Lean Maintenance

Lean maintenance is a strategy that aims to incorporate Lean principles into a maintenance program to boost productivity, reduce costs, and improve asset management.

Tools for Lean Maintenance

Many of the tools in the Lean manufacturing toolbox can be translated to a maintenance strategy. Some of these include:

  • 5S: This methodology is used to organize the workplace by sorting, setting in order, shining, standardizing, and sustaining. Using 5S can improve efficiency while providing a solid foundation for Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).
  • DOWNTIME: Also known as the "eight deadly wastes" DOWNTIME are wastes that can also be found in maintenance activities: Defect, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-utilized talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, and Excess processing.
  • Just-in-Time (JIT): In Lean manufacturing, JIT dictates the production line. In a maintenance program, equipment operators can practice just-in-time to ensure maintenance is being performed only when necessary, and not before it's too late.
  • Continuous improvement: The philosophy of Kaizen—believing that

What is Total Productive Maintenance?

The most common kind of maintenance strategy in a Lean manufacturing facility is known as Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). TPM aims to empower operators to take a proactive approach to maintenance in order to optimize the effectiveness and reliability of equipment by eliminating breakdowns, defects, and accidents. Key tenets of Lean TPM are:

  • Autonomous maintenance
  • Planned maintenance
  • Focused improvement
  • Quality maintenance
  • Early equipment management
  • Training and education
  • Safety, health, and environment
  • TPM administration

There are a number of benefits to utilizing Lean principles for a maintenance program including:

  • Eliminating urgency: If equipment is well taken care of and regularly inspected, production will almost never need to be halted to complete an emergency repair.
  • Saving costs: When maintenance is proactive and well planned, businesses won't be spending as much on costly repairs or replacement parts.
  • Reducing waste: In addition to saving time and money, a Lean maintenance program will help businesses avoid storing expensive (and out-of-order) inventory for long periods of time.

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