Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a powerful loss reduction tool and is a cornerstone of lean manufacturing. TPM helps original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) track and improve the productivity of equipment being used on the factory floor. After all, improperly maintained equipment can drag down overall production efficiency and quality.
How does TPM work?
The idea behind TPM is to improve and maintain the equipment used to create your products, and for this to work, it requires regular monitoring. Proactive maintenance schedules allow factories to operate as efficiently as possible with fewer issues that can affect spending, quality and lead times. Involving factory workers allows you to get more bang for your buck in terms of labor hours, rather than losing money on employee downtime.
When your equipment is functioning properly and your employees know what to look for during maintenance checks, you will see fewer defects, less downtime and shorter cycle times. This will lead to more cost effective manufacturing and lead time reduction, as your equipment is far less likely to break down and require costly repairs that can bring production to a halt.
What are the necessary steps to execute a TPM strategy
- Identify areas of loss: Before you can implement a TPM strategy, you need to assess the factory’s current standings to determine weaknesses. This can be measured with a TPM index known as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). OEE is calculated by multiplying the availability rate, product quality rate and performance rate for one or multiple machines.
- Form a plan of attack: Once you know what your biggest areas for improvement are, you can determine the best course of action. Determine which tasks should take priority, set up a timetable to complete projects, and assign champions for each area. When doing this, it’s important to establish a team consisting of factory workers, management and higher-ups in order to gain the functional insights necessary to avoid costly mistakes, and ensure project success.
- Get everyone on the same page: To get the TPM ball rolling, all employees need to be on the same page in regard to the strategy. This creates transparency that makes it easy for all involved to better understand the value and importance of the initiative.
- Repair and improve equipment: When you roll out TPM, equipment must be in order. Whether this means replacing worn parts and repairing broken parts or calibrating functional equipment and ensuring it is producing high-quality products, it’s important to start with a clean slate.
- Create a maintenance schedule: Once equipment is running smoothly, maintaining quality is essential for TPM success. Preventative maintenance is key. Keeping machines tuned up and functional is far less expensive than repairing and replacing broken parts.
- Train employees on their equipment: Ensure that factory workers know how to properly operate their machines in order to prevent breakdowns and ensure optimal output. Be certain that operators are familiar with the maintenance schedule and know how to recognize red-flags with the machinery they use. Sometimes it’s even viable to train operators to do some repairs themselves.
- Regularly review the TPM strategy: For TPM to continue to be successful, it’s important to check the plan and make any adjustments necessary depending on the current factory standings. Some processes may need to be altered now and then to be more effective as the company continues to its lean journey.