Total productive maintenance (TPM) is a methodology that aims to achieve and maintain equipment reliability, ensuring that operations can run smoothly and consistently. By maintaining quality equipment to avoid downtime, overall performance is maximized and losses from both delays and failure to meet demand are avoided. In this article, we discuss some examples of how TPM plays a key role in equipment reliability, helping businesses implement the methodology successfully.
If operators using equipment maintain a level of responsibility for the businesses assets, the condition of the equipment is bound to result in smoother operations. An example of ongoing care would be simple jobs such as cleaning after use, lubricating the machinery, or addressing any loose bolts upon noticing. Since the employees operating the equipment have a thorough understanding of how it works, they should be in a position to be able to maintain its overall condition and identify any potential issues before they escalate, keeping the tools in good condition so they are able to continue carrying out their role efficiently.
My planning maintenance dates for scheduled equipment checks and repairs, time can be allocated into the calendar to plan for downtime and thus minimize disruption. Annual checks should be carried out on all equipment to ensure it is signed off as fit for use, but in the meantime, it is a good TPM practice to incorporate maintenance time into project timelines to prepare for unexpected issues. Keeping a record of past issues is a good way to be able to analyze the data and estimate the amount of downtime needed, maximizing the calendar and minimizing the likelihood of unreliable equipment.
Employees who regularly use equipment should be thoroughly trained to carry out routine equipment checks before use. These basic checks may include monitoring the sound, temperature, or speed to look out for any inconsistencies or potential safety issues. By remaining tuned in to the equipment they are using, any problems can be reported and addressed quickly to avoid delays in the process, or even injury to workers.
Taking care of equipment is one of the most important parts of maintaining function. As well as inspections and repairs, a well-enforced cleaning schedule will ensure employees are proactively keeping the businesses assets in good condition. Depending on the nature of the equipment, cleaning rotas will define whether the equipment needs cleaning after every use, at the end of the day, or less often. By communicating the requirements with all employees through either written instruction where the equipment is stored or on a printed rota which allocates duties to each team member, this process will extend the lifespan of the equipment.
TPM requires more than a one-off process. The principles need to be integrated into ongoing operations as part of a continuous effort to maintain quality among business assets. The equipment being used should be regularly analyzed to identify any repeat issues faced and potential areas for improvement, using the data recorded to find new ways of working that can help contribute to continuous improvements.
- What are the pillars of TPM?
- Why is Reliability Important?
- How can I use visual communication in TPM?
- How are TPM and Lean related?
- What is OEE?
- How does TPM relate to OEE?
- What are some tools of TPM?
- What does TPM stand for?
- What are the steps to implementing TPM?