Care For Your Plant And Your Plant Will Care For You

Updated: Jul 6

TPM - Total Productive Maintenance Increasing efficiency through empowerment

In our world today inflation has forced us to be more careful with our expenditures. As the value of the Dollar decreases, we pay more attention to what that dollar will bring. In business environments, we look for ways to decrease our financial obligations while maximizing the output of the system. There are many ways to cut costs, but these can often have broad consequences. Time is constant and since we cannot add more time to our day, we must make our work more efficient. This allows us to get more value from our time spent.


What is TPM?

Total Productive Maintenance, commonly referred to as TPM, focuses on system optimization by empowering all levels and functional groups of an organization to maximize production equipment effectiveness. TPM programs within an organization minimizes the chances of breakdowns, set-up time losses, idle machinery or stoppages, defects, rework, and safety hazards.

TPM addresses the causes for accelerated deterioration and production losses while creating the correct environment between operators and equipment to create ownership.

Practitioners of Lean Thinking look for ways to improve the productivity and functionality of systems. Through identification of waste in processes and procedures, we can find ways to make our work easier and more productive. The elimination of waste contributes directly to the bottom line and can increase throughput while reducing overall costs. To remove waste from the system it must first be identified and classified. By categorizing types of waste, we can begin to apply lean tools to mitigate the risk of lost time due to equipment issues.


Start down the path of TPM with these four Lean Tools:

OEE: Overall Equipment Effectiveness is how we can measure the percentage of manufacturing time that is creating good product. The main objective of TPM is to increase the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of plant equipment. For further details about how OEE is calculated and what the big six losses are, take a look at our article on Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) for Automation Solutions.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) seeks to engage all levels and functions in an organization to maximize the overall effectiveness of production equipment (OEE).

Preventive Maintenance: Development of equipment maintenance programs to mitigate risk of equipment failure. Solving problems before they are detected.


Poka-Yoke: This is a methodology that processes are developed, and manufacturing techniques are used that eliminates the possibility of defects. When elimination is not possible then Poka-Yoke methodology focuses on the immediate detection of defective product.


Accountability and Ownership: One major component of a TPM program is accountability. When TPM is applied, then the health of the equipment is not solely the maintenance team’s responsibility. Operators, line leads, and supervisors are all in charge of maintaining the equipment. Though this program we define what needs to be checked by the production team and how.


Empower a Culture

One of the challenges with implementing TPM is that it is a strong departure from the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” rule. TPM can create an empowered company culture where maintenance of company equipment is no longer solely under a maintenance department. To enact TPM a company must be committed from top to bottom. Implementing a cultural change within a company can be tricky but can be done in the above three small steps to normalize change culture and empower individual employees.

TPM can create an empowered company culture where maintenance of company equipment is no longer solely under a maintenance department.

TPM in conjunction with other Lean Tools with a full commitment to Continuous Improvement and Operational Excellence helps companies operate more efficiently. This will lead to a reduction in operating costs by empowering employees to contribute directly to the value stream as one organization and no longer resting the responsibility on one department.