3.3.5 Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Introduction to Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

In 1971, the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM) defined TPM as a system of maintenance covering the entire life of the equipment in every division including planning, manufacturing, and maintenance. Because of its targeted achievement to increase productivity out of the equipment, the term TPM is sometimes known as Total Productivity Management.

The JIPM runs the annual PM Excellence Award and they provide a checklist for companies applying for the award. There are 10 main items in the checklist:

Prevention is Better than Cure (Rule TPM) [Lip, 1989]

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Why is TPM Useful?

In modern day manufacturing and service industries, improved quality of products and services increasingly depend on the features and conditions of organisations' equipment and facilities. In the late 70's, there was heavy snow in Sapporo, the northern-most island of Japan. Because the workers could not get to work, Matsushita's vacuum cleaner factory stood still. Mr. Matsushita thought, 'Can we not rely on our workers for production?' A year later, the first unmanned-factory in the world was born. As the production relied 100% on equipment, TPM became mandatory.

Today, there are many similar examples such as Fujitsu-Fanuc, the world's most advanced unmanned-factory, which uses reliable computer controllers for manufacturing automation. Likewise super-computers run 24 hours a day all over the world to provide uninterrupted services to the banking, finance, air-flight, hotel, tourist, telecommunication and other service industries. However, this would not be possible without TPM.

TPM is a programme for fundamental improvement that involves the entire human resource. When implemented fully, TPM dramatically improves productivity and quality and reduces costs. As automation and labour-saving equipment take production tasks away from humans, the condition of production and office equipment increasingly affects output, quality, cost, delivery, health and safety, and employee morale. In a typical factory, however, many pieces of equipment are poorly maintained. Neglected equipment results in chronic losses and time wasted on finding and treating the causes.

Equipment Effectiveness is Everyone's Responsibility

Both operations and maintenance departments should accept responsibility of keeping equipment in good conditions. To eliminate the waste and losses hidden in a typical factory environment, we must acknowledge the central role of workers in managing the production process. No matter how thoroughly plants are automated or how many robots are installed, people are ultimately responsible for equipment operation and maintenance. Every aspect of a machine's performance, whether good or bad, can be traced back to a human act or omission. Therefore no matter how advanced the technology is, people play a key role in maintaining the optimum performance of the equipment.

When company employees accept this point of view, they will see the advantage of building quality into equipment and building an environment that prevents equipment and tools from generating production or quality problems. This company-wide team-based effort is the heart of TPM. It represents a dramatic change from the traditional "I make -- you fix" attitude that so often divides workers. Through TPM, everyone co-operates to maintain equipment the company depends on for survival and ultimately for profitability.

Goals and Objectives of TPM

The goal of TPM is to increase the productivity of plant and equipment. Consequently, maximised output will be achieved through the effort of minimising input -- improving and maintaining equipment at optimal levels to reduce its life cycle cost. Cost-effectiveness is a result of an organisation's ability to eliminate the causes of the 'six big losses' that reduce equipment effectiveness:

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How to Implement the TPM?

Implementation plans for TPM vary from company to company depending on the level of maintenance and particular plant requirements. TPM consists of six major activities:

  1. Elimination of six big losses based on project teams organised by the production, maintenance, and plant engineering departments.
  2. Planned maintenance carried out by the maintenance department
  3. Autonomous maintenance carried out by the production department in seven steps.
    Step 1: Initial cleaning
    Step 2: Actions to address the causes and effects of dust and dirt
    Step 3: Cleaning and lubrication standards
    Step 4: General inspection training
    Step 5: Autonomous inspection
    Step 6: Workplace organisation standards
    Step 7: Full implementation of autonomous maintenance
  4. Preventive engineering carried out mainly by the plant engineering department
  5. Easy-to-manufacture product design carried out mainly by the product design department
  6. Education and training to support the above activities
TPM can be successful in achieving significant results only with universal co-operation among all constituents involved with the six activities listed above. Once a decision has been made to initiate TPM, company and factory leadership should promote all six of these activities despite excuses that may come from various quarters.

Through these activities, the company can gradually eliminate the losses shown in Figure 8.2, establish a more effective relationship between operators and machines, and maintain equipment in the best possible condition.

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