Eight Pillars of Total Productive Maintenance: A Point to Ponder

Most management gurus advocate that the operational process management is through management of “5Ms”. The 5 M stand for Man, Money, Materials, Methods and Machine.

total productive maintenance

Total Productive Maintenance is yet another tool for maximizing productivity and minimize losses in any industry by improving efficiency of the machine. If all eight pillars of TPM are judiciously managed, then all 5Ms of management can be taken care of.

The eight pillars of TPM may be mentioned as below

1. Focused Improvement or Kobetsu Kaizen:

The principle involved is to encourage involvement of all in achieving incremental improvements in a process but on a continual basis. Improvements can be in any form which includes marginal increase in speed of machine to get optimal productivity or improving the tool setting to have better control on outputs. Modifications on Jigs and fixtures to eliminate errors in production. Increasing speed of die setting or tool setting to reduce waiting time. Maintaining record notes of previous settings to save time for the same tool or same type of production etc. could be some examples for incremental improvements. Data on machine performance helps in identifying the areas that require attention and the efforts of all involved can be focused on those areas which need improvement.

2. Autonomous Maintenance:

This is yet another example of saving time of skilled maintenance personnel by involving operator’s incremental maintenance for proper and smooth running of machines. For example, daily cleaning, lubrication, watching out to see if some guards are put back in place after tool setting firmly to avoid vibrations, noticing temperature on any running motors or bearings just by safely touching to sense any abnormalities and warn maintenance staff of impending action may avoid major breakdowns and help reduce losses due to machine non-availability.

3. Planned Maintenance:

Preventive or planned maintenance for every machine is a must. Properly palled preventive maintenance schedules help in reducing defects and increasing machine availability for production. This activity should be seen as a long-term benefit rather than short term goal of machine utility due to production compulsions of meeting the deadline or production goals.

4. Training and Education:

Training and educating Operating staff along with maintenance staff to look out for probable problems and methods of tackling them is very important. As the Axiom goes “A stich in time saves nine”. The information on probable causes of failure imparted through educational programs help operator to be vigilant about these anticipated problems and be forewarned for such exigencies. These educational programs can also teach the operators on incremental maintenance requirements such as cleaning, ensuring flow of coolant and removal of scrap in time to allow proper flow of lubrication or Coolants.

5. Early Management:

Use of Software tools on maintenance may help organizations to plan for regular preventive and predictive maintenance schedules and adhere to them to help production have an uninterrupted availability of the machine. Data from these types software also provides insight in variance caused in process and the parameters which are responsible for it. Correction of the parameters to the requirements may help have a regular standardized output which is well within acceptable limits of Quality. Early attention to predictive and preventive maintenance helps avoid major breakdowns, keep spare parts inventory at optimal levels to meet the requirements of machine availability.

6. Quality Maintenance:

Maintaining the Quality of Process output is utmost important to save money, machine time and labor cost. This is mostly achieved through statistical process control techniques. Data is gathered through C Charts X bar and R charts and parameters in the machine which cause variations are controlled through proper settings of tools and the speed and feed of the machine. This activity not only reduces variations but also helps in identifying areas for Poka-Yoke or in other words error proofing.

7. Office TPM:

Office TPM is another activity for improving the efficiency of Office staff involved in production. This is aimed at improving information flow to the machine operator to ensure that all Drawings, Design and development features, Customer specific requirements if any are all communicated within the shortest possible time and help prevent machine idle time for want of information. This is another form of involving all people connected with production to add to the efficiency and output of production and to minimize losses due to waiting.

8. Health, Safety and Environment:

Last of the pillars not the least is the necessity to maintain health, safety and environment around the machine. This calls for greater involvement of the machine operators in keeping the machine and surroundings clean and tidy. Prevent accumulation of machine scrap in area which are normally difficult to access. Operator to ensure that guards provided on the machine are all in place and avoid injuries during operations. Operator to ensure all used up waste, coolants, lubrication oil residue are all properly disposed in designated containers to avoid polluting the environment. Operators keep all foundation bolts and other fasteners tightened to avoid undesirable vibrations on the machine and also avoid process variations. Operators to wear all safety equipment while working and not seek any shortcut methods. Zero accidents must be the goal of any industry. Accidents not only cause misery but also are expensive.

The judicious management of all eight pillars at optimal levels will ensure greater productivity, reduction in losses and improved morale among staff.  This TPM techniques built on foundation of 5 S which is nothing but, Sort, Shine, Set-to- order, Standardize and Sustain will be the most effective method to reduce losses and have an effective process control.

QSE difference: QSE is a premier Auditing, Consulting and Training organization which can help any facility to train employees on methods of Statistical Problem Solving to be adopted, techniques for saving, and principles of improving production & productivity through reduction of problems affecting quality, through Total Productive Maintenance.  With vast experience gathered since 1992 QSE can help involvement of people for SPS projects, teach them methods of Lean Management, Kaizen,6 Sigma and similar techniques help improve bottom line of organizations. QSE has helped over 700 firms achieve certifications with most of them getting certified without a major nonconformity first time around. QSE can help the organization build a data driven, evidence based, simplified, single level documentation system without adding heaps of documents to the existing system in the organization. QSE can design and implement TPM in any organization in the shortest time possible with willful cooperation from facilities. QSE. adapts all existing documentation of the firm by making them suitable to standard and organizational requirements. QSE’s 10 Step disciplined path is insensitive to failure.

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