What Are the Pillars of Total Productive Maintenance?

Mila Chervenkova

Mila Chervenkova

Marketing Expert | Agile, Kanban & OKR Practitioner

Table of Contents:

Total productive maintenance is a method for maintaining equipment and machinery. It is based on the idea that if you maintain equipment before it breaks, you will save money and avoid costly downtime. The main goal of total productive maintenance is to identify the parts of your plant or organization that are not working as efficiently as they could be.

This can be done by monitoring the production process and looking for any problems that should be dealt with before they become more serious. The main principles behind total productive maintenance are listed below.

  • Prevention: Staying ahead of potential problems, preventing them from occurring in the first place.
  • Reliability: Ensuring that when a problem does occur, it can be quickly fixed without significant consequences.
  • Productivity: Maximizing efficiency.

TPM also includes a system of feedback so that managers can measure the program's success.

What Is Total Productive Maintenance?

Total productive maintenance (TPM) is a system of planned, preventive maintenance that seeks to reduce downtime, improve equipment reliability and maintain high quality. It was developed by Toyota Motor Corporation in the 1950s. TPM is a proactive approach that emphasizes the importance of identifying potential problems before they occur.

The goal of TPM is to avoid breakdowns and prevent them from happening again. It is also meant to make production more efficient by improving equipment performance, reducing waste, and maximizing machine uptime.

What Are the Objectives of Total Productive Maintenance?

The objectives of TPM are to reduce the cost of maintenance and increase the quality of production. The company saves money by reducing the frequency of breakdowns, which makes it a more attractive investment opportunity. Workers also have less downtime from production, which means they are more productive.

What Are the Direct Benefits of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)?

The direct benefits of total productive maintenance (TPM) are listed below.

  • Reduction in customer complaints
  • Reduction in manufacturing costs
  • Less unplanned downtime resulting in an increase in OEE
  • Reduction in workplace accidents
  • Increase in product quality

What Are the Indirect Benefits of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)?

The indirect benefits of total productive maintenance (TPM) are listed below.

  • Pollution control measures are followed
  • Produces a clean, orderly workplace
  • Cross-departmental shared knowledge and experience
  • Increase in positive attitudes among employees through a sense of ownership
  • Increase in employee confidence levels

What Are the Pillars of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)?

The eight pillars of total productive maintenance are focused on proactive and preventative maintenance practices that can help increase equipment reliability. Autonomous maintenance, targeted improvement (kaizen), planned maintenance, quality management, early equipment management, training and education, safety, health, and the environment, as well as TPM in administration, are the eight pillars.

The pillars of total productive maintenance (TPM) are listed below.

1. Autonomous maintenance

2. Focused improvement

3. Planned maintenance

4. Quality maintenance

5. Early equipment management

6. Training and education

7. Safety, health, and environment

8. TPM in administration

1. Autonomous Maintenance

Autonomous maintenance is one of the pillars of total productive maintenance. It includes both preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance. Preventative maintenance includes regular inspections, adjustments, cleaning, lubrication, and parts replacement before they actually break down or wear out. Predictive maintenance includes monitoring machinery for early warning signs that could lead to failure or malfunctioning in order to take timely corrective action before it happens.

2. Focused Improvement

The idea behind focused improvement is that every time there are problems in your process, you should stop what you are doing and focus on fixing those problems right away, instead of pushing through with your original plan or continuing with your current activity. The TPM technique of focused improvement is a systematic approach to identifying the root cause of problems. It is used to reduce waste and improve quality in manufacturing environments.

The steps involved in this process are as follows:

  • Identify the problem.
  • Conduct a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to identify the root cause of the problem.
  • Implement corrective action to eliminate the root cause.

3. Planned Maintenance

A planned maintenance method involves analyzing metrics such as failure rates and historical downtime in order to schedule tasks around predicted or measured failure rates or downtime periods. This technique consists in scheduling the downtime of machines so as to keep them in working condition for long periods of time. Planned maintenance has many benefits, such as reducing production costs, improving quality, and increasing customer satisfaction, among others.

4. Quality Maintenance

The quality maintenance pillar focuses on detecting and preventing design errors during the production process. It does this by identifying and eliminating recurring sources of defects using root cause analysis (the "5 Whys"). With proactive detection of errors or defects, processes become more efficient, resulting in products that meet specifications the first time. 

The quality maintenance process includes all steps that need to be taken to ensure that the product remains defect-free at all times. The first step in quality maintenance is inspection, which involves an examination of a product for any defects. Defects are then classified as either primary or minor, depending on their severity and importance. Minor defects are usually dealt with by simple correction, while major defects require more time and resources to repair.

5. Early Equipment Management

Early equipment management is the process of identifying and solving potential equipment problems before they start affecting production. The goal is to avoid a breakdown or failure of equipment. To improve the design of new equipment, TPM integrates the practical knowledge and understanding of manufacturing equipment derived from total productive maintenance with early equipment management. Suppliers who design equipment with input from those who will use it most will be able to improve the machine's maintainability and functionality in future designs.

6. Training and Education

A lack of equipment knowledge can derail TPM programs. training and education are necessary for operators, managers, and maintenance personnel. These sessions aim to ensure everyone understands the TPM process and to fill any knowledge gaps in order to achieve the TPM goals. 

It is here that operators learn to proactively maintain equipment and identify potential problems. Managers become familiar with TPM principles, employee development, and coaching, and the maintenance team develops proactive and preventative maintenance schedules. The use of tools such as single-point lessons posted on or near equipment can help train operators further on operating procedures.

7. Safety, Health, and Environment

The goal of a safe working environment is to allow employees to perform their duties in a healthy environment. For this reason, any solution introduced in the TPM process must consider health, safety, and the environment. Employees who come to work in a safe environment every day tend to have a better attitude because they don't have to worry about this key aspect. They tend to be more productive as a result.

8. TPM in Administration

By addressing and eliminating waste areas in administrative functions, total productive maintenance can look beyond the plant floor. Supporting production includes improving order processing, procurement, and scheduling. Manufacturing starts with administrative functions, so it's crucial they are streamlined and waste-free. A streamlined order-processing procedure, for example, will result in material reaching the plant floor more quickly and with fewer errors, reducing the possibility of downtime while missing parts are identified.

What Is the 5S Foundation for TPM?

The 5S Foundation is a practice for total productive maintenance. The five words in this title are the five Japanese words that describe the practice. It is a system of organization used to maintain a workplace or manufacturing facility. The 5S method includes the following five elements.

  • Sort (Seiri): remove anything that isn't really needed from the work area.
  • Straighten (Seiton): sort out the remaining items.
  • Shine (Seiso): inspect and clean the work area.
  • Standardize (Seiketsu): develop standards for the three activities listed above.
  • Sustain (Shitsuke): make sure standards are consistently followed.

How to Put Total Productive Maintenance into Practice?

Now that you know what the 5S system is and the pillars on which the TPM process is based, let's explore how to implement a total productive maintenance program. This is done in the five steps listed below.

1. Select a Pilot Area

2. Return the equipment to its original working condition

3. Calculate the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)

4. Reduce Major Losses

5. Implement Planned Maintenance

1. Select a Pilot Area

Getting started with one pilot area, or even one machine first, will give you the opportunity to assess what works, what does not, and what may need to be adjusted further down the road. In choosing pilot equipment, one may want to start with a simple machine that will have a low impact on production rather than starting with equipment that will cause bottlenecks or be highly critical. It is advisable to include as many employees as possible in your pilot TPM efforts. As a result, momentum will be built, and efforts will not fall by the wayside as the benefits are realized.

2. Return the Equipment to its Original Working Condition

After your pilot area has been determined, it is time to move forward with your TPM efforts using 5S and autonomous maintenance. To do this, all TPM participants should use the activities outlined in the 5S foundation to continually restore equipment to its basic condition. Then operators and maintenance staff can start their autonomous maintenance program. The process includes cleaning and inspecting equipment for deterioration or abnormality, establishing cleaning, inspection, lubrication standards, identifying and eliminating factors contributing to deterioration.

3. Calculate the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

OEE measures the availability, performance, and quality of your equipment. Regularly measuring this will provide you with a good indication if your total productive maintenance program is performing as intended. In this way, you can confirm that your downtime-reduction efforts are working and then track their effectiveness over time.

4. Reduce Major Losses

Based on TPM, this step is performed using the focused improvement pillar. As soon as OEE has been established, a cross-functional team should be assembled so that the data can be used to identify the main causes of loss. Where possible, efforts can be made to eliminate these losses after a root cause analysis has been conducted. Measuring OEE will confirm that the focused improvement efforts are working.

5. Implement Planned Maintenance

Planned and scheduled maintenance activities are the last stages in implementing a TPM program. After your TPM activities have been carried out successfully, a CMMS solution should include preventive maintenance in order to enable your machinery to operate as planned.

Who Developed Total Productive Maintenance?

Total productive maintenance (TPM) was developed by the Japanese engineer Dr. Shigeo Shingo in the late 1950s. He is a Japanese-born manufacturing engineer and consultant who has written extensively on the subject of quality control and productivity improvement. He found that nearly all breakdowns were due to improper handling, carelessness, and overloading. The concept has been adopted by many organizations in Japan and around the world.

Shingo's system is a method that can be used to identify and eliminate the root causes of problems in manufacturing systems. The process focuses on eliminating waste, which includes activities that do not add value to the product or service being created.

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Mila Chervenkova

Mila Chervenkova

Marketing Expert | Agile, Kanban & OKR Practitioner

Mila is a seasoned marketing professional with a rich background in product marketing, content creation, and website optimization. Years of Practicing Kanban, Agile, and OKR practices have made her an expert in creating powerful productivity habits.