Who wouldn’t be proud of a maintenance team that experiences no accidents and has zero unexpected machine breakdowns?

It’s something that is seemingly unreachable, but it is the ultimate goal of any organization that decides to implement Total Productive Maintenance.

Since this proactive approach to maintenance can take years to fully implement, you should ensure that you are well aware of what is ahead of you and which tools can make this transition smoother. One of those tools is definitely a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) as many of its standard features mesh well with the requirements of TPM.

If you want to find out more about TPM methodology in general, as well as how you can implement it in your organization with the help of a modern CMMS, you have come to the right place.

What Is Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)?

Total Productive Maintenance is a proactive asset maintenance system that focuses on keeping an organization’s equipment in optimum working condition, increasing equipment availability, and avoiding breakdowns and delays in core processes.

Unlike other maintenance strategies, with TPM, machine operators are involved in the maintenance process of the equipment they operate. TPM is applicable across several industries but is most commonly used in the manufacturing sector largely because of its radical and unique approach to equipment maintenance.

One factor that makes TPM particularly relevant to manufacturing processes is Overall Equipment Effectiveness. It seeks to determine the percentage of planned production time that is actually productive. Its aim is to track progression towards “perfect production” with scores ranging from as low as 40% for inefficient systems to 100% for perfect production.

What Are The Objectives Of TPM?

The concept behind TPM is geared towards achieving certain objectives including:

  • A proactive and “all hands on deck” approach to maintenance with a shared responsibility for equipment care.
  • Staff at all levels in the enterprise are involved in the maintenance process leading to increased uptime.
  • Achieving zero equipment defects and zero downtime.
  • Achieving zero accident levels and creating a safer working environment.
  • Avoiding wastage in the production process.
  • Improving final product quality.

What Are The Advantages Of TPM?

By blurring the traditional distinction between production and maintenance teams, companies that employ TPM can reap the following benefits:

  • Operators are empowered to maintain their machines giving them a sense of “ownership.”
  • Minor maintenance issues are noticed and rectified faster rather, without waiting for the attention of the maintenance technicians.
  • Overall improved productivity via fewer breakdowns and stops.
  • Improved product quality and subsequent customer satisfaction.
  • Reduced manufacturing cost.
  • Reduced number of accidents in the work process.

The Anatomy Of Total Productive Maintenance

TPM consists of 5S methodology that serves as a base and 8 pillars, each depicting one type of activities that need to be implemented and used in order to achieve TPM objectives we discussed above.

The structure of total productive maintenance - TPM pillars

5S – The Meaning Behind “S“

The implementation of total productive maintenance starts with creating a strong base (read work environment) you can build upon. That foundation is achieved by employing 5S methodology.

5S goal is to ensure that the work environment is clean and properly organized by defining the procedures for using the equipment therein.

Each “S” in 5S stands for:

  • Sort – Identify useful items and eliminate those that are not required. It makes work easier by removing obstacles and reducing the risk of disturbance from unwanted items.
  • Set In Order – Organize new space and remaining items. Tools, equipment, and other resources are well-arranged and in close proximity when needed.
  • Shine – Clean and inspect workplace. The work area is safer, more pleasant to work in, and equipment is better preserved.
  • Standardize – Document standards for the above steps. Establish consistency and make it a part of the daily routine.
  • Sustain – Apply standards regularly. Carry out regular audits, training, and discipline and be receptive to feedback and suggestions for improvements.

5S Methodology

Pillars Of Total Productive Maintenance

There are eight pillars of TPM which are focused on proactive and preventive procedures for improving equipment availability.

Pillar #1 – Autonomous Maintenance (AM)

The first pillar in TPM is Autonomous Maintenance. It involves the shift in responsibility for basic maintenance tasks from maintenance personnel to the machine operators. Such tasks include actions like inspection, cleaning, lubrication, etc. However, when machine operators do encounter problems beyond their capabilities, all they need to do is create a work order for the attention of the maintenance team.

What Autonomous Maintenance Aims To Accomplish

By making machine operators responsible for the daily upkeep of their equipment, Autonomous Maintenance frees maintenance technicians from being occupied with less critical activities. Therefore, it allows these technicians the time to concentrate on more demanding technical repairs.

A well implemented AM procedure will result in faster detection of faults, less equipment downtime, and better employee participation.

How CMMS Can Help Autonomous Maintenance

When AM is used with a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), organizations can see significant results in several areas including:

Activity Logging: For one thing, managers can probably relate to the challenge of getting machine operators to perform TPM tasks. Typically, operators would rather just work with the machines and be done with it. However, with CMMS, it becomes extremely easy to monitor the process effectively and see who has or hasn’t done what.  

By allowing operators to know and log their daily TPM tasks with minimal training and little to no disturbance on their normal workflow, operators are better motivated to use it which makes the transition to TPM much easier.

Work Order Management: Using this module in CMMS, operators can quickly raise work orders to report machine faults they can’t handle themselves.

Work request portal in CMMS

Pillar #2 – Maintenance Improvement (MI)

With Maintenance Improvement, organizations that still rely heavily on reactive maintenance can begin the transition to planned maintenance.

This transition happens in stages but starts with determining which assets will be placed on a planned maintenance program. The enterprise may decide to begin with a handful of equipment and then add others as time progresses. Thereafter, their focus turns to restoring/improving the assets and creating a list of regular maintenance tasks for each equipment.

What it Aims to Accomplish

Develop proactive and planned maintenance plans that will improve the reliability of the machines.

Since maintenance is now planned, the enterprise begins to reap the benefits of lower maintenance costs (through better-maintained assets), lower critical parts cost (through effective parts usage) and lower labor costs (through less overtime hours).

How CMMS Can Help With Maintenance Improvement

Use Of Equipment Data: One of the biggest advantages of CMMS is its ability to capture repair history. This feature is priceless at this point and by referring to equipment history, maintenance technicians are in a better position to accurately diagnose each asset before restoration or improvement can happen.

Implement A Proactive Maintenance Strategy: Among other things, proactive maintenance requires in-depth planning and it can all appear bewildering to an organization that has relied heavily on reactive maintenance in the past. Fortunately, CMMS shines again here as it makes it extremely easy to organize and schedule every step of a proactive maintenance plan.

Pillar #3 – Focused Improvement (FI)

There are six major losses commonly encountered in the manufacturing process and Focused Improvement seeks to identify and eliminate them. By doing that, the organization can improve quality, speed, and efficiency in its processes and increase OEE.

Focused improvement (FI)

What It Aims To Accomplish

FI creates an enabling environment for the creation of multi-talented teams within the enterprise that come together to work out a system that achieves regular and sustainable improvements in equipment operation. Effectively, it guarantees minimal losses within the production process.

How CMMS Can Help With Focused Improvement

Data Analysis: It would be troublesome (or almost impossible) to accurately capture which assets are experiencing the most downtime without using the historical data trail available in a CMMS. By using CMMS, one can better pinpoint the hiccups in the process and quickly deploy new strategies to eliminate future losses.

Pillar #4 – Education and Training (ET)

TPM is a unique approach to maintenance because of its emphasis on all workers having the basic ability to carry out inspections and minor preventative maintenance tasks. Hence, it is essential that everyone is exposed to the training required to ensure TPM’s success.

Emphasis should be on employees knowing not only the “how” but also the “why” for adopting Total Productive Maintenance. Employee support and commitment to the entire process is essential for success.

Take the Autonomous Maintenance pillar for instance. Even though the maintenance technicians in company XYZ are well grounded in the workings of each equipment, imagine what would happen if they don’t care to transfer the needed knowledge to the machine operators. Or, they do so in a haphazard and lackluster manner because they just don’t see or understand the “why” of the process. In such a case, not only would serious problems occur during implementation but there’s the risk of operators sustaining machine-related injuries due to improper training.

What It Aims To Accomplish

Adequate training will create a team of multi-skilled employees that feel like they have a stake in the assets they maintain. They are empowered to perform the assigned repairs effectively and independently. With time, the organization will enjoy the benefits of a system that is full of “experts” who can keep downtime to the barest minimum.

How CMMS Can Help With Education and Training

Proper Transfer Of Skills: CMMS can be used to ensure that the operators handle the machines effectively and safely by creating detailed (with pictures) step-by-step maintenance instructions for every equipment placed on the TPM program.

Pillar #5 – Quality Management (QM)

The concept behind Quality Maintenance is straightforward – keeping equipment in perfect condition to maintain perfect product quality (yield).

Every equipment is checked at certain intervals to establish its operating condition, ensure consistent output quality, and prevent defects beforehand. This can be done through occasional manual inspections, using condition-monitoring sensors, or even a combination of both methods.

What It Aims To Accomplish

QM aims to deliver defect-free manufacturing and elimination of resource waste. It does this by identifying and correcting potential non-conformance in assets that have a direct impact on goods produced in the manufacturing process. The result is increased production efficiency and customer delight in the finished product.

How CMMS Can Help With Quality Maintenance

Predictive Maintenance: Though planned maintenance has its place in maintaining quality through routine manual inspections, that alone may not suffice as there is still too much room for human error.

Instead, organizations can take things further by using real-time condition-monitoring sensors to detect potential issues that could directly impact product quality. Whichever method they choose to adopt, a CMMS will adequately capture and analyze the data whether it’s coming from sensors or human input.

Pillar #6 – Early Equipment Management (EEM)

This pillar focuses on avoiding common issues in machine operation by addressing the problem at the source – design and manufacturing.

In Early Equipment Maintenance, assigned personnel gather details about the common issues associated with the particular equipment. They then forward that information to the manufacturer or an in-house engineering department for consideration. This results in new machines or components that are redesigned to be an improvement on the previous ones.

What It Aims To Accomplish

EEM is one of the best methods for eliminating future equipment problems because the feedback is coming from the direct users. The newer designs are better configured and can be deployed faster into the manufacturing process as there would be a fewer start-up and stop issues.

How CMMS Can Help With Early Equipment Maintenance

Reporting: Again, the reporting capabilities of CMMS are invaluable here. Technicians are able to pinpoint specifically where the problems are occurring – and the component(s) causing the problem. Thereafter, it becomes a simple matter of obtaining the information from the software with a few clicks and sending it to the parties concerned for corrections.

Pillar #7 – Safety, Health, and Environment (SHE)

SHE pillar seeks to create a safe working environment both internally and in the immediate surroundings. The need for safety is a recurring one and should remain at the foreground while executing all other TPM pillars.

The organization can keep its people and assets safe through activities like frequent inspections, providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), etc.

What It Aims To Accomplish

SHE aims for a safe, healthy, and accident-free workplace.

Safety, Health, and Environment (SHE Pillar)

How CMMS Can Help With Safety, Health, and Environment

Safety and health are a big deal. Companies that are complacent can find themselves at the receiving end of heavy fines and stiff penalties. To avoid that, there is much an organization can achieve with CMMS at the SHE stage of TPM including:

Safety Planning: CMMS allows users to build safety plans for specific projects and tasks and at the same time, keep track of hazards even across multiple equipment and locations.

Proof of Inspections: Even when no accident has occurred, external agencies can still request for safety inspection records as part of their routine checks. CMMS can quickly generate records of inspections as proof of compliance.

General Safety Recording: Modern CMMS software allows users to store and retrieve a variety of safety-related records such as MSDS, SOPs, Mechanical and Electrical Safety Checklists, and so on.

Pillar #8 – Administrative and Office TPM (AO)

The benefits of Total Productive Maintenance are not limited to the plant floor. This pillar addresses the issue of waste in several administrative functions. Examples of such functions include procurement, managing office equipment, and order processing.

What It Aims To Accomplish

Improving administrative functions can have a direct effect on the manufacturing process. For instance, timely order processing can eliminate delays in production.

AO TPM also seeks to address losses in the office such as communication loss, office equipment breakdown, wasted time due to poor record keeping, and poor logistics chain.

How CMMS Can Help With Administrative and Office TPM

There is often a disconnect between plant workers and administrative staff. Especially with regards to documentation and procurement. CMMS serves as an easily accessible storage to help speed up both processes.

Document Management: CMMS users can store and retrieve information in seconds, without waiting for help from another party.

Inventory Management: The inventory management module in CMMS allows users to manage supplies and monitor reorder levels whether for the office or the plant.

Parts and Inventory Management in Limble CMMS

How To Implement TPM In Your Organization

Total Productive Maintenance is a system that will transform the way an organization operates. Certainly, it is not a quick fix and depending on the size and complexity of the company’s operations, it may take years to fully implement.

Like other manufacturing tools, it is implemented in systematic phases. Below is a look at the 12-Step Approach to TPM implementation. An organization can tailor the implementation process to suit their business or resources at the time. So, they may choose a very simple start with one test or pilot equipment or they can decide to implement TPM with the all machines within one unit, before gradually expanding to other units.

A. Preparatory Stage

Step #1 – Announcement of TPM

After adequate deliberations, the top management will declare its decision and commitment to introduce TPM. The information reaches the staff through departmental meetings, emails, etc.

Step #2 – Launch Education Program

Starting with senior management, the company will embark on orientation and training programs to give its top-level managers a thorough understanding of what to expect. The rest of the staff should be trained shortly after.

Step #3 – Establish Organizational TPM Teams

Preparation continues with the formation of TPM teams. These groups will be responsible for creating and promoting the desired organizational models suitable for that specific company.

Step #4 – Analysis and Goal Setting

Based on the Total Productive Maintenance training received and their analysis of the company culture, the committees and senior management will proceed to:

  • Identify pain areas that the TPM methodology can address. Data from CMMS will help at this point to ascertain pressing equipment issues.
  • Set general TPM principles and targets.
  • Create a basic TPM policy that maps out benchmarks to standardize and guide the process.
  • List any other projected goals.

Step #5 – Create Detailed Master Plan

A good starting point is a 3-year master plan for implementing Total Productive Maintenance. This plan will document – among other things – how to do what and at what point to introduce each of the eight pillars of TPM.

This plan will include every detail that is necessary for TPM implementation. It must also cover unique issues and challenges that the organization operates under. Failure to do this means the master plan is not practical and this could cause serious setbacks early on.

B. Kick Off Stage

Step #6 – Kick-Off Your Total Productive Maintenance Program

At this stage, the organization officially kicks off its TPM program. This step signifies the firm’s commitment to this new system and is widely publicized to all stakeholders –  customers, vendors, contractors, affiliates, and all other stakeholders.

C. Execution Stage

The enterprise can begin to introduce the eight pillars of Total Productive Maintenance in the order that works for them.

Step #7 – Implement Maintenance Improvement

The goal here is to restore various equipment to their prime operating condition and establish a planned maintenance schedule before handing it over to the operators. This will include both new and old assets.

The maintenance team will need to:

Step #8 – Implement Autonomous Maintenance

Before any training or transfer of responsibilities from maintenance technicians to machine operators takes place, it is vital to first determine exactly what routine tasks the operators can effectively handle without disrupting their own work-flow. In addition, the maintenance team still needs to check the equipment at regular intervals and not leave the assets entirely to the discretion of operators.

Once that is settled, training of the operators can commence. Operators should be taught the following and be thoroughly tested to ensure they can:

  1. Identify and carry out required inspections.
  2. Access the lubrication points safely and correctly lubricate the machine.
  3. Detect and report any anomalies and enter necessary information into the CMMS.

It’s a good practice to create simple checklists that operators can use in Autonomous Maintenance. Visual aids, diagrams, and graphs placed on or near the equipment will serve as visual reminders and help reduce errors. For example, this is a simple colored drawing of an abrasive wheel equipment grinder with an easy to follow checklist. It can be adapted for other machines as well.

Step #9 – Implement Safety, Health, and Environment Pillar

The importance of safety cannot be overemphasized. SHE is relevant in all pillars of TPM and management should create an enabling environment that encourages and, if possible, rewards zero accidents.

Step #10 – Implement Quality Maintenance

Similar to the SHE pillar, quality maintenance applies across all areas of the organization and the implementation of Total Productive Maintenance. There is little point trying to implement TPM if the quality is regarded as unimportant.

During this step, all parties have to adopt laid down standards aimed at reducing quality defects in the production process so it is important to be proactive about quality maintenance. Seek to create conditions that won’t breed defects in the first place and continuously work to improve those conditions.

Some ways to achieve this is through frequent audits, manual inspections of assets and/or by using condition-monitoring sensors.

Step #11 – Implement Office TPM

By studying the processes in the administrative arm of the business, any sources of loss are easily detected. The following step is to create a detailed plan to arrest these areas of inefficiency and waste. Some common areas where offices experience the most loss include energy usage and paper waste.

All office equipment should be captured and assigned to specific staff for tracking and maintenance.

D. Establishment Stage

Step #12 – Continuous Improvement

At this stage, implementation of Total Productive Maintenance is complete but there is always some room for improvement. The organization will need to carry out routine audits of every department while still aiming for increased all-around performance.

Conclusion

TPM is a tried and tested system that works whether in manufacturing plants, building maintenance, fleet maintenance, construction, or the service industry.

While it brings many benefits, Total Productive Maintenance requires a thorough strategy and a lot of commitment as it can take years to fully implement. A half-hearted approach will not do.

The good news is that organizations that do successfully implement it, often become leaders in their respective niches.

Before you start making any changes in your maintenance department, you need to make sure that your core maintenance operations and procedures are well set, defined, and tracked. If you need any help with that, let’s have a chat and see if we can help you.

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