How are TPM and Lean related?

The goal of Lean manufacturing is to systematically minimize and eliminate wastes within the manufacturing process will maximizing efficiency. To achieve this, Lean offers a number of tools and strategies, like total productive maintenance, that address different areas and wastes in the workplace.

adding tpm pillars to lean

Maintenance is a staple to any industrial facility and is often thought of as reactive: when a machine finally breaks down or a piece of equipment fails, the maintenance crew is scheduled to service it. While this may seem logical, reactive maintenance is unproductive and can lead to waste of time and resources, wasted motion, inefficiencies, and defects. TPM is a Lean maintenance program that promotes the concept of frontline workers and operators being involved in maintenance processes.

Creating a Lean Maintenance Program 

Total productive maintenance is made up of pillars, eight concepts that work to improve equipment reliability and productivity. Starting a TPM program will most likely take a significant amount of effort and planning to properly implement. It includes training operators, forming committees performing evaluations, developing plans and much more. Like Lean manufacturing, top management must give their support and involve themselves with TPM in order for it to be successful.

TPM can be used alongside other Lean tools and strategies, but it is often seen as a continuation or extension of 5S. 5S issued to reduce wasted time and materials through organization and standardization while TPM reduces wastes that are a result if equipment malfunctions or requires repair. All avoidable wastes can be reduced or eliminated when these two strategies are jointly implemented.

Although many consider TPM one of the most difficult Lean strategies to implement, the significant reduction of waste and the benefits of the TPM program make the efforts worthwhile. When TPM is successfully implemented, a facility will find they run much more smoothly, production has increased, employee morale is improved, and costly wastes are reduced or eliminated.


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