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What is TPM?



Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a type of productive maintenance that each employee performs in small groups. TPM is general organization-wide equipment maintenance.

TPM anticipates and eliminates unnecessary downtime to increase equipment productivity. One of the key components of the lean continuous improvement process, TPM can raise a machine's capacity, lower maintenance costs, significantly minimise the need for extra work, and boost a company's production and profits. Lower inventory levels are made possible by these TPM advantages since unscheduled downtime is not required.

By putting the emphasis on enabling operators to assist in equipment maintenance, it minimises the roles of production and maintenance. By raising uptime, cutting cycle times, and getting rid of defects, a TPM programme can be very effective in boosting productivity. It also encourages increased involvement from plant floor personnel.

To achieve maintenance-free operations, TPM focuses on the staff and implements the three following practices.

  • Introduction of the TPM pillars

  • Minimising significant losses

  • Monitoring and measuring OEE




Eight Pillars of TPM

The eight pillars of TPM consists of

  • Autonomous Maintenance

  • Continuous Improvement

  • Planned Maintenance

  • Quality Maintenance

  • Materials planning, design and equipment control

  • Education & Training

  • Safety, Health, and Environment

  • Office TPM




Autonomous Maintenance

Autonomous Maintenance, also known as AM, is a concept and practice within the framework of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). It empowers frontline operators and teams to take ownership and responsibility for the maintenance and care of their equipment and machinery. The goal of Autonomous Maintenance is to improve equipment reliability, minimize breakdowns, and maximize overall equipment effectiveness.

In traditional maintenance systems, the responsibility for equipment maintenance lies solely with the maintenance department. However, Autonomous Maintenance shifts this responsibility to the operators who work directly with the equipment on a daily basis. By involving operators in maintenance tasks, organizations aim to foster a proactive maintenance culture and improve the overall performance of their assets.



Continuous Improvement

Continuous Improvement is a fundamental principle of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), which is a comprehensive approach to improve equipment effectiveness and overall operational efficiency. In TPM, Continuous Improvement is a mind-set and a systematic approach that encourages organizations to continuously identify and eliminate waste, inefficiencies, and defects in their processes, with the ultimate goal of achieving higher levels of performance.


Planned Maintenance

Planned Maintenance, also known as Preventive Maintenance, is a proactive maintenance strategy aimed at reducing equipment failures, maximizing equipment lifespan, and minimizing unplanned downtime. It involves systematically performing scheduled maintenance tasks and inspections to prevent or address potential issues before they lead to major breakdowns or disruptions in operations.


Quality Maintenance

Quality Maintenance, also known as QM, is a concept and practice within the framework of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) that focuses on ensuring and improving product quality through effective maintenance strategies. It emphasizes the prevention of defects, reduction of variation, and continuous improvement of processes to deliver products or services that meet or exceed customer expectations.


Materials planning, design and equipment control

Materials planning, design, and equipment control are important aspects of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) that contribute to the successful implementation and effectiveness of TPM practices. Let's explore each of these elements in the context of TPM:


  1. Materials Planning: - Materials planning in TPM involves ensuring the availability of the right materials, spare parts, and consumables to support maintenance activities and minimize equipment downtime. It focuses on effectively managing the inventory of critical items needed for maintenance and repair.

  2. Spare Parts Management

  3. Supply Chain Collaboration

  4. Just-in-Time (JIT) Approach

  5. Design: Design considerations in TPM focus on equipment reliability, maintainability, and ease of operation. By incorporating TPM principles during the design stage, organizations can improve equipment performance, reduce maintenance requirements, and enhance overall equipment effectiveness.

  6. Reliability-Centered Design.

  7. Maintenance-Friendly Design

  8. Operator Involvement

  9. Equipment Control: Equipment control in TPM refers to the establishment of systems and practices to monitor and manage equipment performance, utilization, and condition. It involves implementing measures to ensure equipment is operated within specified parameters, and deviations are promptly addressed.

  10. Equipment Monitoring and Measurement

  11. Standardized Operating Procedures

  12. Autonomous Equipment Control









Education & Training

Education and Training are crucial components of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) implementation. TPM emphasizes the development of knowledge, skills, and a shared understanding of TPM principles and practices among all employees. Effective education and training programs enable individuals to actively participate in TPM activities, contribute to continuous improvement, and achieve the desired goals of TPM implementation. Here's an overview of Education and Training in TPM:



  1. Awareness and Introduction

  2. Basic TPM Training

  3. Skill Development

  4. Train-the-Trainer Programs

  5. Leadership Training

  6. Cross-Functional Team Training

  7. Ongoing Training and Knowledge Sharing

  8. TPM Certification Programs


Safety, Health, and Environment

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a comprehensive approach to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of production systems. Among its eight key pillars, Pillar 7 focuses on Safety, Health, and Environment (Anzen Kankyo Hozen), recognizing the critical importance of creating a workplace that prioritizes the well-being of employees and minimizes the environmental impact of production activities.

  1. Safety Priority

  2. Holistic Approach

  3. Proactive Safety

  4. Employee Well-being

  5. Environmental Responsibility

  6. Integration with Other Pillars

  7. Sustainable Practices

  8. Cultural Shift

  9. Legal Compliance

  10. Employee Engagement


Office TPM

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) principles and practices can be adapted and applied to office environments, often referred to as Office TPM or Administrative TPM. While TPM originally emerged in manufacturing settings, the concepts of TPM can be extended to improve office operations, enhance productivity, and create a culture of continuous improvement in administrative processes.



Here's an overview of Office TPM:





  1. Understanding Office TPM

  2. Identifying Losses

  3. Autonomous Maintenance:

  4. Planned Maintenance

  5. Quality Maintenance

  6. Office Layout and Visual Management

  7. Training and Skill Development

  8. Continuous Improvement Culture


The Foundation of TPM is 5S

The traditional approach to TPM was created in the 1960s and consists of eight supporting activities, sometimes known as pillars, and 5S as a foundation.




5S is where TPM begins. When the workplace is disorganised, issues cannot be noticed clearly. The staff is better able to identify issues when the workplace is organised and cleaned. The first step in solving problems is to make them evident.

Sorting and categorising goods as essential, significant, commonly used, or not needed at the moment is known as Seiri. It is possible to salvage unwanted objects. Items that are essential should be kept close at hand for use, and items that won't be needed anytime soon should be put elsewhere.


1. Equipment Reliability: TPM aims to improve equipment reliability by reducing breakdowns, defects, and unplanned downtime. The goal is to achieve zero breakdowns and ensure that equipment is always available for production.

Equipment reliability is a crucial aspect of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). TPM emphasizes the improvement of equipment reliability as a means to maximize overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and enhance operational efficiency. Here's how equipment reliability is addressed within TPM:


a. Preventive Maintenance: TPM emphasizes proactive maintenance practices to prevent equipment failures. Preventive maintenance activities are planned and performed based on equipment condition, usage, and performance data. This includes regular inspections, lubrication, cleaning, adjustments, and replacement of worn parts. By conducting preventive maintenance, organizations aim to identify and address potential issues before they lead to equipment breakdowns or disruptions.


b. Condition Monitoring: TPM incorporates condition monitoring techniques to assess the health and performance of equipment. This may involve monitoring parameters such as temperature, vibration, noise, pressure, or other relevant factors. Condition monitoring helps identify potential issues or deviations from normal operating conditions, enabling timely intervention before major problems occur.


c. Equipment Standardization and Simplification: TPM emphasizes standardization and simplification of equipment design and operation. By reducing variations and complexity, organizations can enhance equipment reliability and minimize the potential for failures due to operational errors or compatibility issues.


d. Quick Changeovers (SMED): TPM incorporates Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) techniques to reduce changeover times between product runs or equipment setups. Efficient changeover processes minimize the risk of errors, reduce downtime, and contribute to equipment reliability by ensuring smooth transitions between production runs.


e. Root Cause Analysis and Problem Solving: TPM encourages the use of root cause analysis techniques to identify and eliminate the underlying causes of equipment failures or performance issues. Cross-functional teams are formed to investigate problems, analyze data, and implement corrective actions to prevent recurrence. By addressing root causes, organizations aim to improve equipment reliability and prevent similar issues from arising in the future.

By focusing on preventive maintenance, operator involvement, condition monitoring, standardization, and problem-solving, TPM aims to improve equipment reliability. The ultimate goal is to reduce breakdowns, unplanned downtime, and defects, leading to increased productivity, better product quality, and improved overall equipment effectiveness.



2. Autonomous Maintenance: TPM encourages operators and frontline maintenance personnel to take responsibility for the routine care and maintenance of equipment. Operators are trained to perform simple maintenance tasks, inspections, and minor repairs, ensuring that equipment remains in optimal condition.

Autonomous Maintenance is a key pillar of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) that focuses on empowering operators and frontline maintenance personnel to take ownership of the routine care and maintenance of equipment. It involves training and involving operators in activities to improve equipment reliability, cleanliness, and overall performance. The goal of Autonomous Maintenance is to enhance equipment effectiveness, reduce breakdowns, and foster a proactive maintenance culture within the organization.


Here are the key aspects and objectives of Autonomous Maintenance:

1.Equipment Ownership

2.Cleaning and Inspection

3.Basic Maintenance Tasks

4.Autonomous Problem-Solving

5.Training and Skill Development



The benefits of Autonomous Maintenance include:

  1. Increased equipment reliability and availability

  2. Early detection of abnormalities or signs of deterioration

  3. Reduced breakdowns and unplanned downtime

  4. Improved product quality and reduced defects

  5. Empowered operators with a sense of ownership and pride in their equipment

  6. Enhanced collaboration between operators and maintenance personnel

  7. Shift from reactive to proactive maintenance practices

By implementing Autonomous Maintenance, organizations foster a culture of proactive equipment care and empower operators to contribute directly to equipment reliability and overall operational efficiency. It aligns with the TPM philosophy of involving all levels of the organization in continuous improvement efforts, resulting in improved equipment performance and productivity.



3. Planned Maintenance: TPM emphasizes proactive and planned maintenance activities to prevent equipment failures. This includes regular inspections, preventive maintenance, and scheduled repairs based on equipment condition and performance data.

To implement planned maintenance effectively, organizations often develop maintenance schedules, checklists, and procedures based on equipment specifications, manufacturer recommendations, and historical data. These plans help establish a systematic and organized approach to maintenance activities, ensuring that resources, materials, and personnel are available when needed.

It's important to note that specific planned maintenance practices and strategies may vary across different industries, organizations, and equipment types. Therefore, it is recommended to consult industry-specific guidelines, experts, or TPM practitioners for detailed information on planned maintenance in your particular context.



4. Continuous Improvement: TPM promotes a culture of continuous improvement by involving employees at all levels. Cross-functional teams are formed to identify and eliminate root causes of equipment problems, reduce waste, and improve operational processes.

Continuous Improvement is a fundamental principle of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). It emphasizes the ongoing effort to identify and eliminate inefficiencies, reduce losses, and improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) through systematic problem-solving and innovation. Continuous Improvement in TPM involves the following key aspects:-

  1. Small Group Activities (SGAs)

  2. Kaizen

  3. Autonomous Maintenance

  4. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

  5. Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

  6. Continuous Training and Skill Development



5. Training and Skills Development: TPM recognizes the importance of developing the skills and knowledge of employees. Training programs are conducted to equip operators and maintenance personnel with the necessary skills to perform maintenance tasks effectively and contribute to equipment reliability.

Training and skills development play a crucial role in the successful implementation of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). By providing employees with the necessary knowledge, competencies, and capabilities, organizations can foster a culture of continuous improvement and empower individuals to actively participate in TPM initiatives.



6. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE): OEE is a key performance indicator used in TPM. It measures the effectiveness of equipment utilization by considering three factors: availability (downtime), performance efficiency (speed loss), and quality (defects). The goal is to continuously improve OEE by reducing losses in these areas.






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