Total productive maintenance

Everything you need to know about TPM

What is total productive maintenance?

Total productive maintenance (TPM) is the idea that everyone in a facility should participate in maintenance. A TPM approach uses the skills of all employees and seeks to incorporate maintenance into the everyday performance of a facility.

Advantages of TPM

Fewer breakdowns
Maintenance technicians aren’t necessarily using the same machine every day. But when machine operators—the people who use assets day in and day out, and know what normal looks like—can keep an eye out for changes with their equipment and log issues immediately, full breakdowns are much less likely to happen.
Safer workplace
Technicians are much more likely to take risks when rushing to fix a breakdown, so fewer breakdowns generally mean a safer workplace. On top of that, when everyone keeps maintenance in mind, problems can be spotted and dealt with well before they become potentially dangerous situations.
Better overall performance
If everyone in a facility is keeping an eye on maintenance, small fixes will stop going undetected, which helps you move away from reactive maintenance and get backlogs under control. TPM takes the pressure of small jobs off the maintenance team so they can concentrate on the bigger jobs, which increases the overall performance of your facility.

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Who should participate in TPM?

Under the TPM philosophy, everyone from top-level management to equipment operators should participate in maintenance.

Top management & reliability engineers
Management should be involved in TPM by promoting it as a corporate policy. Reliability engineers also need to be involved, as they can interpret the maintenance data stored in an organization’s CMMS in order to find relevant metrics and generate business insights.
Operators need to 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, and determine ways to improve equipment operation.
Maintenance managers and technicians
Maintenance managers and technicians are expected to train and support operators to meet their goals and perform more advanced preventive maintenance activities. They are also expected to take responsibility for improvement activities that will impact the key performance indicators (KPIs) set out by reliability engineers.

Read more about who is really responsible for maintenance, and how to leverage a CMMS to get to TPM.

Understanding the foundation of TPM

TPM is built on a 5S foundation, with eight supporting pillars. The beginning of a TPM program will focus on establishing the 5S foundation and developing an autonomous maintenance plan. This will free up the maintenance staff to begin larger projects and perform more and more planned maintenance.

TPM pyramid with 8 supporting pillars
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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.
Each item should have one place to be stored, and only one place to be stored.
The workplace needs to be clean, without it problems will be more difficult to identify, and maintenance will be more difficult to perform
The workplace should be standardized and labeled.
Efforts should be made to continually perform each of the other steps at all times.

Once the foundation is laid, then you can move on to establishing the eight pillars of TPM.

Serious about implementing TPM? Start measuring OEE

TPM is a maintenance philosophy, but there are tangible KPIs that accompany it. One of the most important measurements of total productive maintenance is overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), which measures availability, performance efficiency, and quality. As such, equipment stopping, equipment working at less than peak capacity, and equipment producing poor quality products are all penalized when OEE is determined.

Learn more about OEE.

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