Total Productive Maintenance
Total Productive Maintenance. Photo by Jim Bauer

TPM is an acronym for Total Productive Maintenance, a system of coordinated group efforts for greater equipment effectiveness. Users & operators are responsible for the routine inspection, care, upkeep, and minor repairs of their machines. Additionally, the maintenance staff is responsible for major upgrades, repairs, and maintenance. The maintenance staff also coaches the users and operators.

Elements of a Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) System

  • Uses predictive and preventative maintenance to maximize equipment effectiveness.
  • Engineering, operations, and management groups implement.
  • Involves all employees from top to bottom.
  • Operators update / maintain equipment autonomously.

How TPM is Used to Control the Improved Process

  • Goal is to reduce or eliminate all waste, failures, defects, and loss due to equipment breakdown.
  • Reports of post-TPM implementation of only 2% of regular breakdowns and 90% defect reduction.
  • Fight the Big 6 losses:
    1. Equipment failure
    2. Set up and adjustment
    3. Idling and stopage
    4. Reduced speed
    5. Process defects
    6. Reduced yeild

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) Videos

ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt Total Productive Maintenance Questions

Question: Which of the following is the best way to enhance the long-term availability of a machine?
(A) Machine repair
(B) Total productive maintenance
(C) Computerized SPC systems
(D) Increased operator training


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B: Total productive maintenance. TPM is a comprehensive system designed to eliminate defects, issues, and waste related to equipment and that includes having machines (equipment) available.

Computerized Statistical Process Control systems can and do help, but TPM is a proactive way of ensuring availability and is a better answer. Machine repair and Increased operator training might both be portions of a comprehensive TPM program.

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