Total productive maintenance

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What is total productive maintenance?


Total productive maintenance (TPM) is a maintenance philosophy that requires the total participation of the workforce. TPM incorporates the skills of all employees and focuses on improving the overall effectiveness of the facility by eliminating the waste of time and resources. Typically, total productive maintenance is a concept that is most easily applied to a manufacturing facility.

TPM emphasizes all aspects of production, as it seeks to incorporate maintenance into the everyday performance of a facility. To do this the maintenance performance is one factor that is considered when evaluating the performance of the facility. One of the most important measurements of total productive maintenance is overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). It is a measure of availability, performance efficiency and quality rate. As such, equipment stopping, equipment working at less than peak capacity, and equipment producing poor quality products are all penalized when the OEE is determined.

Content: OEE = availability * performance efficiency * quality rate

Total workforce participation

To improve the OEE, total workforce participation is expected for a proper implementation of TPM. This includes everyone from top-level management to equipment operators.

  • Top-level management is expected to be involved by promoting TPM as a corporate policy and to make decisions based on OEE. To do this, they need to develop relevant metrics of TPM, such as OEE.
  • Operators are expected take responsibility for the day-to-day maintenance of their machines. This includes the cleaning and regular lubrication necessary for equipment health. Operators are also expected to find early signs of equipment deterioration and report them appropriately. They should also determine ways to improve equipment operation.
  • Maintenance staff are expected to train and support operators to meet their goals and perform more advanced preventative maintenance activities. They are also expected to take responsibility for improvement activities that will increase the OEE of the facility.

The three levels must all work together towards TPM. Without cooperation it is likely that an implementation of TPM method will fail.

Total maintenance system

Total productive maintenance requires a focus on the total maintenance system, from equipment design to asset maintenance strategies.

  • Equipment should be designed to be maintenance free, as much as possible.
  • Improvements in maintenance techniques should be pursued wherever possible.
  • Preventative and predictive maintenance strategies should be implemented to eliminate reactive maintenance.

Starting on the path toward total performance maintenance

Total productive maintenance is built upon 2 phases. The first phase, the 5S, is a platform. The second phase involves the 7 pillars of TPM. These are simply extensions of the 5S platform.

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First phase

The platform for TPM is the 5S. These all relate to the place where production is occurring and are most obvious for the operators of the equipment.

  • Sort – Determine which items are used frequently and those that are not. The ones used frequently should be kept close-to-hand, others should be stored further away.
  • Systemize – Each item should have one place to be stored, and only one place to be stored.
  • Shine – The workplace needs to be clean, without it problems will be more difficult to identify, and maintenance will be more difficult to perform
  • Standardize The workplace should be standardized and labeled.
  • Self-discipline – Efforts should be made to continually perform each of the other steps at all times.

Second phase

Autonomous maintenance operators are required to attend to the day-to-day maintenance of their equipment, without engaging the dedicated maintenance team.

  • Focused improvement
  • Planned maintenance – instead of reactive maintenance
  • Quality maintenance
  • Education and training
  • Safety, health and environment
  • Office TPM

At the beginning of a TPM program the focus will be on the 5S and on developing an autonomous maintenance plan. This will free the maintenance staff to begin larger projects and perform increasing amounts of planned maintenance.

An example implementation

The process that one semi-conductor manufacturing company underwent to implement TPM in their facility is described in Implementation of total productive maintenance: A case study.

Initially, the adoption of TPM failed for various reasons, including a lack of management support, a lack of resources, a lack of long-term vision and a lack of sustained momentum.

After the first failure, another attempt to implement TPM was made; this time with success. The main measurement for success was the number of units produced per stoppage. Using TPM this value increased from 500 units per stoppage to over 2000 units per stoppage.

Further reading

Ahuja, I.P.S. & Kumar, P., 2009. A case study of total productive maintenance implementation at precision tube mills. Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, 15(3), pp.241–258.

Chan, F.T.S. et al., 2005. Implementation of total productive maintenance: A case study. International Journal of Production Economics, 95(1), pp.71–94.

McKone, K.E., Schroeder, R.G. & Cua, K.O., 1999. Total productive maintenance: a contextual view. Journal of Operations Management, 17(2), pp.123–144.

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