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What is Total Productive Maintenance?

This is a team based asset management strategy the puts emphasis on the cooperation between operations and maintenance departments with a goal of reducing defects, breakdowns and enhancing workplace design. TPM seeks to involve all levels of a company with their varying functions in an effort to maximize the effectiveness of production assets. This is important in improving the existing processes and asset availability by minimizing mistakes as well as accidents (Gulati & Smith, 2009).

Brief history of TPM

Total Productive Maintenance is a conception or strategy that originated in Japan and it was a strategy that was designed to support the Total quality management strategy. People in Japan realized that companies were unable to produce consistent products with poorly maintained equipments. TPM begun in 1950s and it focused on the preventive maintenance. As new equipments were installed, the focus was on implementing the preventive maintenance recommendations by the manufacturers of the equipments. A high value was placed on equipments that operated at designed specifications with no breakdowns. During the 1960s, Total Productive Maintenance focused on productive maintenance, recognizing the significance of reliability, maintenance and economic efficiency in design of plants. This focus used the data gathered or collected about equipment in the 1950s and incorporated it in the design, procurement, and construction phases of equipment management. In 1970s, the program evolved to a strategy focused on achieving efficiency through a comprehensive system based that is based on respect for individuals as well as total employee participation (Willmott & McCarthy, 2001). Nowadays, the international focus on TPM is becoming more intensive. This interest is expressed to support companies’ full utilization of assets (Charantimath).

Objectives of TPM

The objectives of TPM are to achieve zero breakdowns, zero defects and zero accidents in all areas of the organization and involve individuals at all levels of an organization. These objectives are achieved by involving all people in group activities that identify the causes and opportunities for equipment modifications. They can also be achieved by adopting the life cycle approach to improving the performance of the equipment (Wireman, 2004).

Goals in TPM

The goals of Total Productive Maintenance include improving maintenance efficiency and effectiveness, training to improve the skills of all people involved, improving equipment effectiveness, early equipment management and maintenance prevention, and involving operators in routine maintenance

  1. Improvement of  Equipment Effectiveness

This ensures that equipments perform to design specifications, which is the true focus of TPM. Other goals of TPM may be rendered useless unless they support improving equipment effectiveness. The focus should be based on the conviction that nowhere in the entire world can a different competing corporation have similar assets, which they it can manipulate produce more than your corporation or firm can produce. If it does, it is then better at managing its assets than your company and this will be always being the lower cost provider or producer. Further, equipments are supposed to operate at their design speed, produce at design rate, and produce quality product at these speeds and rate. A major problem arises because most corporations or companies are not acquainted with the design rate and speeds of production for their equipments. In the absence of knowing the criteria of design, management will set arbitrary production quotas. Another major difficult occurs over time when relatively small challenges compel operators to alter or make changes to the rates of running or operating the equipments. As these problems persist, the equipments’ output may be reduced from that for which they were designed. This inefficiency leads to the investment of additional capital in equipments in an effort to meet the required output (Wireman, 2004).

  1. Improvement of maintenance efficiency and effectiveness

This goal focuses on ensuring that all maintenance activities carried out on equipments are performed in cost effective ways. Mostly, about one third of all maintenance activities are wasted. Therefore, this goal or objective of Total Productive Maintenance is important to lowering the maintenance costs. It is very vital for all people to understand that basic maintenance scheduling is crucial to achieving low cost maintenance. The goal ensures lean maintenance with no waste in the process of maintenance. A secondary objective is to ensure that various maintenance activities are carried out in a way that they have minimal effects on the up time or equipment unavailability (Wireman, 2004).

  1. Early management of equipment and maintenance prevention

This goal aims at reducing the amount of maintenance that is required by equipments. Unfortunately, many companies fail to keep the necessary data necessary to make required changes through the equipment vendor. This leads to performing unnecessary maintenance on the equipment, increasing the overall maintenance cost.

  1. Improving skills of all people involved through training

This goal requires that employers have the skills necessary to contribute in a Total Productive Maintenance. This requirement involves the maintenance department and operations personnel. Provision of proper training ensures that the overall equipment effectiveness in not negatively impacted by employees who lacked the skills necessary to perform various job duties. Once people have appropriate knowledge and skills, their input on the improvement of the equipment needs to be solicited by the management (Wireman, 2004).

  1. Involving all operators in routine maintenance

This goal finds maintenance tasks related to equipments that operators can perform. The tasks may amount to about 40 percent of the routine maintenance tasks that are performed on equipments. Maintenance resources that were initially engaged in these activities should be deployed in more advanced maintenance activities (Wireman, 2004).

Pillars of TPM

Total Productive Maintenance consists of eight pillars which are:

  1. Autonomous Maintenance

This pillar is geared towards developing operators to be able to take care of various small maintenance tasks. This frees up the skilled personnel so that they can spend their time on higher value added activities instead of dealing with breakdown maintenance. Under this concept, all operators are held responsible for maintenance of their equipments in order to prevent them from deteriorations that cause breakdowns. Some of the goals of autonomous maintenance include operators to operate and maintain the equipment, and uninterrupted operation of equipment (Gulati & Smith, 2009).

  1. Focused Improvement

This is aimed at reducing losses at workplace to improve operational efficiencies. The goals of focused improvement are zero losses and improve effectiveness of all equipments (Shirose, 1992)

  1. Planned Maintenance

Planned improvement and maintenance are carried out by the maintenance department. These tasks are normally beyond the scope of autonomous maintenance program. They need special skills, special measuring techniques and tools. As the operators improve their skills, the maintenance departments perform fewer maintenance activities and focus their efforts instead on improvements that are meant to reduce maintenance of the equipment, thus decreasing the overall work (Gulati & Smith, 2009).

  1. Quality Maintenance

This focuses on eliminating product quality that is related to non-conformances in systematic ways. The aim is delighting customers through the provision of high quality products while at the same time achieving production without defects.

  1. Training and development

Under this pillar, the needs for technical training are assessed, current skill status determined, and training plan established. The goal of this pillar is to have a multi-skilled work group and create a group of experts for supporting all aspects of Total Productive Maintenance (Gulati & Smith, 2009).

  1. Design and early management of equipment

This pillar involves the lessons of success and failures in the design of new equipments. The main goal of this pillar is to produce perfect equipments and better quality product by taking care of possible inefficiencies during design process (Gulati & Smith, 2009).

  1. Office improvement

The objective of this pillar is to eliminate efficiency losses in office and to implement tools that enhance the creation of organized and efficient office environment (Shirose, 1992).

  1. Safety, environment and health

This pillar focuses on total elimination of accidents, employee health and environmental concerns. This aims at creating a safe workplace and surrounding with goals such as zero fires, zero accidents and zero health concerns (Gulati & Smith, 2009).

Activities before TPM and how they are linked

Prior to the start of TPM program, several activities must take place. They are designed to give the organization the required information and discipline to successfully implement the program. These activities include equipment information management, developing the maintenance organization, organization assessment and inventory information management (Wireman, 2004). In order to link these activities, it is necessary to establish that total productive management is not merely a program for the maintenance department but rather a wide resource management strategy for overall productivity and quality improvement. The linking requires total participation and involvement of all personnel. Finally, there should be a shift in the ownership of and responsibility for all equipments and its upkeep for company operators (Stephens, 2010).

Conclusion

Nowadays, we realize that competition in industry is increasing. Total Productive Maintenance may be an ideal thing that is between failure and success of some companies. This paper proves that TPM is a working program that can be adopted in industrial plants, building maintenance, construction, transportation and many other engineering fields. Therefore, employees should be given proper education and informed that this is not a short-term strategy or program and the management should be committed to this program and the period needs to be extended to enhance full implementation of the program. If someone is involved in this program, he or she must do his/her part in order to realize high returns from the invested resources.

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