Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)


Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) refers to a management system for optimizing the productivity of manufacturing equipment through systematic equipment maintenance involving employees at all levels.  Under TPM, everyone is involved in keeping the equipment in good working order to minimize production losses from equipment repairs, assists, set-ups, and the like.


In the 1950’s, equipment maintenance is not practiced to be preventive, and predominantly involves just the act of repairing a piece of equipment after it breaks down (breakdown maintenance).  Factory managers eventually realized the importance of preventing equipment breakdowns in order to boost productivity. Thus, systems for subjecting equipment to scheduled maintenance activities in order to prevent unforeseen breakdowns (preventive maintenance) became popular. Under this scheme, equipment maintenance is the sole responsibility of technical personnel.


In the 1970’s, the concept of ‘productive maintenance’ emerged, rolling into one system the following: preventive maintenance, equipment reliability engineering, equipment maintainability engineering, and equipment engineering economics. Under this system, the technical or engineering group still has the main responsibility for equipment maintenance.


The concept of ‘true’ TPM wherein everyone from the operator to top management owns equipment maintenance came about shortly after. TPM embraces various disciplines to create a manufacturing environment wherein everyone feels that it is his or her responsibility to keep the equipment running and productive. 


Under TPM, operators no longer limit themselves to simply using the machine and calling the technician when a breakdown occurs.  Operators can inspect, clean, lubricate, adjust, and even perform simple calibrations on their respective equipment. This frees the technical workforce for higher-level preventive maintenance activities that require more of their technical expertise. Management should also show interest in data concerning equipment uptime, utilization, and efficiency. In short, everyone understands that zero breakdowns, maximum productivity, and zero defects are goals to be shared by everyone under TPM.


Aside from eliminating equipment downtimes,  improving equipment productivity, and zeroing out defects, TPM has the following goals: improvement of personnel effectiveness and sense of ownership, reduction of operational costs, reduction of throughput times, and customer satisfaction down the road.


TPM can not be implemented overnight. Normally it takes an organization at least two years to set an effective TPM system in place. TPM activities are carried out in small teams with specific tasks. Every level in the over-all organization must be represented by a team or more. 


TPM has 8 key strategies 1) Focused Improvements (Kaizen);  2) Autonomous Maintenance;  3) Planned Maintenance;  4) Technical Training;  5) Early Equipment Management;  6) Quality Maintenance;  7) Administrative and Support Functions Management; 8) Safety and Environmental Management.


TPM eliminates 6 big losses 1) Breakdowns, which can result in long, expensive repairs;  2) Set-ups, conversions, and changeovers;  3) Idling and minor stoppages;  4) Reduced equipment speed;  5) Defects and Rework;  6) Start-up Losses.


TPM requires the mastery of 4 equipment maintenance techniques:  1) Preventive Maintenance to prevent breakdowns;  2) Corrective Maintenance to modify or improve an equipment for increased reliability and easier maintenance;  3) Maintenance Prevention to design and install equipment that are maintenance-free; and  4) Breakdown Maintenance to repair equipment quickly after they break down.


See Also:   Lean ManufacturingCell Manufacturing Just-In-Time (JIT)TQM

Kaizen6-Sigma5S Process;   Poka-Yoke




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