What is TPM and how to successfully implement it.

TPM to improve quality, reduce downtime and eliminate waste from our processes.

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TPM stands for Total Productive Maintenance and is mainly implemented within the manufacturing industry. It is a system that maintains and reduces the chance of failure of machinery, thus, improving machine productivity, reducing waste in the process and final product scrap.

The main objective of TPM is to increase the productivity of a manufacturing plant and its equipment with a low investment in maintenance. The full support of the workforce is required if we desire that the TPM implementation is successful. Another main indicator which is directly influenced by the implementation of the TPM is the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness).

The OEE depends on three factors:

OEE = Performance x Availability x Quality


  1. Running at reduced speed.
  2. Minor Stops.


  1. Breakdowns.
  2. Product changeover.


  1. Startup rejects.
  2. Running rejects.

For instance, if the cycle time is reduced, the OEE will increase, of the minor stops are reduced, the OEE will increase, if by standardising procedures, the scrap output is reduced, the OEE will increase. It is an effective KPI that allows us how to measure machinery effectiveness not workforce productivity. It is commonly used in multinational companies to compare the effectiveness of their different subsidiaries.

We need to identify, then prioritize and eliminate the causes of the losses. This is done by self-managing teams that act as problem solvers.

Total Productive Maintenance is composed by eight pillars which are mostly focused on predictive and preventive techniques for improving equipment and machinery reliability:

  • Autonomous Maintenance.
  • Focused Improvement.
  • Predictive, Preventive and Corrective planned Maintenance
  • Quality management
  • Machinery design and specifications.
  • Training.
  • HSE (Health, Safety and Environment).
  • Administrative TPM.

How do we implement the Total Productive Maintenance procedures and techniques?Initial evaluation of TPM level in the manufacturing plant (who, how and when corrective/preventive and predictive maintenance is carried out?).

  1. Introductory Training and Internal Communication for the new TPM project.
  2. Creation of TPM steering group.
  3. Development of a master plan for the TPM implementation.
  4. Training to the employees and other interested groups on the eight pillars of TPM.
  5. Implementation preparation process.
  6. Establishing the goals and policies for the TPM and development of a road map for its implementation.

The steering group should consist of production managers, maintenance and engineering managers and led by a top-level executive (Plant Director, Operations Director, etc.). It should create the TPM policies and strategies and go along with the implementation until the end. The most effective way to implement TPM is by choosing a Pilot Area in which to deliver all the new standards and policies, which will be the training center for the rest of the company and an example to be extrapolated to the rest of the manufacturing plant (taking into account the lessons learned and continuous improvement).