduce its life cycle cost. Many manufacturers face the problem of purchasing new equipment without understanding how it will be maintained and used in the long run.

Early Equipment Management is a proactive approach that allows employers to identify potential maintenance problems before they arise, saving them time, resources, and money in the long run. Another way to think about this approach is by considering current technology trends; more and more organizations are turning.

Pillar 6: Training and Education

This pillar underscores the importance of equipping all employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out TPM activities effectively.

Training and education are essential for optimizing the use of assets, improving communication between departments, and empowering employees to take ownership of their work. Instead of simply relying on instruction manuals, this pillar emphasizes the need for a comprehensive training program that offers hands-on experience and continuous reinforcement.

Add digital work instructions that cover everyday tasks and activities, and you’ll have an effective way to teach, retain, and apply knowledge.

Pillar 7: Safety, Health, and Environment

One area that is becoming increasingly important in a manufacturing organization is safety, health, and the environment. TPM can be used to create an atmosphere of prevention-oriented risk management that reduces the likelihood of accidents and incidents.

By combining various assessment standards, such as OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001, with proactive approaches to maintenance, housekeeping, and hazard identification, organizations can create a safe working environment for employees.

This is essential for compliance with applicable laws, creating an atmosphere of trust amongst employees, and mitigating physical risks in the workplace. Organizations can reduce their liability risk and improve operational efficiency with proper training and adherence to safety standards.

Pillar 8: TPM in Administration

Finally, we turn to the pillar of TPM in administrative processes. TPM is a powerful tool for optimizing efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace by streamlining administrative tasks.

This includes implementing systems to automate or digitize regular operations, such as timesheets, payroll processing, and accounting. For example, a cloud-based HR system can make tracking employee performance easier, identify improvement opportunities, and keep accurate employee information records.

Leveraging a Preventive Maintenance Checklist

A well-crafted preventive maintenance checklist can be invaluable in a Total Productive Maintenance strategy. It provides a structured plan for regular maintenance activities, ensuring no critical tasks are overlooked. Moreover, it empowers employees at all levels of the organisation to take active roles in maintaining their equipment.

So, how can you leverage a preventive maintenance checklist to improve equipment maintenance, avoid breakdowns or downtime, and prevent accidents? Here’s how:

  1. Identify Critical Equipment and Tasks: Start by listing all the equipment in your facility. Prioritise these based on factors such as their impact on production, safety, and the required maintenance frequency. For each piece of equipment, identify the necessary maintenance tasks.
  2. Develop the Checklist: For each maintenance task, determine what needs to be done, who should do it, and when it should be done. Include detailed instructions and criteria for inspection to ensure tasks are done correctly.

What should your checklist include? That will depend on the equipment type and the tasks’ complexity. However, some general items to consider include:

  • The date and time that maintenance was performed
  • Who completed each task
  • Any existing issue or potential problems discovered and how they were addressed
  • All parts replaced and tools used
  • Any notes or comments about the process

    3. Implement and Monitor: Once the checklist is developed, it should be integrated into routine operations. Regular audits can help ensure the tasks are performed correctly and on schedule. It’s also a good idea to review and update the checklist periodically to keep it relevant.

Don’t forget – like any other system, checklists are only as effective as their implementation. Make sure to communicate the checklist’s purpose and value to employees so they understand why it is important.

Digital tools, like Azumuta’s Audits & Digital Checklist Module, can be instrumental in creating, implementing, and monitoring your preventive maintenance checklist. A digital checklist is easy to update, share, and store, ensuring everyone can access the most up-to-date information. Moreover, with Azumuta, you can attach pictures, instructions, and QR codes to your checklist, making it more interactive and easy to follow.

Key Takeaway

When building and maintaining a preventive maintenance checklist, the key is ensuring it is comprehensive and regularly reviewed. Utilizing a digital tool like Azumuta’s Audits & Digital Checklist Module can help you create, implement, and monitor your checklist to ensure it remains effective.

At the very least, developing an effective preventive maintenance checklist can help you better manage resources, save time and money, and maximize efficiency. At Azumuta, we are committed to helping you improve preventive maintenance operations and achieve greater efficiency. Visit us online today to learn more – and take your preventive maintenance to the next level.

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