Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

In Lean, maintenance should be proactive. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a method for maintaining equipment so that problems like breakdowns and slow-running machines don’t interfere with productivity.

A key part of TPM is that it involves equipment operators in maintenance. That isn’t to say TPM eliminates the need for maintenance personnel. Instead it teaches operators to take responsibility for the equipment they use by involving them in basic maintenance functions and frees maintenance workers up for larger projects.

TPM has many components, which are sometimes called the 8 Pillars of TPM. These pillars include:

  • Autonomous Maintenance – Gives responsibility for basic maintenance to operators.
  • Planned maintenance – Schedules more serious maintenance regularly.
  • Quality maintenance – Seeks to improve problems and defects.
  • Focused improvement – Teams work together to improve equipment operation.
  • Early Equipment Management – Smart equipment design.
  • TPM in Administration – Use TPM in administrative and support functions.
  • Training/Education – Provide all involved with necessary information.
  • Safety/Health/Environment – Keep the workplace safe and accident free.

TPM works best when a strong 5S foundation exists. Businesses that use 5S usually have work environments that are organized and well maintained. In a clean environment, it’s easier to see problems and perform maintenance.

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