Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Take a proactive approach to equipment maintenance with a total productive maintenance (TPM) program

Published 9 Jul 2021

What is Total Productive Maintenance?

Total productive maintenance (TPM) is a holistic approach to equipment maintenance that aims to eliminate defects, breakdowns, small stops or slow runs, and consequently, accidents. The main goal of TPM is to improve the quality of systems and integrity of production through the combined use of equipment, supporting processes, and employee expertise.

total productive maintenance tpm checklist

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) Checklist Example | View TPM Template

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Benefits of Total Productive Maintenance

One of the most significant benefits of total productive maintenance is its impact on overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). TPM goes against the famous saying, “don’t fix it if it isn’t broken,” because it places preventive maintenance at the forefront and machinery as the core focus of operations.

With the emphasis on prevention and a proactive approach, total productive maintenance can help maximize the operational efficiency of equipment. Another benefit of TPM implementation is being able to encourage the full involvement and participation of workers and equipment operators, while improving productivity.

The 8 Pillars of TPM

The traditional TPM approach is based on the principles of 5S, with an additional eight pillars that are focused on preventive techniques that help improve equipment reliability. The main benefit of introducing 5S as a foundation is to help standardize maintenance processes into everyday activities. This foundation also helps make achieving the 8 pillars below possible.

total productive maintenance tpm 8 pillars

The 8 Pillars of TPM: Total Productive Maintenance

  • Autonomous maintenance

    This entails providing machine operators the proper training so they can be solely responsible for routine maintenance operations. This provides a feeling of ownership and accountability while also increasing their knowledge about specific equipment.

  • Focused improvement

    This pillar is based on the principles of kaizen, a Japanese term that translates to “good change.” The main goal of kaizen in manufacturing is to ensure that there’s constant improvement in an organization’s processes and functions. Focused improvement places focus on both the processes and the teams that make them happen, encouraging cooperation and collaboration in implementing regular, incremental improvements to processes involved in equipment operation.

  • Planned maintenance

    This pillar bases equipment maintenance schedules during the times when it will cause minimal to no disruption in production. It involves analyzing metrics like historical downtime and failure rates and creating a maintenance schedule based on these downtime periods.

  • Quality maintenance

    This focuses on providing the best maintenance possible to equipment by conducting a 5 whys analysis to identify the root cause of defects and prevent their recurrence.

  • Early equipment management

    This focuses on the creation and design of new equipment. It takes everything learned from the TPM program and uses this knowledge to improve the design of new equipment to ensure reliability and maintainability.

  • Training and education

    This ensures that machine operators and other workers are educated and trained on the machines they operate, ensuring that any knowledge gaps that could adversely affect the TPM program are addressed.

  • Safety, health, and environment

    Aside from keeping equipment in good shape, an organization must also provide employees a safe, healthy environment to work in. Any process or solution that’s part of the TPM program should have the safety and health of employees as a top priority.

  • TPM in administration

    As the name suggests, total productive maintenance should go beyond equipment maintenance and ensure that administrative functions are also efficient. A streamlined administrative process ensures that production is waste-free and will proceed as smoothly as possible.

TPM Programs and OEE

OEE is often used as a reactive indicator metric of a TPM program because it covers the three main factors related to equipment effectiveness, namely, performance, quality, and availability. Creating an effective TPM program starts with the formation of small, multidisciplinary teams that can address core areas, including autonomous maintenance, training of machine operators, and standardization of processes. All teams are encouraged to work together to increase overall productivity and decrease downtime through enhanced reliability of equipment.

While maintenance personnel should be responsible for the TPM program’s major processes, input should be gathered from machine operators or the persons who use the machines on a regular basis. Doing so will help the organization gain visibility of OEE and ensure its continuous improvement. The TPM program should ideally foster an atmosphere of shared responsibility for equipment because this will help reduce cycle times, increase uptime, and eliminate defects, which in turn contribute to improving overall productivity.

The 6 Big Losses

The six big losses are what a TPM program aims to minimize, if not eliminate completely. Equipment-based losses are categorized into the following:

  • Unplanned stops

    Unplanned stops refer to sudden or unexpected equipment failures, including electrical failure, mechanical failure, and structural failure, that significantly affect production.

  • Planned stops

    This refers to the downtime that occurs in between production processes when equipment needs to undergo setup and adjustment to meet the requirements of producing another part.

  • Small stops

    Small stops or idling due to temporary equipment malfunction interrupts production and leads to longer cycle times and increased costs.

  • Slow cycles

    If equipment design speed differs from actual operating speed, this leads to loss and extra cost. All parts should be able to run at a machine’s maximum rate.

  • Production defects

    This refers to loss of quality caused by malfunctioning equipment. The main factors that contribute to this loss are equipment maintenance and the skill level of the machine operator.

  • Startup defects

    This refers to the losses that occur in the early stages of the production process. 

Total Productive Maintenance With iAuditor

The greatest challenges of a TPM program is engaging employees early on through quick wins and ensuring there’s a follow-through in the program in the long term. Through regular inspections, organizations can monitor the progress of a TPM program and take action whenever necessary so that minor concerns don’t become serious problems.

iAuditor by SafetyCulture simplifies regular TPM inspections without compromising on quality and comprehensiveness. By transforming paper-based inspection workflows into a more sustainable digital process, employees and management teams alike are empowered to complete inspections on schedule and instantly share them to the right people immediately—even right after an inspection is done. The iAuditor mobile app also automatically saves your data in the cloud and provides a web-based analytics dashboard so analyzing data is all but automatic.

SafetyCulture staff writer

Carlo Sheen Escano

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.