5044 B U Bowman Dr #102 ::: Buford, Georgia 30518
e-mail email@example.com ::: Phone: 678.546.6780
In today’s global marketplace, opportunities and competition are the catch phrases and companies are drawing business strategies to deliver reliable products or services satisfying all customer requirements on time. The prices of the product or service must be low enough to be competitive and at the same time fetch profitable revenues for the company. It follows that manufacturing companies should focus more on the reduction and elimination of unnecessary costs associated with material and time wastages.
Thus, a great deal of attention should be paid to the reliability of production lines and their efficient functioning. Although many companies automate most of their manufacturing operations, maintenance activities depend profoundly on human inputs. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a productive maintenance program, which focuses on:
- Maximizing equipment effectiveness
- Establishing a thorough system of Preventive Maintenance (PM) for the equipment’s entire life span
- Involving every single employee from top management to shop floor workers
Empowering employees to initiate corrective activities
Philosophically, TPM closely resembles Total Quality Management (TQM) in that many of the TQM tools like employee empowerment, benchmarking and documentation are used to implement and optimize TPM.
Bringing maintenance into the forefront, TPM focuses on scheduling it as an integral part of the manufacturing process. The goal is to minimize and eventually eliminate emergency and unscheduled maintenance.
The Origin of Total Productive Maintenance
Initially, plant maintenance problems were examined as a part of Total Quality Management (TQM) programs. However, many of the TQM concepts did not work well in the maintenance environment. Preventive Maintenance (PM) programs were in place, with maintenance schedules designed to keep machines operational. These schedules were strictly followed, without considering the machine’s realistic requirements. There was hardly any involvement of the machine operators in these PM programs. Moreover, maintenance personnel had little training beyond the often-inadequate maintenance manuals. Companies committed to TQM were committed to move beyond PM and still adhere to TQM concepts. Thus evolved TPM.
Implementation of TPM
The “five pillars” for implementing TPM are:
- Designing and implementing improvement activities to enhance equipment efficiency
- Training equipment operators to be “equipment conscious”, “equipment skilled” and establis hing a system of autonomous maintenance to be performed by them
- Establishing a planned maintenance system
- Conducting training courses to help operators improve their skills
- Creating a system of Maintenance Prevention (MP) design and early equipment management. MP design generates equipment requiring minimal maintenance and early equipment management makes new equipment operational in a short time
Like any other improvement initiative, implementation of TPM also has a few obstacles, crucial among them being LACK of:
- Management support and understanding
- Sufficient training
- Time for the evolution of TPM
Thus, successful implementation of TPM demands commitment, structure and direction.
The key factors for successful implementation of TPM:
- Approach TPM realistically, develop a practical plan, employ program and project management principles
- Accept that implementation of TPM takes a longer time and change existing attitudes towards maintenance
- Train and deploy a network of TPM coordinators to promote and support TPM activities every day
- Support the TPM coordinators with time and resources and senior level backup
Develop relevant measures of performance and continuously monitor and publicize benefits achieved in financial terms
- Be determined to keep going
Successful TPM companies
Ford Motors, Harley Davidson, Allen Bradley, Eastman, Kodak and Texas Instruments are few companies that have implemented TPM successfully. All of these companies have reported 50% or greater reduction in downtime, reduced spare parts inventory and increased on-time deliveries. Texas Instruments reported 80% increased production in some a reas. Similarly, Kodak reported that an investment of $5 million in a successful TPM program resulted in a $16 million increase in profits.
Today, with business competition at an all time high, TPM may be the only factor that separates success and failure. If everyone involved in a TPM program works with dedication, TPM will definitely bring in high rates of return.
How TPM Helps To Improve Equipment Effectiveness
Production equipment is one of the largest assets of a manufacturing company. Generally, equipment utilization is not optimal in many of these companies. The organizational and functional separation between maintenance, production and engineering departments in many companies results in inefficiency, lower productivity and higher costs.
The philosophy behind Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is that equipment failure can be reduced drastically if the users of the equipment recognize potential failure conditions. They can then take appropriate corrective actions before the actual functional failure takes place.
The goal of TPM
With TPM, the maintenance, production and engineering departments have to develop the spirit of teamwork and work towards Zero defects, Zero accidents and Zero breakdowns. In addition TPM aims to:
- Improve the state of maintenance
- Improve product quality
- Reduce waste
- Reduce manufacturing costs
TPM identifies the following crucial factors that limit the effectiveness of equipment:
- Breakdown of equipment
- Set-up and adjustment downtime
- Idling and minor stoppages
- Reduced speed
- Process defects
- Reduced yield
Conventionally, equipment failure is often given importance only when failure reaches the extent that production is stopped. In spite of recognizing potential failure conditions, production operators often continue with the process without giving the maintenance staff a chance to make adjustments and repairs, which are crucial to get the equipment working to its full potential.
The quality and the output suffer in such circumstances and this is a “waste” in terms of world-class manufacturing. TPM aims to overcome/prevent such “waste” by involving operators in reducing equipment failures during the production process or during set-up changes by:
- Keeping work surfaces clean to prevent contamination and wear
- Reporting oil leakages and ensuring that action is taken to prevent recurrence in future
- Being alert and recognizing unusual noise, vibrations, smell and temperature which signify impending failure
- Checking bolts for tightness (which maintenance experts consider as the single most important cause of machine failure)
- Reporting any deterioration in product quality before the issue goes out-of-control
Studying process control charts and taking corrective action before control levels of processes are breached
BENEFITS OF TPM
TPM results in improved workforce skills
For this, the operators have to be trained and guided by maintenance specialists. Generally, equipment suppliers train skilled technicians in skills required to maintain the equipment supplied by them.
However, the advent of increasingly advanced and complex processes in manufacturing operations has necessitated the need to inculcate “multiple skills” in technicians. Many world-class companies have such skilled and trained technicians trained in their production team. In addition to the primary task of production, these technicians have the additional responsibility of monitoring the condition of the equipment as it operates. This helps to detect and rectify problems in the initial stages itself.
TPM facilitates improved relationships between operations and maintenance
- Operators and technicians develop multiple skills, leading to job enrichment and improved flexibility of workers
- The involvement of operators in routine maintenance builds a sense of responsibility, ownership and pride
- Better co-ordination reduces delays and downtimes and productivity increases
Total Productive Maintenance should be introduced only after the organization's culture changes to one in which the entire workforce is dedicated to improving the business. There should not be any conflicts between the various departments especially the production and maintenance departments.
Total Productive Maintenance thrives on the spirit of teamwork. It has a long-range outlook and may take a year to implement. It works not only in the manufacturing industry, but also in the service industry, construction, building maintenance and a variety of other situations.
PHONE: (678) 546-6780 FAX: (678) 546-6782
5044 B U Bowman Drive #102
Buford, Georgia 30518
PHONE: (678) 546-6780
Last Updated: 07 Jun 2004
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