The Eight Pillars of Total Productive Management

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a recognized system used to keep an organization’s equipment in top shape to add value to a business. If achieved, there should be little to no defects, downtime and accidents. With TPM, investing a modest amount in maintenance should have a positive effect on overall costs, productivity and a longer lifespan for equipment, making the entire facility more efficient.

A major objective of TPM is Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), which addresses three factors: performance, availability, and quantity.

The eight pillars are as follows:

1. Autonomous Maintenance

This pillar places the obligation of basic maintenance in the hands of the equipment operator, leaving the maintenance staff free to complete more expert tasks that need their attention. This means the operator has a clear responsibility to ensure basic maintenance is done regularly, and often involves tasks like cleaning and lubrication. Downtime is also greatly reduced, as there is no need to wait for maintenance staff. 

2. Planned Maintenance

This is concerned with appropriate scheduling of maintenance tasks based on when a piece of equipment is predicted to fail. This helps companies plan around upkeep and reduce the need for production to be halted. This helps to reduce reactive maintenance as problems are stopped before they can cause larger malfunctions.

3. Quality Maintenance

This is concerned with detecting and preventing errors early, and making sure defects do not continue down the chain of production. This also encourages operators to find the root causes of problems.

4. Focused Improvement

Focused improvement means when a problem does occur, a cross-functional team is created. The variety of skill sets and a vast range of experience helps the team solve problems faster.

5. Early Equipment Maintenance

The fifth pillar involves gathering previous maintenance knowledge gained from past machinery, and then applying it to new equipment. This results in reaching optimal levels in a shorter period of time.

6. Education and Training

All employees – including operators, maintenance personnel, and managers – should be trained in TPM. This education can include learning techniques for proper maintenance and becoming more aware of how practicing TPM directly affects the company’s productivity.

7. Health and Safety and Environment

This ensures all employees are given a safe environment and conditions to work in. Productivity is paramount, but should not come before safety. If employees feel safe in their workplace, this has a dramatic effect on attitude towards their role.

8. Total Productive Maintenance in Office Functions

Finally, TPM should then be applied where possible into the administrative sections of the company. This means the culture of TPM as a whole is understood by all.

TPM is an incredibly successful model, and can be introduced in parts or as a whole to an organization. Each of its pillars is positive to the workplace and productivity in its own right, but in order for maximum efficiency it should be implemented fully.