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TPM: Total Productive Maintenance
Part 1 of 6

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The critical strategic questions management must wrestle with relate to future price, quality and delivery. What price will customers demand 3 years hence? What improvements in Quality? What lead times for new products? TPM is indispensable in meeting these demands.

Strategic Aspect of TPM

What makes it possible to produce products of the future demanded quality at the future demanded cost? It is the machines and the people behind the machines. It is the know-how and right attitudes to restore the degradation in the equipment and to maintain the equipment at the optimal conditions, it is the know-how to operate the equipment at the maximum efficiency, it is the know-how to design the new equipment to its optimal conditions.

This change in thinking and the know-how behind it consti­tute TPM or Total Productive Maintenance,

Improvements in equipment striving for the optimal con­ditions leads to zero breakdowns, and zero breakdowns of equipment lead to zero defects. Striving for zero break­downs and zero defects targets leads to significant cost reductions which in turn provide the needed cost and quality to protect investment and jobs in the future. This is the TPM chain reaction.

With Factory Automation, TPM takes on an added significance.

Under Factory Automation, Equipment and the operators knowledgeable about the equipment is the critical factor in the production process. Losses in the efficiency of the equipment generate losses in the area of cost and profit. Losses can be breakdown losses, minor stoppage loss, speed loss when degraded equipment is operated at lower speeds, and defect/rework loss. True factory automation in the sense of unmanned lunch or nighttime operation is impossible until these losses are eliminated.

Results of TPM

TPM covers the whole spectrum of manufacturing indus­try. Industries where TPM has been implemented are the fabrication and assembly industries, including companies in automobile, household electrical appliances and makers of semiconductors and electronic components. It has been introduced in process industries such as oil refining, petro­chemicals, general chemicals, steel, foods, gas, cement, paper, pharmaceuticals, glass, rubber, tires, and printing. It is also implemented by Equipment Manufacturers.

Results for many of the 235 plants that have achieved the level corresponding to the PM Excellent Plant Prize awarded by the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM, found­ing body of TPM) are striking. Achievements of greater than 90% reduction in Breakdowns, defects down by 90%, customer complaints down by 75%, 50% reduction in goods-in-process and finished goods inventories, cost of goods manufactured down by 30%. These results were achieved over the 3 year span it normally takes to complete compre­hensive plant wide TPM prior to examination for the PM Excellent Plant Prize. Some plants have experienced as much as 99% reduction in breakdowns. One auto plant had 5000 breakdowns per month, this was brought down to 50 or 1% of the previous figure. (Source: JIPM)

From the standpoint of revitalization and motivation man­agement TPM record is outstanding. TPM plants have a new feeling and spirit, worker suggestions have increased 5 to 10 times, and small group Kaizen activities focused on equipment improvements are vigorous.

One of TPM's key people features is ownership of equip­ment by operators. This is a strategy to get operators to take responsibility for their equipment. To take responsi­bility operators have to perform some physical activities to this end. In TPM operators perform basic steps in cleaning, maintenance and inspection of their equipment with the training and support of Maintenance personnel. This stimu­lates operator motivation and understanding to look for and correct abnormalities in their equipment before that abnormality develops to the point of equipment break­down. The new knowledge gained, the realization of their new capabilities, and the clean smooth running equipment give operators a new pride and joy in the workplace.

With the tasks of basic maintenance in the hands of trained operators Maintenance personnel can now devote more time to equipment improvements, planned and predictive maintenance, thus advancing the company's maintenance technology and equipment management, and reducing maintenance costs.

To be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 01


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