Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)


In today’s quick-moving business world, companies are trying really hard to do things really well and get a lot done. They want to be super efficient and make things go smoothly so they can make great products or services, keep customers happy, and do well in the market. One perfect way that companies are getting better at doing things and getting a lot done is by using a method called Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), as part of the Lean way of doing things. TPM makes machines work really well, that is, maximizing equipment effectiveness. TPM also aims to have less downtime and make everything run better. This way, manufacturing units produce better quality products, make customers happier, and help companies make more money. This article will explore TPM in detail, emphasizing its fundamental principles, benefits, and implementation strategies.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Understanding Total Productive Maintenance (TPM):

TPM is a smart way to take care of machines and equipment. Instead of waiting for them to break down, we work together from the start to make sure they stay in good shape. This involves not only the people who fix things but also the ones who use the machines and the bosses in charge. The goal is to always make things better, so everyone helps to keep the machines running well and available when needed. It’s all about teamwork and making sure things run smoothly!

Eight Principles of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

The 8 pillars of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) are a framework that provides a systematic approach for implementing and sustaining TPM practices within an organization. These pillars encompass various aspects of equipment maintenance and aim to create a culture of continuous improvement. The 8 pillars of TPM are as follows:

  1. Autonomous Maintenance (Jishu Hozen):

    This pillar is about giving the people who use the machines the power to look after them regularly. They learn how to check, clean, and fix small things. The main aim is to stop the machines from breakdown and catch any problems quickly.

  2. Planned Maintenance (Kanri Kotei):

    This pillar highlights the importance of establishing a proactive maintenance plan that relies on equipment conditions, usage, and manufacturer recommendations. It entails creating maintenance schedules, performing regular inspections, and proactively addressing potential issues before they result in breakdowns or failures.

  3. Quality Maintenance (Hinshitsu Hozen):

    This pillar aims to prevent defects and ensure consistent product quality. Specifically, it involves incorporating quality checks and inspections into the maintenance activities to detect and address any quality-related issues. By maintaining equipment in optimal condition, organizations can reduce defects and achieve higher levels of product quality.

  4. Early Equipment Management (Kobetsu Kaizen):

    This pillar focuses on involving maintenance personnel during the design and installation of new equipment. By considering maintenance requirements and ease of operation during the equipment design phase, organizations can improve reliability, maintainability, and overall equipment effectiveness.

  5. Training and Skills Development (Kanzen Shugi):

    This pillar emphasizes the training and development of employees involved in equipment operation and maintenance. Usually, it includes providing technical skills training, problem-solving techniques, and teamwork development. Well-trained employees are better equipped to handle maintenance tasks and contribute to continuous improvement efforts.

  6. Office TPM (Administrative TPM):

    While TPM is primarily associated with manufacturing processes, this pillar extends its principles to office and administrative areas. Mainly, it focuses on eliminating waste, improving process efficiency, and enhancing overall productivity in non-manufacturing settings.

  7. Safety, Health, and Environment (SHE TPM):

    This pillar integrates safety, health, and environmental considerations into TPM practices. It aims to create a safe and healthy work environment by addressing potential hazards, promoting safety awareness, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and standards.

  8. TPM in New Equipment (Shinsei TPM):

    This pillar applies TPM principles to newly installed equipment. It focuses on optimizing the performance and reliability of new equipment from the start. By implementing TPM practices during the equipment commissioning phase, organizations can minimize performance issues and maximize the equipment’s operational lifespan.

These 8 pillars collectively form the foundation for implementing TPM practices and driving continuous improvement in equipment maintenance, productivity, and overall organizational performance.

Benefits of TPM:

Implementing TPM within a Lean framework offers several benefits to organizations, including:

  1. Increased Equipment Effectiveness:

    TPM maximizes equipment availability, performance, and quality, resulting in improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Consequently, this translates into higher production output, reduced downtime, and enhanced operational efficiency.

  2. Reduced Maintenance Costs:

    By focusing on proactive maintenance activities, TPM helps identify and address potential issues before they escalate into costly breakdowns. Further, this leads to a reduction in unplanned maintenance costs and increased predictability in maintenance expenses.

  3. Enhanced Workforce Engagement:

    Involving operators in maintenance activities fosters a sense of ownership and empowerment. Additionally, it strengthens teamwork, encourages knowledge sharing, and boosts employee morale, leading to a more engaged and productive workforce.

  4. Improved Product Quality:

    TPM’s emphasis on quality maintenance helps identify and rectify defects at their source. As a result, this results in improved product quality, fewer customer complaints, and increased customer satisfaction.

  5. Lean Culture Development:

    TPM aligns with Lean principles by eliminating waste, improving process efficiency, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. It complements other Lean tools and methodologies, such as 5S and Kaizen, and contributes to the overall Lean transformation of an organization.

Implementing TPM:

Successfully implementing TPM requires a structured approach. Here are some key steps:

  1. Create Awareness:

    Educate employees about the benefits and principles of TPM. Highlight how it aligns with the organization’s goals and promotes a culture of continuous improvement.

  2. Establish a Cross-Functional TPM Team:

    Form a dedicated team comprising representatives from different departments to plan and coordinate TPM activities. This team will be responsible for driving the implementation process.

  3. Conduct Equipment Audits:

    Assess the current condition of equipment and identify areas for improvement. Develop a prioritized action plan to address critical issues and set performance goals.

  4. Implement Autonomous Maintenance:

    Train operators on basic maintenance tasks and encourage them to take ownership of equipment care. Provide tools, checklists, and training materials to support autonomous maintenance activities.

  5. Integrate Planned Maintenance:

    Develop a preventive maintenance schedule based on manufacturer recommendations and historical data. Implement regular inspections, lubrication, and calibration activities to optimize equipment performance.

  6. Continuous Improvement Initiatives:

    Encourage employees to identify and address equipment-related losses, such as breakdowns, setup time, and defects. Facilitate improvement projects, establish key performance indicators (KPIs), and track progress toward goals.

  7. Monitor and Sustain:

    Regularly measure and analyze OEE, maintenance costs, and other performance metrics to monitor the effectiveness of TPM initiatives. Provide ongoing training, support, and recognition to sustain the TPM culture.


Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a powerful approach that enhances equipment reliability, reduces downtime, and optimizes overall productivity. By incorporating TPM principles within a Lean framework, organizations can create a culture of continuous improvement and achieve operational excellence. Through autonomous maintenance, planned maintenance, quality management, early equipment management, and continuous improvement initiatives, TPM enables organizations to maximize efficiency, minimize downtime, and deliver high-quality products to satisfy customer expectations in today’s competitive market.


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