Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Let’s imagine a factory that runs like clockwork - machines operating efficiently, production flowing smoothly and employees working precisely. For anyone that ever witnessed how a production plant operates, this might seem like a dream, an unachievable dream. But it does not have to be a dream. 

The maintenance philosophy Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) goes beyond the traditional reactive approach of fixing equipment when it breaks down. TPM focuses on preventing equipment breakdowns, rather than just reacting to them. With doing so, TPM is able to help businesses achieve optimal productivity, reduce downtime and increase employee engagement.

After facing many challenges in the time after the second world war, Japan had to be creative in regard to their manufacturing industry as it experienced a shortage of resources and a need to rebuild production plants. This forced Japanese manufacturers to be innovative in finding ways to improve productivity. Therefore, TPM was developed as a way to maximise equipment effectiveness and minimise waste. Now, many countries face similar problems. There is a shortage of skilled workers in nearly every western country. Production managers have to be creative again and think outside the box to increase productivity in their factories. The implementation of TPM might be a solution.


Traditionally, Japanese manufacturers formulated the 5S-Method which is based on five Japanese words starting with S: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke. Its goal is to establish a clean, safe and efficient workplace.

  1. Seiri: Seiri or sort is the process of separating necessary items from unnecessary items, discarding the latter. This process eliminates everything that is not truly needed in the work area and creates an organised and clean atmosphere, while increasing safety at the same time by eliminating potential hazards. 
  2. Seiton: Seiton or set in order is the process involving the arrangement of the remaining items in a logical manner. By Seiton companies are able to reduce the time needed to find their relevant tools
  3. Seiso: Seiso or shine is the idea that the workplace should shine. The workplace should be thoroughly cleaned and maintained. This creates a safe work environment in which workers experience better morale. 
  4. Seiketsu: Seiketsu or standardise involves the establishment of standard procedures and practises for the organisation of the workplace. This ensures consistency and eliminates variations that might lead to errors and inefficiencies. 
  5. Shitsuke: Shitsuke or sustain is about the maintenance of the 5S practices, continuously improving them over time. This is a process that requires ongoing monitoring, training and engagement from all employees. 

The 8 pillars of TPM: 

The 8 pillars of TPM is a framework of key principles and activities that is supporting the implementation of TPM. 

  1. Autonomous Maintenance: Autonomous Maintenance places the responsibility for routine maintenance (cleaning, lubricating, inspecting etc.) in the hands of the operators. This is helpful as it increases the knowledge of operators, identifies issues before they become failures while also freeing maintenance personnel for higher-level tasks. 
  2. Planned Maintenance: Planned Maintenance schedules tasks based on predicted failure rates. This reduces unplanned downtime while also reducing inventory costs.
  3. Quality Maintenance: Quality Maintenance aims to eliminate quality defects by designing error detection and preventive programmes into the production process. With addressing recurring issues, Quality Maintenance is able to improve product quality and reduce costs. 
  4. Focused Improvement: Focused Improvement encourages cross-functional teams to work together to identify and resolve recurring issues. This can be the starting point for creating an engine for continuous improvement. 
  5. Early Equipment Management (EEM): EEM aims to direct the previously gained knowledge into improving the design of new equipment which results in faster startup and simpler maintenance. 
  6. Training and Education: With Training and Education companies are able to fill knowledge gaps for operators and managers, enabling everyone to perform better, contributing to a culture of continuous improvement. 
  7. Safety, Health and Environment: The goal of Safety, Health and Environment is to promote a safe working environment by eliminating risks, reducing accidents to the absolute minimum.
  8. TPM in Administration: With TPM in Administration companies are able to address waste in administrative operations, allowing the administrators to support the production process more. 

Advantages of TPM:

The advantages of following the TPM philosophy are many but here is a list of the five biggest pro’s:

  1. Increased Equipment Reliability and Uptime: TPM focuses on proactive maintenance to increase equipment reliability and uptime, resulting in improved productivity and efficiency.
  2. Reduced Maintenance Costs: By promoting early identification of potential failures and preventive maintenance, TPM helps to reduce maintenance costs associated with repair and replacement.
  3.  Enhanced Quality Control: TPM emphasises Root Cause Analysis and Quality Maintenance to reduce the number of defects, resulting in improved product quality and customer satisfaction.
  4. Improved Safety and Environmental Performance: TPM promotes hazard identification and risk reduction to ensure compliance with regulations and reduces the potential for accidents, leading to a safer workplace.
  5. Increased Operator Engagement: TPM involves operators and maintenance personnel in the improvement process, leading to increased job satisfaction and a more motivated workforce.

Stryza and TPM:

The use of Stryza can be a valuable tool while implementing TPM in an organisation. To implement TPM, a strong collaboration between operators, maintenance personnel and management is essential to identify issues and improve the equipment performance continuously. Stryza is able to enhance the communication, making it easier for employees to access information and provide feedback. For example, Stryza is able to provide real-time access to equipment data and maintenance records, helping operators to identify emerging issues and report them to the respective maintenance personnel.

Additionally, Stryza facilitates the sharing of standardised work procedures, ensuring that everyone is following the same protocols for maintaining and operating equipment.

Furthermore, Stryza can act as a platform through which skills and knowledge can be trained to the employees. This can include access to online training modules and other digital resources that can be accessed from anywhere using mobile devices. 

Generally speaking, the use of Stryza can enhance the effectiveness of TPM by promoting communication, collaboration and training across all levels of the organisation. By leveraging the power of digitalisation, organisations can improve equipment reliability, reduce maintenance costs and enhance safety.

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