Why and How to implement Total Productive Maintenance in Production

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a comprehensive holistic approach for maintaining and consistently improving the production continuity, safety conditions, and quality standards through the well-planned proactive and preventive maintenance of machines and equipment. TPM brings regular maintenance into prime focus as the necessity to keep the production on the track. TPM approach was created by Seiichi Nakajima in Japan between 1950 and 1970. The first TPM user was Nippondenso, an organization manufacturing spare parts for Toyota. 

Eight Principles of TPM:  

The initial TPM approach was introduced with five principles but later these were advanced to be eight; the expansion in TPM principles was done to guide the businesses deploy ‘Total Productive Maintenance’ as a stepped process.    

1. Focused Improvements (Kaizen)

 Helps the organizations to improve the quality and productivity through analyzing, identifying and eliminating the ‘Non-Value Adding’ activities.

2. Autonomous Maintenance

Creates the sense of ownership for the machines among the operators; encouraged by TPM culture, he cleans the machines daily and commences the maintenance activities under his belt.

3. Planned Maintenance

Done before the breaks down as per informed schedule; it is planned according to the listed machine failure rate, age, load, etc. 

4. Early Equipment Maintenance (EEM)

 Improves efficiency by designing the equipment for better performance and experience of workers; EEM planning encompasses the aspects like ease of cleaning, inspection, lubrication, accessibility to inner parts, ergonomic factors, safety features, visual Indicators, adjustment settings, etc.  

5. Quality Maintenance

Improves quality by making the equipment able to detect and prevent any possible error during the production; reduced Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) is a major benefit.

6. Training and Education

A companywide initiative widely embraced to keep the employees updated and trained to adopt new technologies with a mindset of accepting the changes in daily behavior/practices. The operators’ maintenance skills are improved and the maintenance team members are trained for quick problem-solving. 

7. Safety, Health & Environment

Ensures the safety of all the workers; the improved sense of security and safety in working place dramatically increases the productivity at the individual level; Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are implemented to make the employees realize that the organization cares them. 

8. Office TPM

Ensures the availability of required support to apply the principles of Lean and to improve value-adding processes in the operations.

Prime Goals, Features, and Benefits of TPM Implementation: 

The “zero-loss” is at the core of the TPM approach structured to hit five TPM goals – zero breakdowns, zero defects, eliminating failures, minimizing waste because of equipment-related operations and reducing emergency maintenance needs. 

TPM approach is guided by the concept of ‘shared responsibility for maintenance’. Three TPM features make it worldwide acceptable – employees involvement at every level; autonomous maintenance as the daily routine of machine operators; monitoring of TPM implementation by small group activities.  

The gained benefits of TPM implementation in a production unit depend upon the strategy, perfection levels, available support, and acceptance. The commonly experienced TPM benefits are:  

  • Reduced accidents
  • Less pollution
  • Increased productivity and efficiency
  • Peak equipment utilization
  • Improved employees’ morale
  • Updated employees’ skills  
  • Reduced production cost 
  • fewer defects 
  • Low size inventory        
  • The improved ability to maximize customer satisfaction by delivering the best quality and maximum quantity of products at the right time is one of the prime benefits of successful deployment of Total Productive Maintenance.
  • Fostered employee motivation becomes an asset to the organization.

Challenges in Implementation of TPM: 

Introducing a new approach or working culture in an organization always face some resistance; TPM implementation also faces some challenges at initial stages but the strategic approach counters down all the challenges easily; however, you must know what challenges you can face while implementing TPM

1. Resistance to Change 

It is a natural human reaction. 

2. Lack of Commitment

TPM is considered as the most complex lean methodology to implement. It requires a lean mindset. At the initial stage, you miss the lean mindset that you have to create through TPM training. 

3. Management Pressure for Cost Cutting

TPM implementation needs investment to build up resources for diverse objectives; some management people often resist to allocate funds TPM implementation unless they are convinced for long-term TPM benefits. 

4. Lack of TPM Knowledge

Although TPM is a decades-old approach still many organizations and top management professionals are unaware of its benefits. TPM leaders need to do a lot to convince all the stakeholders. 

5. Lack of Encouragement

TPM is an unconventional progressive methodology that can’t be implemented without the support of employees but most organizations miss to award the key TPM contributors.

Four Strategic Tips for TPM Implementation: 

1. Involve upper-management: 

You need it at the initial stage of TPM development. Workers participate in TPM implementation directly at the execution stage, while the management professionals support it from the planning stage. You must involve both before starting your TPM deployment journey by convincing and encouraging. 

2. Educate: 

TPM training is available at individual and group levels. TPM training can be conducted on the premises also to let all the stakeholders know the importance of their new role and the way to apply the learned skills.    

3. Set up and Bring Together Small Groups:  

TPM is a complex production improvement strategy that can’t be implemented without monitoring and management by the small groups dedicated to particular tasks. The small groups of employees foster communication between the management and workers.

4. Fix the target and develop a plan: 

TPM implementation can be embraced as the stepped process by setting small and achievable goals. A detailed, well tested and time-framed ‘TPM planning’ is must guide the organization towards TPM orientation. 

The tailor-made TPM consultancy services are provided by management consulting companies. TPM consultant simplifies the whole process by guiding and training the involved workers and professionals at different levels.   

Concluding Note:  

Total Productive Maintenance is an effective comprehensive approach for the improved productivity by optimizing quality rate and performance efficiency through the cost-effective maintenance of equipment and machines. Making the equipment and machines fault free for ‘zero – down period’

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