How can I use visual communication in TPM?

When total productive maintenance is used in a facility, operators are trained to perform preventive and routine maintenance on the machines they work with every day. Operators should be trained to look for signs a piece of equipment may be failing or improvements that could be made. An easy and cost-effective way to enforce training and promote a TPM culture is through visual communication. The following are just a few visual tools and strategies you can use while implementing TPM in your workplace:

  • Inspection labels and tags: Inspections are a major part of TPM and using visual cues can be extremely beneficial. TPM inspection cards are color-coded tags used to indicate inspection frequency and the sequence of checks on the machine. Inspection record tags are useful for quickly communication the machine's history of inspections including when these inspections happened and who conducted them.
  • Equipment labels: Workers should know immediately the status of a machine or piece of equipment. Using labels that read "EQUIPMENT TO BE CLEANED" achieve just that. As equipment moves through a cleaning or servicing process, it will be important to communicate where it's at the process, so employees know what is going on with its maintenance.
  • TPM board: Setting up a TPM board is an excellent visual management tool. It can show all relevant information that has to do with maintenance and transparently show all the data collected from machines and equipment. The board can also be used as a schedule for inspections and a place for operators to understand what service may have been done on a machine they're working with.
  • Posters: Posters and wall signs are always great tool to remind workers about total productive maintenance. Use posters with TPM messages and reminders of equipment waste to promote a culture of preventative and predictive maintenance.

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