Glossary

Total Productive Maintenance

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is an approach to maintenance that embraces the idea of involving everyone in the company to contribute toward maintaining equipment and tools used in the company’s operations. That means every department of the company, including operations, HR, Finance, or IT has to directly or indirectly play a role in equipment maintenance. 

Of course, the maintenance department will always have to handle the core maintenance duties. The primary goal of implementing TPM is to minimize breakdowns by proactively intervening.  Implementing the TPM strategy requires the maintenance team to train all employees to ensure they are equipped with essential knowledge and skills in equipment maintenance. 

Operators of the equipment should also play a core role when it comes to implementing the TPM strategy. Since they deal with equipment daily, they should ensure it is always cleaned, well lubricated (if necessary), and in proper working conditions. They also have to be equipped with skills and knowledge to detect issues before they become failures and to report them to the maintenance team as soon as possible.  

Pillar of Total Productive Maintenance

TPM has eight major pillars, which include the following; 

1. Autonomous maintenance

Autonomous maintenance embraces the idea of incorporating machine operators into the continuous maintenance of their machines. This requires equipping them with skills and knowledge to detect issues that could lead to failure. Operators should also be encouraged to clean and lubricate their equipment regularly. 

2. Planned maintenance 

Planned maintenance involves creating a schedule for maintaining the different equipment in the company. This schedule is usually based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. However, the maintenance team can also do their independent study to determine how frequently the different equipment should be maintained based on how it is used. 

3. Focused Improvement

This pillar is based on the “kaizen” principle, which encourages continuous improvements to manufacturing processes. When implementing TPM, teams have to continuously brainstorm ideas of how to minimize waste and downtime of equipment. 

4. Quality maintenance

This pillar focuses on identifying and eliminating recurring sources of equipment failures. Quality maintenance involves using the “5 whys” principle to determine the root causes of failure. 

5. Training and Education 

Implementing the TPM strategy requires equipping all the relevant stakeholders, including managers, operators, and the maintenance team, with the required maintenance knowledge and skills. 

6. Early equipment management

This pillar requires equipment suppliers to work hand-in-hand with the actual users of the equipment to improve their designs. 

7. TPM in administration

This pillar of TPM is about incorporating all the company’s administrative functions into maintenance. The company’s administration needs to support operations and maintenance by improving order processing, procurement and scheduling.

8. Safety, health and environment 

All solutions introduced in the TPM process should not come at the expense of the worker’s safety and health. 

Main benefits of TPM

  • It minimizes equipment failure and downtime 
  • Reduction in customer complaints
  • Reduction workplace accidents
  • It indirectly boosts the employee confidence level
  • Leads to a clean and orderly workplace
  • It indirectly reduces manufacturing costs
  • Creates a sense of ownership amongst employees 

In this article

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