Following LEAN Production principles, total productive maintenance, or TPM, is a comprehensive approach to keep equipment in top shape for achieving flawless production. It targets goals like zero downtime, no halts or slowdowns, the reduction of production defects, and the elimination of accidents.

Since the inception of the industrial landscape, there’s been a shift from reactive maintenance to a more proactive approach. Instead of fixing machines after they break, preventive maintenance programs now aim to make repairs to prevent downtime before it can occur. Today, advanced predictive maintenance technologies are taking it a step further. Predictive maintenance done on a cloud-based platform allows teams to log and track real-time data for assessing asset performance and status. This advancement is helping maintenance managers move closer to achieving total productive maintenance.

That being said, to succeed with such an ambitious plan, we need a solid foundation. This brings us to the 8 TPM pillars. Putting these into practice is not just crucial for enabling TPM, but also for ensuring its lasting success.


The 8 Pillars of TPM

    1. Autonomous Maintenance

      Maintenance done by operators, which is known as autonomous maintenance, lets them handle tasks typically done by maintenance staff. It encourages frontline workers to take ownership of their machines, performing routine tasks like cleaning, inspection, and lubrication (CIL).

      This pillar connects operators to their machines, freeing up engineers and maintenance teams for more specialized tasks. Autonomous maintenance empowers operators to catch issues early and address small problems before they become big ones. Over time, implementing autonomous maintenance makes a significant impact on the performance of the shop floor.

    2. Focused Improvement

      This pillar is essentially the same as Kaizen, a Japanese philosophy centered on making small, ongoing enhancements. In the spirit of Kaizen, all production personnel are urged to notice, seek, and suggest improvements. The ultimate aim is to minimize production-related issues and maintain a smooth workflow.

      In practical terms within total productive maintenance, applying Kaizen involves creating cross-departmental teams to brainstorm solutions for machinery and equipment issues. These collaborative efforts are often referred to as Kaizen events or Kaizen blitzes.

    3. Planned Maintenance

      Planned maintenance stands out as the most effective approach to prevent downtime and equipment breakdowns. By keeping all assets operational, you not only ensure quality but also steer clear of customer complaints (for B2C) and enhance compliance (for B2B service providers). When planning maintenance activities that require machinery shutdowns, it’s advisable to schedule them after regular work hours.

    4. Quality Assurance Maintenance

      This TPM pillar focuses on maintaining a high standard of quality in your maintenance processes. Essentially, it means ensuring that your maintenance activities meet specific standards and continue to be effective. A useful method is to employ root cause analysis to pinpoint the source of problems.

      By focusing on quality assurance, you avoid spending time on maintenance that doesn’t address your issues. Additionally, incorporating quality control helps catch defects early, ensuring product quality and preventing extra effort needed for reworking products later on.

    5. Early Equipment Maintenance

      Early equipment maintenance stands as one of the key TPM pillars. When deciding on new equipment or creating new products, it’s beneficial to learn from past experiences to simplify maintenance. This could be as straightforward as choosing washable paint for walls to make cleaning easier or as advanced as selecting a robot with self-diagnostic capabilities to enhance production.

    6. Training and Education

      In the TPM approach, it’s crucial to ensure that everyone understands the TPM process and objectives. This involves creating a practical plan for focused improvement, establishing and following a planned maintenance schedule, and equipping operators with everything necessary for self-sufficient maintenance. Whenever teams adopt a new method or tool, hands-on training becomes instrumental for smooth integration.

    7. Safety, Environment, and Health

      Here, the focus is all about making the workplace safe and healthy. It works in two ways: fixing things after they happen (corrective) and stopping unsafe situations before accidents occur (preventive).

      Beyond just preventing accidents, the goal is to create a work environment that’s good for workers—physically and mentally. This includes things like air quality, workload, and available facilities.

    8. TPM in Administration

      While doing TPM in the factory is important, it’s also important to incorporate TPM in the office. This means assessing administrative processes and ensuring that they are as smooth and uncluttered as possible. Software solutions like NEXGEN can help with this by streamlining both administrative tasks and tasks that happen on the floor.

But how, exactly, can a CMMS like NEXGEN assist in implementing a TPM program?

Implementing TPM with NEXGEN CMMS

If you’re thinking about starting a TPM program in your facility, there are specific steps to follow. These involve making your processes consistent and keeping track of your OEE, among other things. A computerized maintenance management software, or CMMS, can make these steps easier in the following ways.

  1. For a successful TPM program, you’ll need to set clear standards for your facility and make sure everyone understands them. NEXGEN can assist by helping you create and store digital standard operating procedures for various aspects, from maintenance to safety. With a CMMS like NEXGEN, your staff can access these procedures from anywhere.
  2. You must also maintain the condition of your equipment by incorporating the 5S audit system, focusing on organization, cleanliness, orderliness, standardization, and sustainability. While implementing these steps, make informed decisions about methods and delegate tasks to team members.
  3. Effective facility management relies heavily on preventive maintenance, a core capability of a CMMS. NEXGEN, for example, enables you to efficiently schedule and assign preventive maintenance work orders, stay informed with real-time updates from the operational floor, and closely monitor asset performance so that you can execute maintenance tasks before big issues arise.

NEXGEN provides various features to help businesses enhance their maintenance programs. These include automated scheduling and tracking for planned maintenance, standard operating procedures for workflows and safety, and communication features for team-wide collaboration.

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