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Total Productive Maintenance

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a set of techniques that are aimed at ensuring that all machines in a production process are always available when they are needed and never break down on the job. This is a neat trick, especially in factories where shifts work around the clock.

A key principles of TPM is to elevate the humble maintenance task to be a serious part of the production process, rather than a bunch of fix-it mechanics or a 'when there's time' activity. It also aims to be more efficient than Preventive Maintenance (PM) which can be over-zealous in its regular servicing, even when it is not necessary.

The 16 major losses of TPM are:

  1. Breakdown
  2. Equipment failure
  3. Set up time
  4. Cutting blade and job change
  5. Start-up
  6. Other downtime
  7. Minor stoppages and idling
  8. Reduced speed
  9. Defects and rework
  10. Waiting for management
  11. Logistics
  12. Operating movements
  13. Measurement and adjustment
  14. Line organization
  15. Die and tool
  16. Energy
  17. Yield

Key principles include:

  1. Continuous improvement
  2. Autonomous maintenance (Jishu Hazen)
  3. Quality maintenance
  4. Material Flow system
  5. Education and training
  6. Office TPM (administration)
  7. Safety, hygiene and environment control
  8. Planned maintenance

The second point, autonomous maintenance, is a big deal in some factories, as it means machine operators no longer just operate: they maintain as well.

In its broadest focus, TPM followed in the tracks of TQM in requiring a high level of management commitment and empowerment of individual employees. 

TPM was originated in Nippondenso (a Toyota subsidiary) in Japan.

See also:

Lean systems

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