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The 8 pillars of Total Productive Maintenance

The Total Productive Maintenance

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a system of maintaining and improving the integrity of production, safety and quality systems through the machines, equipment, processes, and employees morale and job satisfaction that add business value to an organization. The dual goals of TPM are zero breakdowns and zero defects; this obviously improves equipment efficiency rates and reduces costs. It also minimises inventory costs associated with spare parts. 

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) was developed by Seiichi Nakajima in Japan between 1950 and 1970. This experience led to the recognition that a leadership mindset engaging front line teams in small group improvement activity is an essential element of effective operation. The outcome of his work was the application of the TPM process in 1971. Nippon Denso (now Denso), a company that created parts for Toyota, was one of the first organizations to implement a TPM program. This resulted in an internationally accepted benchmark for how to implement TPM incorporating lean manufacturing techniques. 

The major difference between TPM and other concepts is that the operators must be involved in the maintenance process. The concept of “I (Production operators) Operate, You (Maintenance department) fix” mindset is changed. 
Since the goal of total productive maintenance is to improve productivity by reducing downtime, implementing a TPM program can greatly impact your overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) over time. To do this, preventive maintenance should always be at the forefront of everyone's mind. For example, running machines with the mindset of "we'll fix it when it breaks" is not an option with total productive maintenance. A TPM program helps get rid of this mindset and turns it into one of putting machinery at the core focus of an operation and maximizing its availability. 

What are the TPM Targets?
  • Obtain Minimum 90% OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness)
  • Run the machines continuously or until the production is complete
  • Operate in a manner to have no customer complaints
  • Reduce the manufacturing cost by 30%
  • Achieve 100% success in delivering the goods as required by the customer
  • Maintain an accident free environment
  • Increase the suggestions from the workers/employees by 3 times
  • Develop Multi-skilled and flexible workers

The 8 pillars of TPM 

The eight pillars of total productive maintenance focus on proactive and preventive techniques to help improve equipment reliability. A brief into all the 8 pillars of TPM is mentioned below.

1. Autonomous maintenance
The concept of I (operator) only operate and You (maintenance) do the maintenance is removed and transition to ‘’I own the performance of the equipment.’’ In this mode of maintenance, it is ensured that the operators are fully trained on routine maintenance like cleaning, lubricating and inspecting, as well as placing that responsibility solely in their hands. This inculcates in the operators a culture of maintaining the equipment they operate with a feeling of ownership and increases their knowledge of the particular piece of equipment to attend to minor problems and fix it. It also guarantees the machinery is always clean and lubricated, helps identify issues before they become failures, and frees up maintenance staff for higher-level tasks. The maintenance team can focus on more major issues and improvements.

Aim: is to achieve uninterrupted operation of equipment by operators maintaining them and reducing failures/breakdowns by active participation of operators.

Objective: prevent the recurring problems, reduce consumption of spares, downtime and increase productivity.

Solution: Implementing autonomous maintenance involves imparting knowledge to operators to clean the machine to a "baseline" standard, training the operator on technical skills for conducting a routine inspection based on the machine's manual. Once trained, the operator sets his or her own autonomous inspection schedule from the knowledge he gains. Standardization ensures everyone follows the same procedures and processes.

2. Focused improvement

Focused improvement is based around the Japanese term "kaizen," meaning "improvement." In manufacturing, kaizen requires improving functions and processes continually. Focused improvement looks at the process as a whole identifying minor defects and reducing the number of minor defects. A single minor defect may not have a big impact on losses, but number of such minor defects can have a substantial impact on losses. So, action should be focussed on how to improve the occurrence of minor defects, and enhancing safety by analysing the risks of each individual action. Finally, focused improvement ensures improvements are standardized, making them repeatable and sustainable.

Aim: is to achieve zero losses in all activities like production, breakdowns, stop times etc.

Objective: is to sustain zero losses in production, breakdowns, stop times etc. Usually the tools used in focused improvements are: 5-Why Analysis, P-M Analysis, Fault Tree Analysis (FTA).

3. Planned maintenance

Planned maintenance involves studying the failure rates and historical downtime and then scheduling maintenance tasks based around these predicted or measured failure rates or downtime periods. A planned maintenance system ensures reduced failures or defects. Planned maintenance ensures inventory of spares are maintained, hence any downtime due to non-availability of spares is mitigated and production losses are decreased. In other words, since there is a specific time to perform maintenance on equipment, you can schedule maintenance around the time when equipment is idle or producing at low capacity, rarely interrupting production.

With proactive approach and planned maintenance, reduction in the unplanned downtime, production loss, defects can be achieved. It provides the maintenance team ability to better control parts that are prone to wear and failure. Other benefits include a gradual decrease in breakdowns leading to uptime and a reduction in capital investments in equipment since it is being used to its maximum potential.

Aim: Availability of breakdown free equipment, optimised maintenance cost. Reduced inventory, reliability and maintainability of equipment.

Objective: zero equipment failure and breakdown.

Implementation of planned maintenance by performing regular Preventive maintenance, Predictive maintenance, Corrective maintenance, Breakdown maintenance can restore the equipment to normal order at the earliest after a failure happens. Use of various software tools to plan and implement the maintenance tasks are available thus reducing human error in recording and scheduling which again manifests to reduced cost of maintenance. Please read the comparison between 2 software solutions for maintenance in my previous blog

4. Quality maintenance

TPM results will be a disaster if the quality of maintenance measured is inadequate. The quality maintenance pillar focuses on working design error detection and prevention into the production process to achieve the final customer satisfaction factor. It does this by using root cause analysis (specifically the "5 Whys") to identify and eliminate recurring sources of defects. By proactively detecting the source of errors or defects, processes can eliminate the current quality concerns and concentrate on the future expected concerns in advance to be prepared for a proactive action rather than a reactive action. This will result in producing products with the right specifications the first time.

Possibly the biggest benefit of quality maintenance is it prevents defects in products in the process at each step, moving down the line, which could lead, to a lot of rework. With targeted quality maintenance on the equipment quality issues are addressed, and permanent countermeasures are put in place, minimizing or completely eliminating defects and downtime related to defects in products.

Aim: To achieve defect free condition, prevention of defects at source and control of equipment.

Objective: Achieve and sustain customer complaints at zero, reducing cost of quality and process defects.

Implementation of defect data collection can be analysed to reduce the defects to zero. Data collection can be from the customer end or at the source i.e production process. Customer complaints and field complaints data collection, analysing can reduce the customer end defects. For production process defects, defect’s data has to collected from products as well as from the process. The defect’s data related to products could be defect severity and its contribution, location of defects occurrence, frequency etc . Process related defects could be on account of operating conditions, equipment condition, operator, materials, operating parameters, etc. These defects data can be a source of inputs to reduce the defects to zero.

5. Early equipment management

The TPM pillar of early equipment management takes the practical knowledge and overall understanding of manufacturing equipment acquired through total productive maintenance and uses it to improve the design of new equipment. This ensures reliability, maintainability, operability, economy, safety and flexibility. Designing equipment with the input of people who use it most allows to reduce breakdowns, maintenance and also prevents all types of losses that can be associated with the equipment and the production system effectiveness. The objective is to minimise the Life Cycle Cost of equipment.

When discussing the design of equipment, it's important to talk about things like the ease of cleaning and lubrication, accessibility of parts, ergonomically placing controls in a way that is comfortable for the operator, how changeovers occur and safety features. Taking this approach increases efficiency even more because new equipment already meets the desired specifications and has fewer start up issues, therefore reaching planned performance levels quicker. So ideally there is a shift from equipment centric design to human-machine system approach.

6. Training and education

Equipment knowledge awareness is required for the success of a TPM program. Operators, managers and maintenance personnel has to be trained and educated on the equipment being operated to effectively execute the practices and methodologies established. They are intended to ensure everyone is on the same page with the TPM process and to address any knowledge gaps so TPM goals are achievable. This is where operators learn skills to proactively maintain equipment and identify emerging problems. The maintenance team learns how to implement a proactive and preventive maintenance schedule, and managers become well-versed in TPM principles, employee development and coaching. Using tools like single-point lessons posted on or near equipment can further help train operators on operating procedures. Training and Education may be the most critical of all TPM pillars for sustaining the TPM program in the long-term. A test of TPM success is to look at organizational learning, TPM is about continual learning. Training and education should be conducted to focus on improvement of knowledge, skills and techniques. With experience the operators know ‘’Know-How’’ of solving problems without knowing the root cause of the problem. The aim of training should be to know ‘’Know-Why’’ also. Create a training environment for self-learning based on needs. Training curriculum / tools /assessment etc should be conductive to employee revitalization, remove employee fatigue and make, work enjoyable.

Through training, operators’ skills levels are raised to the point where they are able to carry out basic maintenance activities that were previously done by the maintenance team. The maintenance team members are taught higher level skills such as preventive maintenance and analytical skills to help them become more proactive in problem solving. Managers also learn the TPM skills so as to become competent mentors to their juniors as well as be involved in coaching programs.

7. Safety, health and environment

Maintaining a safe working environment means employees can perform their tasks in a safe place without health risks. Safety is of prime importance in a production process as when safety is compromised or neglected the result can be catastrophic on production losses, finance and ultimately TPM. It's important to produce an environment that makes production more efficient, but it should not be at the risk of an employee's safety and health. To achieve this, any solutions introduced in the TPM process should always consider safety, health and the environment on top priority to eliminate accidents, reduce pollution and ensure equipment reliability.

Aside from the obvious benefits, when employees come to work in a safe environment each day, their attitude tends to be better, since they don't have to worry about this significant aspect. This can increase productivity in a noticeable manner. Considering safety should be especially prevalent during the early equipment management stage of the TPM process. In today’s manufacturing environment, environmental safety includes reduction of energy consumption, elimination of toxic waste, and reduction of raw material consumption.

8. TPM in administration

Often the least importance or oversight in analysing the losses in an industry lies in the administrative section. Initially these were never considered a significant constituent of productivity related analysis. But with TPM program, this section is only as good as the other pillars. TPM has embraced administration and other support system as part of TPM. Total productive maintenance should look beyond the plant floor by addressing and eliminating areas of waste in administrative functions. Proper documentation, improving the order processing procedures, scheduling administrative functions, reducing waste and loss in the process add to the goal of TPM. So, it's important they are streamlined and waste-free. For example, if order-processing procedures become more streamlined, then the right material gets to the plant floor quicker and with fewer defects, eliminating potential downtime while missing parts are tracked down.

Researched for articles come from different general websites and some from below mentioned:,5&as_vis=1
Practical TPM: Successful Equipment Management at Agilent Technologies, author: James Leflar

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