What is Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and How to Implement It In a Factory

TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) applies a series of techniques that ensure equipment is always available to turn out products of the desired quality at their maximum capacity or, in other words, to maximize the OEE (overall equipment effectiveness).

It implies improving production and quality systems through the machines, equipment, processes, and employees involved. Companies around the world that seek operational excellence in manufacturing by eliminating the Six Big Losses benefit from TPM implementation.

Eight pillars of Total Productive Maintenance

TPM develops 8 pillars as the foundation of its philosophy and actions

Autonomous maintenance

Autonomous maintenance: production staff checks equipment during and after runs and fixes issues when needed.

Planned maintenance

Planned maintenance: is calendar- or running hours-based.

Early equipment management

Early equipment management: is used to avoid breakdown of critical parts during production that may otherwise mean prolonged standstill pending the delivery of replacements.

Focused improvements

Focused improvements: are initiated by empowered and involved team members.

Education and training

Education and training: are used for further empowerment and involvement.

Quality management and assurance

Quality management and assurance: make sure the production can be executed as scheduled and avoids unnecessary interruptions, for example, due to running out of spec materials.

Office and administrative TPM

Office and administrative TPM: ensure that the commercial and logistic processes run just as smoothly as the production.

Safety, health, and the environment

Safety, health, and the environment: are considered for confidence and stamina.

Advantages of Total Productive Maintenance

  • Allows the maximization of the productivity
  • Extends the life span of equipment
  • Reduces maintenance costs
  • Reduces the number of defective products
  • Improves safety conditions
  • Increases the capacity to respond to changing market needs
  • Improves the quality of the work environment
  • Develops a culture of responsibility, communication and continuous learning

Implementation of Total Productive Maintenance

For the implementation of TPM, it is necessary to comply with some basic conditions

Involvement of all factory employees

Involvement of all factory employees, such as production, maintenance, quality, and engineering teams. The teams must work to achieve zero product defects, zero equipment failures, zero process losses, zero accidents, and control of environmental impacts. This involvement goes hand-in-hand with increased autonomy of the work teams.

Analysis of OEE

Analysis of equipment productivity, considering the OEE, with a focus on the possible elimination of the Six Big Losses. This indicator considers three parameters: availability (real time in which the machine is producing), yield (real cycle time vs. the standard), and quality (acceptance rate).

Total Productive Maintenance strategy

 Development of a maintenance strategy that adapts to the total life cycle of the equipment, paying special attention to the activities of lubrication, cleaning, and adjustment. The type and number of failures presented by a piece of equipment is not uniform throughout its useful life; instead, it will depend on in which stage of the total life cycle it is.

The importance of reliable shop-floor data for TPM

The availability and accessibility of reliable shop-floor data plays a fundamental role in the involvement of personnel. The performance data by team, product, and work shift—as well as knowledge of statistics regarding (unscheduled) production stops—will motivate the staff to participate and propose solutions for each of the opportunities for improvement.

With progressing empowerment and autonomy, the staff begins to feel ownership of their work, an important element to promote the involvement of the personnel.

Production Monitoring System as a Tool to achieve Total Productive Maintenance

A production monitoring system that provides the OEE indications helps users to know the productive efficiency of the equipment. This equips them for direct work on the Six Big Losses based on the three OEE-parameters: availability, performance, and quality.

Additionally, reliable stop statistics obtained from a production monitoring system allows users to establish, through probabilistic and statistical models, in which phase of the life cycle the equipment is. The idea is to work with the bathtub curve, considering 3 periods: initial or premature failures, constant or accidental failures, and faults by wear or aging, in order to establish the most appropriate maintenance strategy.

M-Box shop-floor monitoring provides the necessary data to drive involvement, analyze the OEE, and select the most appropriate maintenance strategy to make TPM a success. It is the most direct path to World Class Manufacturing.