TPM essentials for reader in a hurry
TPM was officially
born in Japan, in 1971.
TPM is an evolution of former US maintenance known as PM (Productive Maintenance), method focusing improvement of machine
yield through proactive operator involvement.
The cradle of TPM was fierce competition already globalizing in automotive
TPM spread across European industry in the early 80th, by the means of books and
conclusions of Japanese carmakers benchmarking by their European counterparts.
In a context of mass
production and fierce competition, everything you can produce will be sold and
everything you cannot produce will be sold by competitors.
Produce more and better quality without additional investment is possible if
fighting wastes. This is the leitmotiv of all Japanese methods, and relatively
to machines management, it means seeking to maximize productive time, reduce non
productive time due to stops and breakdown, keep optimum takt and reduce
non-quality. These are the three levers of improvement through TPM;
availability, performance and quality.
The meaning of Total
Productive Maintenance is:
- Maintenance: maintain, keep in good operating
condition = repair, clean, lubricate and grease, and accept to allocate all the
- Productive: do the maintenance job while
producing or at least minimizing the impact on production.
- Total: consider every aspects and involve
TPM is more than
keeping machines in a good state, TPM fosters improvement. Operator
involvement is an opportunity to raise their know-how level and enrich their
jobs with basic maintenance tasks. Operator do know well the machines, they are
living intelligent sensors, able to detect abnormal situation by unusual noise,
odor, color or vibrations...
indicator used in TPM is the Overall Equipment Efficiency, OEE. OEE give
a simple and synthetic, yet severe overview, taking into account all parameters
decreasing machine yield. OEE is build on three "themes": availability,
performance and quality.
the follow-up and analysis of OEE components indicates where to focus for
TPM is a mature
method who got even more interest with the end of mass production.
harder to pay-off and make profit with high cost equipment and small size,
customized productions. These high-tech machines require more and more highly
skilled personnel. Empowered small teams ask for more autonomy and job
enrichment. As operators are key for overall shop performance, it is management
duty to keep them motivated, skilled and autonomous.
The breakthrough and
progress achieved with TPM, its apparent simplicity made this method popular.
BUT TPM deployment is not that simple! there are several pitfalls and as
many other projects, TPM sometimes will not survive after the first public
address and enthusiastic beginning.
Main pitfalls in TPM are bad targeting of first pilot machines, data collection
and operator so deeply involved in TPM activities they'll forget to produce!
It is better to start
TPM in a well targeted workshop, line or machine and extend it gradually to
TPM in details