Total Productive Maintenance

The philosophy of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is to integrate the entire equipment maintenance of the manufacturing sector to a new level. The goal is to prevent any losses that are associated with machine maintenance and thus to have no breakdowns, no small stops or slow running, no defects and create a safe working environment for all the workers by preventing any accidents.      

Experiencing unforeseen breakdowns can be a nuisance for businesses especially the operations of the manufacturing industry can be at significant halt with the collapses in equipment at crucial times. Total productive maintenance can be the best way for these untimely machine interruptions. Gone were the days when equipment maintenance is considered a wastage of time, rather it is regarded as necessary, equally vital, and no longer a non-profit activity. Now, these processes can be automated with Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) where software solutions can maintain the computer database of machines for every organization’s maintenance operations. With the use of technology, human error can be minimized, and unscheduled and emergency maintenance can be restructured.  

With every passing year, the average downtime cost per hour keeps on increasing. According to the reports of 2014 – average downtime costs per hour was $164,000, which was escalated to $260,000 and further intensified to between $301,000 – $400,000 as of 2019. This is specifically very vital to manufacturing, agriculture, fleet management, and some sectors of Government where the utilization of machines is significant. These industries are entirely dependent upon the machines and the average downtime cost of these sectors is kept on increasing.

So here’s total productive management to the rescue, the purpose of TPM is the use of machines, equipment, supporting processes with the involvement of employees to enhance the production and provide a better quality of systems. TPM encourages a proactive approach by adopting preventive maintenance techniques to ensure that there must be no breakdowns, no stops, no defects, and accidents.  

History of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

TPM has been initially introduced and its methodology developed in the United States. Later, it has been developed and implemented in many Japanese companies and now this practice has been followed worldwide.

In 1971, a Japanese company Nippon Denso Co. first developed and successfully executed, and these efforts have been recognized and awarded with the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM) Award. This was the beginning of TPM in Japan. 

In Europe, the very first example of world-class TPM execution was by Volvo, Ghent Belgium, and won an award for their performance. Later on, in the early 1990s, this was implemented by many other European companies and reduced the gap between the production of goods and their quality.      

Internal Stakeholders of TPM

Total Productive Maintenance requires the coordinated effort of all employees inclusive of top-management to technicians and machine operators.

Top Management & Reliability Engineers

Top management can devise and promote TPM as a corporate policy, whereas Reliability engineers are at the front to identify any risks involved with the asset and machines. They are the key focal persons that directly work for loss elimination, risk management and life cycle asset management. They can interpret data through the organization’s CMMS and calculate pertinent losses and provide business insights accordingly.


Operators are solely responsible for the equipment day-to-day maintenance, cleaning and regular lubrication for machines’ better performance. Operators along with reliability engineers can help in identifying the initial phase of equipment attrition and ways to avoid wear and tear of machines.   

Maintenance Managers and Technicians 

Maintenance managers and technicians play a vital role as they are involved in the training operators to meet their goals, therefore input of maintenance managers and technicians are important for advanced preventive measures. As a part of their KPIs set out by the reliability engineers, it is imperative for managers and technicians to an take active part in improvement activities.   


The following are the objectives that are meant to be achieved with the introduction of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM);

  • Time can be well managed with rapidly changing global dynamics. 
  • Cost-effectiveness.
  • Production of goods without compromising on quality.
  • A significant quantity of goods production at the earliest possible time.
  • Goods ready to deliver to customers must be free of any repairs.

Considering the average downtime cost, TPM is not believed to be an expense but an investment, especially for the manufacturing industry. The purpose of TPM is to make the maintenance process effective while improving the standard of quality and assuring safety. World-class business organizations have done exceptional work in maintenance activities (Japanese company, Nippon Denso one of them – see details above) to achieve goals and increased productivity. TPM involves every employee of the organization to participate; maintenance, operations, facilities, design engineering, project engineering, construction engineering, inventory and stores, purchasing, account and finance, and plant and site management. 

Foundation Model of TPM

The objective of the foundation model of TPM is to avoid disorganization, indiscipline and inefficiency. This model is called the 5S foundation model of TPM. Moreover, the role of the 5S model is important as it leads to a clean, visually organized and workplace that is self-maintaining. 

5S Model of TPM  

5S model of TPM consisted of the following steps;

Sorting – it refers to arranging all the important items and removing those that are unnecessary and not needed in the operations.

Setting in Order – Items must be organized so that time management can be ensured.

Shining – It refers to cleanliness of the workplace to increase the morale of workers and improve the quality of the product. In the manufacturing industry, it is encouraged to have a clean and healthy workplace as this leads to low risks of injuries and decreases unnecessary overheads.

Standardizing – it must be mutually decided among employees to enforce the standards in the workplace and these standardized methods should be inspected/tested randomly but on a regular basis.

Sustain – Frequent audits to maintain and normalize the operational standards are to be done on a regular basis. The audit is the measure of effectiveness in the productivity and performance of employees. Necessary feedback must be provided where required.    

Eight Pillars of Total Productive Maintenance 

These eight pillars of TPM focused on the dynamic approach people are the focal point of this system running all the core and crucial operations, therefore training of these people are very substantial in handling all these key matters essential for the organization.  The following are the eight pillars of TPM;

Autonomous Maintenance 

Autonomous maintenance gives operators the ownership of machines to monitor the daily routine activities of machines from cleaning, lubrication, and inspection. Operators become more responsible and concerned about the health of machines. This helps the workers to learn multi-tasking skills and therefore have more work-related knowledge. In addition to this, the lubrication and cleaning of machines are done on a more regular basis. Issues can be identified and fixed before any of the equipment breakdowns. Moreover, engineering maintenance staff is freed up and utilized for high levels of tasks.

Planned Maintenance  

Planned maintenance is carried out due to the anticipated or measured rate of failure and age of the machine. Planned maintenance also called preventive maintenance is scheduled before any machine stops or breaks down. Equipment is scheduled for maintenance whenever there is no production activity. Complete utilization of machinery parts take place owing to planned maintenance and investments in expensive inventory will be minimized.   

Quality Maintenance 

Quality maintenance focused on the identification of any errors and defects during the production process. Detecting errors during the production process helps to get the desired output in the first place and reduces any overheads related to poor quality. 

Focused Improvement   

It refers to having a small group of employees that follows a proactive approach and equally contributes to the incremental advances of the equipment.

Issues and defects in the machinery are handled by the cross-functional teams and put together the diverse and collective group of talent to work for consistent improvements. 

Early Equipment Maintenance      

Early Equipment Maintenance uses the previous maintenance experiences for the new product so as to manage time effectively and quality can be improved. Using previous experience has a positive impact on profitability and hence reducing maintenance cost.

Training and Education

Training and Education must be an integral part of TPM. Without training of personnel, they will produce mediocre results that will have a serious impact on the overall productivity of the organization. From operators to senior managers all must be involved in the training aspect as this will provide them insights about the significance of TPM and hence due support from the management can be acquired. Operators must be trained in a way that they can efficiently manage basic maintenance activities so that the maintenance engineers can focus on the advanced levels of maintenance. For the advanced level training of employees, company-sponsored total productive maintenance certifications must be provided.  

Safety, Health and Environment   

Environment Health and Safety is a fundamental aspect of any workplace setting. In the work area cleaning of all machine parts must be done on a regular basis in order to avoid any accidents or injuries. A clean environment has a positive psychological impact and hence it will improve the overall productivity and performance of operators.

During the TPM training, the workers must be conceptualized with the idea of cleaning the machinery equipment, this can be done with the use of machine guards, putting in place the standard operating procedures (SOP’s), use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and have first-aid kits in place.      

TPM in Administration 

The administration is one of the key support functions of any organization. Implementation of TPM processes can be streamlined and improved through procurement, processing, and scheduling. They will apply the lean functions in their operations and thus provide value-added service to all these processes.   

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and Six Big Losses

Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) is the metric to quantify the production level as compared to its full potential during scheduled maintenance. It identifies the percentage to scheduled production time for instance an OEE score 100% shows perfect production. 

OEE is calculated by multiplying availability, performance and quality, and the results we get are in the form of percentages;

OEE = (Availability) x (Performance) x (Quality)

There are three factors that indicate the overall productivity of an asset while calculating OEE; asset availability, asset performance, and production quality.

Availability – The frequency of the asset functioning as per the requirement 

Performance – How much does the asset produce?

Quality – The number of quality items produced by the machine.     

Six Big Losses

The purpose of Six big losses is to categorize the equipment losses and capitalize on overall equipment effectiveness. As OEE is calculated according to availability, performance, and quality these six big losses are categorized on this basis. 

Availability Losses

  1. Equipment Failures 

This first big loss is due to equipment failure; despite planned maintenance schedules, it results in an unplanned stop or downtime. The reason may be machine breakdowns, tooling failure, or emergency maintenance stops.

  1. Setup and Adjustments  

The second big loss is due to setup and adjustments of machinery or equipment after planned maintenance. Moreover, changeovers, major adjustments, cleaning, warmup time can contribute to such adjustments.

Performance Losses   

  1. Idling and Minor Stops

This also refers to small stops where due to minor jams or product flow blockade, wrong settings or cleanings. These losses are for a short duration and this can be fixed by the operators. These minor stops did not contribute to specific maintenance downtime but repeated patterns of these little bottlenecks overall have low effectiveness.

  1. Reduced Speed  

Reduced speed can refer to the below-par speed of the machine than the ideal cycle time for producing a product. This can be due to a poorly maintained machine or substandard material used for its maintenance, slow running equipment, and the inability of machine operators. 

Quality Losses    

  1. Process Defects 

These quality losses occurred owing to the production of defective parts, uneven products, and those that needed another cycle of production time thus leading to production downtime. Process defects occur during the normal flow of production and are due to poor maintenance, incorrect settings, operator errors as well as expiration.  

  1. Reduced Yields

This is for the production of defective parts from the initial phase to its steady-state production. This constitutes scrapped parts and those as well that need reworking as well. Examples of reduced yield include; suboptimal changeover, incorrect settings, equipment generating waste after startup.   

Pros and Cons of Total Productive Maintenance 

While talking about the benefits of any program, this is to ensure that the challenges of this cannot be simply ignored. Everything comes with its own advantages and challenges. Keeping in mind the pros of TPM cons must not be ignored it is very vital to visualize it and act proactively.

Advantages of TPM

Total Productive maintenance fosters planned maintenance and that leads to minimizing the cost of maintenance. On the other hand, unplanned costs three to nine times more than planned maintenance. So when it comes to planned maintenance the following we will be covering as advantages of TPM namely; Low unplanned maintenance time and cost, safe and secure working environment, output – above and beyond expectations and proven impact.

Low Unplanned Maintenance Time and Cost

TPM urges employees to take ownership of the equipment and it is pretty much employee-centered and increases employee engagement. It increases production uptime thus reduces the time of maintenance and cost.

Many total productive maintenance examples include the instances majorly from the manufacturing industry. Aerospace industry supplier MRC bearings will be able to reduce as much as 98 percent of its unplanned maintenance hours within eight months of effective implementation of TPM.

Safe and Secure Working Environment

Total Productive Management (TPM) model follows the 5S foundation model that has been designed keeping in mind the maintenance of machines. This 5S model Sort, set in order, Shine, Standardize, sustain intended to ensure a safe and healthy working environment to avoid the dirt and filthy machine parts. Moreover, unclean equipment increases the risks of injury whereas, more maintenance activities will have low depreciation and lessen the possibility of losing ball bearings and lubricant leakage. 

Many incidents in the workplace are subjected to disorderliness, tools in the wrong place can lead to serious injuries.   

Output – Above and Beyond Expectations

Another positive aspect of TPM is Quality maintenance – that translates quality improvements into an effective production process. This highly impacted the overall quality and customer satisfaction. 

Proven Impact 

The major goal of TPM is to have effectiveness in production with minimal chance of any error. In TPM efficacy of equipment can be measured through the OEE Overall Equipment Effectiveness score. OEE is the standard benchmark for measuring the manufacturing productivity. 

Whether it’s a discrete or process-oriented production system, OEE can quickly calculate the metrics in terms of standardized production, equipment losses, and overall productivity. Metrics can quantify the measures and OEE facilitates your facility score against the industrial benchmarks.

Challenges of TPM    

From the beginning of this blog, we were discussing the positive impact that TPM can have on the manufacturing industry and its equipment maintenance. It is not to forget the challenges attached with the implementation of TPM. As per the reports of International TPM Institute, the statistics shared by Ed Hartmann he said at least every second attempt of installation of TPM results in failure.

Here, we will be talking about important challenges faced by the implementation of TPM program. 

Supportive Top Management and Allocation of Resources

Total Productive Management (TPM) philosophy is very significant for top management to promote it as the corporate policy. Top managers are the predominant part of any organization, people will abide by all those policies that they believe to be crucial and instructed by the top management. If people deemed it to be inconsequential then all efforts invested for the execution of Total Productive Management will be futile.  

In addition to this if top management fully endorses TPM philosophy and allocates proper resources to the project then impact will be exceptional. Initially, full-time resources must be allocated and part-time on the further development of the project.

Enforcement of Lean Culture

It is the responsibility of management to enforce a lean culture in the organization. Lean culture promotes productivity orientation, by eliminating waste hence setting the bar for quality and ensures employee safety. 

Employee resistance can be challenging here; it is important for management to highlight the significance of total productive maintenance (TPM) so they can perform accordingly.  

TPM Training of All Employees 

Training of TPM programs must be provided to all employees on a priority basis before initiating any project. TPM methodology and lean techniques must be clearly understood among all the staff including top management. It is to ensure that reluctant senior management must be aware of the insights and accomplishment of the TPM program during the early phases of the project as this will help to attain the commitment and support from the top management. 

Using CMMS to support Maintenance Projects 

More developments in TPM projects demand more fluency in operations and maintenance of projects. Initially it can be done through autonomous maintenance by delegating responsibility to machine operators for daily routine maintenance and freeing up the professional maintenance workers. 

Secondly, through CMMS planned maintenance can be implemented to reduce downtime cost and avoid unscheduled and emergency maintenance. Productivity can be tracked by the relevant team via metrics using OEE.  

How to Implement Total Productive Maintenance  

Traditionally, to monitor and handle the working condition of equipment in manufacturing is considered to be solely the responsibility of the maintenance department. Now, the involvement of all the workers in the implementation of TPM is highly encouraged. These workers are trained to maintain their equipment and will be able to explore ways to increase Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) through equipment availability, performance, and quality. 

Getting Started with TPM

As aforementioned, the implementation of TPM successfully is very important and this cannot be possible without the support of management. Also, here it is imperative to highlight the roles and responsibilities of operators and other employees. Signifying the benefits of TPM programs can help a lot in its execution. 

While planning to start with TPM implementation, it is very important to educate all workers through different training programs, office seminars, and workshops, offering facility tours and bringing in the consultant for the proper training and simulation activities. 

Determine Terminus a Quo  

To begin with the TPM implementation there must be a pilot area that is to be identified. Pilot areas should be identified keeping in mind the equipment that needs immediate attention and optimum functioning of this equipment will lead to profitability. Moreover, focusing on the bottlenecks and those equipment areas that can be quickly improved and especially in initial phases. 

Initially, it begins with its implementation, it is significant to identify SMART goals i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. 

Calculate OEE for Pilot Equipment to Gather Baseline Data

Once goals are defined and bottlenecks are identified, it is very important to have a closer look at equipment availability, performance, and product quality. These details can be extracted while measuring the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

OEE can be calculated as;

OEE = Availability x Performance x Quality.

While measuring OEE results can be calculated in percentage. 100% means perfect production whereas 85% means world-class production. The goal should be to achieve a 100% OEE score.

Address the possible reasons of Losses  

To reach a possible solution it is equally imperative to look out the possible reasons that are responsible for creating an issue. Make cross-functional teams of about 4-6 people to examine the major cause of downtime. Small losses can be taken care of operators but in case if they identify that there are incorrect settings of the equipment then the maintenance team must intervene to fix it and calculate the OEE going forward.

Be Proactive rather than Reactive 

The main goal of total productive maintenance is to avoid complete breakdowns and boost the culture of planned maintenance. Here, rather than reactive maintenance when equipment completely breaks down, planned maintenance or proactive maintenance should be followed. It will help to increase OEE and decrease downtime costs.

Moreover, the feedback process should be in place, and maintenance logs, monthly and bi-monthly audits must be conducted regularly.

How Can Computerized Maintenance Management Software Help?      

Total Productive Maintenance helps in increasing the overall equipment efficiency by reducing downtime time and cost. In this era of technological advancement, we are no longer using manual methods in any sector but moving towards automation. In this section, we will discuss how CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Software) will make the implementation of TPM a lot easier. 

Automate the Schedules and Planned Maintenance 

The Computerized Maintenance Management Software will automate the inspection schedules of the machine. With planned schedules updated in the system will give reminders and hence will reduce the maintenance, repairs, and downtime cost. Going forward, using CMMS can help to avoid reactive maintenance and follows the proactive maintenance of your equipment.

Managing Work Orders

Many CMMS software offers various work orders management features where work order schedules, assigning work orders, to know about their current status and recurring and non-recurring maintenance has become quite simple. Moreover, workers can easily submit work orders directly from the field quite easily.

Inventory Management

With CMMS you can maintain your inventory, so that it can be readily available when you need it. This feature makes sure that the spare parts are enough in the stock and accessible in case of repairs. In addition to this, you can track where you have stored the inventory so time can be saved while searching for it.

Enhance productivity

Mobile CMMS will allow the workers to get access to real-time information via their smartphones. These CMMS can also facilitate technicians so they are alert about the kind of equipment required to perform their job. This can help in bridging the gaps between the head office and the field, managers and workers are kept updated via CMMS.

Hit the Bullseye

With the CMMS dashboard, it has to offer the key KPIs for your workers. It will assist in performance management and having a big picture regarding the overall productivity through creating reports. CMMS allows us to look at the historical data and extract reports with reference to downtime costs, metrics for productivity, and repairs management.    

Conformation with Regulatory Standards

Maintenance and facilities management systems must often comply with national and international regulatory standards. Maintenance departments must keep in mind the regular audits or haphazard inspections by regulatory authorities. Maintenance managers can simply generate reports detailing the maintenance work performed on vital machinery. This makes compliance easily traceable and reduces the risk of noncompliance penalties.

Go Paperless, Go Green with EcoDocs

EcoDocs is a cloud-based CMMS that schedules, tracks, compliance and maintains the quality standards of your maintenance management tasks that makes your team more agile and productive. With more than 15 years of experience in delivering innovation, our abilities reflect in sophisticated and tailor-made products that entirely go with your expectations. 

With many other features to offer, Ecodocs allows you to have a proactive approach in the maintenance of your equipment to keep downtime to minimal and avoid any obstruction in the production area. It provides the preventive forms and checklist to have complete routine inspections and audits. With work orders maintenance there is no chance to forego or let any order incomplete.

Now you can make time-based preventive maintenance schedules where you can keep on repeat them in hours, days, weekly or monthly basis. Based on the completion of the work order you can reschedule your task-based maintenance. Workers can easily perform the maintenance tasks from anywhere through Ecodocs CMMS.

Total Productive Maintenance gets better with time since it was introduced in the early 1970s. It helps a lot to improve the overall productivity and performance of your organization. There are still many issues faced by the different manufacturing sectors in terms of downtime costs and due to lack of planned maintenance, it costs them millions of dollars on an annual basis. With CMMS TPM automation has eased many hurdles and bottlenecks for the management. With the variety of features and accessibility, it can be easily accessed and maintenance can be done. Moreover, with a lot of features in the dashboard, it can help a lot to keep track of organizational metrics without compromising on availability, performance, and quality of the product manufactured.

Related Post

Leave a Comment