Seiichi Nakajima came up with the concept of complete productive maintenance in the 1950s. However, the term didn't catch on until decades later. For talks on preventive maintenance given by American George Smith, a leader in the idea of maintenance improvement, Nakajima, a Japanese engineer, acted as the interpreter.

Inspired by Smith, Nakajima developed a new technique known as total productive maintenance by fusing ideas from American preventive maintenance with other maintenance techniques, including reliability engineering, quality management, and operator-assisted maintenance (TPM). The 5S approach of workplace organization lays the groundwork for this early iteration of TPM and contains the following steps: Sort, arrange, shine (clean and organize), standardize, and sustain are the first three steps.

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What Is Total Productive Maintenance?

A key component of Lean Management/Manufacturing, total productive maintenance embraces a comprehensive strategy for optimizing facility maintenance with the primary goal of eliminating resource waste, employee accidents, product defects, and unplanned downtime. These objectives are achieved through preventive maintenance, continuous training, and effective collaboration between production and maintenance personnel.

With equipment effectiveness at its core, total productive maintenance empowers equipment operators with skills training, proactive maintenance programs, and productivity benchmark assessments, so that they can fully take charge of the maintenance of assets assigned to them. Higher levels of workforce autonomy decrease over-dependence on breakdown/reactive maintenance.

Components of Overall Equipment Effectiveness

Overall equipment effectiveness is a maintenance KPI that gauges an asset's production degree. Asset availability, asset performance, and production quality are the three criteria that makeup OEE, which tells you how effective an asset is during the manufacturing process. You may learn something unique about an asset's operation from each one.

Availability: How frequently does the asset perform when necessary?

Performance: measures how much an asset produces.

Quality: How many products does the asset create that are of good quality?

When an asset has a 100% OEE, it signifies that every product it makes is flawless (quality), that it is producing as quickly as feasible (performance), and that it never has unanticipated downtime (availability).

What Are the Benefits of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)?

By implementing and leveraging TPM principles, such as scheduling preventive maintenance tasks and involving machine operators to perform equipment maintenance activities, organizations can reap the following benefits of total productive maintenance:​​​​​​​

  • Minimal malfunctions of equipment
  • Elimination of unforeseen downtime
  • Enhanced performance and output
  • Lower operating costs
  • Cleaner and healthier work environment
  • Improved workplace safety due to stricter adherence to safety regulations
  • Intensified skill development
  • Greater employee empowerment
  • Higher collaboration and sharing of knowledge between departments and teams
  • Reduced risks of accidents
  • Better compliance with environmental laws and guidelines
  • Increased satisfaction among all stakeholders

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What Are the 5s Foundation of Total Productive Maintenance?

The "5s" are the core elements of total productive maintenance, which serve as the foundation for TPM. When implemented correctly, the 5s help create a clean, safe, efficient, and organized workplace that boosts equipment effectiveness, improves efficiency, and reduces waste. The 5s of total productive maintenance are as follows:

  • Sort: Separate important tools, materials, and equipment from the less-important ones, and remove unnecessary items from the workspace.
  • Straighten: Organize everything that's important and make sure that they are always available at the right time and in the right place. 
  • Shine: Inspect and clean the workplace at all times, including tools and equipment, to avoid equipment breakdowns.
  • Standardize: Develop a framework and establish clear standards to facilitate the implementation of the above 3 Ss.
  • Sustain: Ensure long-term sustainment of the 5s methodology through continuous improvement and regular audits of safety regulations.

To set up a wholescale maintenance program, 5s should be applied together with the “8 pillars” of total productive maintenance listed below.

Traditional TPM Pillars

The traditional pillars of Total Preventive Maintenance (TPM) are typically grouped into the following categories: Autonomous Maintenance (AM), Predictive Maintenance (PM), Productive Maintenance (ProdM), and Quality Maintenance (QM). TPM efforts focus on maximizing the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of assets by improving these pillars. To understand how to tackle TPM most effectively, it is first essential to understand the definition and purpose of each of these pillars.

The 8 Pillars of TPM (Total Productive Maintenance)

TPM consists of 8 pillars that mainly focus on preventive and proactive maintenance practices aimed at improving equipment performance and reliability. The 8 pillars of total productive maintenance are:

Autonomous Maintenance

The concept of autonomous maintenance refers to routine, preventive maintenance activities to be performed by operators, such as lubricating, cleaning, and servicing production lines. Giving operators a greater level of responsibility ensures early detection of equipment issues before they develop into critical problems.

Kaizen (Focused Improvement)

Kaizen, which means "continuous improvement" in Japanese, is a business philosophy that views productivity enhancements as a methodical and gradual progression. It promotes collaboration among teams for incremental process improvements and problem solving through cross-functional approaches, with the common intention of creating an organizational culture of focused, continuous improvement.

Planned Maintenance

Scheduled maintenance activities based on failure-rate datasets. Planned maintenance extends machine life, minimizes malfunctions, and reduces the risk of a breakdown.

Early Equipment Management

A process that capitalizes on existing knowledge of current equipment to develop improved and more efficient new machines. Having a prior understanding of the new machines in operation not only helps achieve optimized performance levels, but it also simplifies maintenance tasks dramatically.

Quality Maintenance

The primary objective of quality maintenance is to enhance production quality by eliminating the underlying cause of failures and defects. It focuses on making fault diagnosis an integral part of the overall production process.

Training and Education

One of the main goals of total productive maintenance is to provide continuous and adequate training to address the skills gap of all personnel. This ensures that the entire workforce, be it production managers, machine operators, or maintenance technicians, remains highly trained to meet TPM standards.

TPM in Office Environment

TPM is not just limited to production facilities - it also intends to improve office and administrative operations. Companies should keep in mind that the principles of total productive maintenance need to be adopted throughout an organizational structure, including offices, which will facilitate waste elimination and increase administrative efficiency in procurement, order processing, and scheduling.

SHE (Safety, Health, Environment)

The top priority of total productive maintenance is to offer a healthy and safe ecosystem for all employees. Planned maintenance activities eliminate the risk of mishaps, ensuring accident-free workplace environments.

OEE and 6 Main Losses

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a measure of manufacturing productivity. It considers the six significant losses: downtime, defects, setup time, reduced speed, idling and startup, and minor failures. OEE provides a quantitative way to identify and track productivity improvements, and OEE is a comprehensive measure that captures how well a manufacturing operation is utilized.

OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) is a metric used to measure productivity in many industries. It considers three factors: availability, performance, and quality. OEE is often used in conjunction with the six significant losses, which are the six ways productivity can be lost. These losses are downtime, startup and shutdown losses, minor stops, reduced speed, reduced yield, and startup rejects.

Introduction to OEE  

OEE is a comprehensive measure that captures how well a manufacturing operation is utilized. The Six Big Losses commonly refer to the major causes of downtime for any manufacturing process. By understanding and addressing these six losses, manufacturers can improve their OEE score and increase their overall manufacturing productivity.

Creating a “Best of the Best” OEE Goal 

As the newly hired factory manager, your goal is to increase productivity within the plant. You have been tasked with creating a new “Best of the Best” OEE goal for the plant. To do this, you must first understand what OEE is and how it is calculated. 

First, you need to know your overall equipment effectiveness goal. You need to find out what the best of the best plants in your industry are achieving and then set your goal at that level. If you’re unsure how to do this, we can help you, and we have extensive experience in this area and can point you in the right direction.

Understanding the Six Big Losses  

With the rapid development of industry, people have begun to pay attention to efficiency and losses in various aspects. There are six big losses in the production process: material loss, equipment loss, personnel loss, information loss, time loss, and energy loss. As an important aspect of production management, the six big losses have been paid more and more attention by enterprises. Reducing and avoiding the six big losses is necessary to improve production efficiency and product quality.

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How to Implement Total Productive Maintenance?

The first step in proactive maintenance is establishing a baseline for “normal” performance. This can be done through various means, but some of the most common are data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Once a baseline has been established, it is possible to identify when a machine or process deviates from that baseline. This deviation can trigger an inspection or repair before the issue becomes a bigger problem.

After the decision to implement Total Productive Maintenance has been made, the next step is to select a team responsible for carrying out the process. The team should be composed of representatives from each department affected by the change. Involving as many people as possible in the decision-making process is important to ensure everyone is on board with the new system. Once the team has been selected, they can begin to develop a plan of action.

TPM implementation entails the following steps:

  • Top management's announcement to launch TPM
  • Informational activities on the TPM campaign
  • Establishment of the organization's TPM promotion committee
  • Establishing fundamental TPM goals and concepts
  • Creating a master strategy for putting TPM into practice
  • Beginning of TPM
  • Implementation of a method to increase production efficiency
  • Development of a new product and equipment initial control system
  • Implementing quality control methods
  • Implementing a method to increase the effectiveness of the office of administration and other agencies
  • Establishing mechanisms to control environmental, health, and safety risks
  • Full TPM installation and level enhancement
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How to Calculate TPM?

The calculation of Overall Equipment Effectiveness is the ideal method for determining TPM (OEE).

OEE = performance x Availability x Quality

The following is subtracted from 100% to determine availability:

Time lost due to equipment malfunction, setup and adjustment time lost, and beginning work after breaks and weekends lost time.

Performance is determined by subtracting the following from 100%:

Minor interruption-related time losses and speed-related time losses (actual vs. optimal speed).

Quality is calculated as 100% minus any losses due to production-related flaws.

The ultimate objective of TPM is to increase OEE to 100% or to keep equipment running at maximum efficiency with little downtime.

TPM Example

Step 1 – Identify Pilot Area

The first step in TPM’s expansion plans is identifying a pilot area. The pilot area will be used to test TPM’s expansion models and to gather data that will be used to refine the expansion plans. TPM has not yet identified a pilot area, but the company is considering several options. TPM is confident that it will be able to find a suitable pilot area shortly.

Step 2 – Restore Equipment to Prime Operating Condition

TPM Step Two is to Restore Equipment to Prime Operating Condition. This is important to the business because it ensures that all the equipment runs smoothly and at its best. This also helps to prevent any issues that may arise in the future. Restoring the equipment to its prime operating condition is a very important part of Total Productive Maintenance.

Step 3 – Start Measuring OEE 

The previous two steps of Total Productive Maintenance are important to establish the baseline for the organization. The third step, however, is just as important. This step is all about measurement. The organization needs to start measuring OEE to establish a baseline for improvement.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a maintenance program focusing on maintaining equipment to improve productivity. The goal of TPM is to maintain equipment so that it is always available when needed and to prevent unscheduled downtime. There are eight steps to TPM, and the third step is measuring OEE. OEE is a measure of the equipment’s performance and is used to identify areas where improvement is needed.

Step 4 – Address Major Losses  

To cover the topic of Total Productive Maintenance Step Four – Address Major Losses, this document will introduce the concept and then provide a few brief examples. Major losses generally fall into the following categories: unplanned downtime, planned downtime, and startup losses. A brief overview of each category will be given to provide context for the following examples. Finally, two real-world examples will be given to help further illustrate the concept of major losses.

Step 5 – Introduce Proactive Maintenance Techniques 

The final step in the TPM process is to introduce proactive maintenance techniques. This addresses minor losses that can eventually add to significant productivity gains. There are many proactive maintenance techniques, but some of the most common ones are condition-based, predictive, and preventive maintenance. 

What Is the Connection Between TPM and OEE? 

OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) is a metric that scores the overall effectiveness or health of equipment, as a percentage, based on its output quality, availability, and performance.

OEE represents the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) of a total productive maintenance program. It supports TPM strategies by precisely tracking the progress, to help achieve the "Perfect Production" - optimized operation, no downtime, no defects.

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Forward-thinking companies are increasingly taking an approach to integrate total productive maintenance with Lean Management and Six Sigma methodologies to drive production efficiency, reduce downtime, eliminate waste, and deliver more value to their customers. Therefore, to fully implement the key principles of TPM, it is crucial to understand the overlapping concepts of Six Sigma and Lean Management practices.

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  • *According to Simplilearn survey conducted and subject to terms & conditions with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) as Process Advisors