How would I implement a total productive maintenance program?

When implementing total productive maintenance (TPM), I think it’s best to gradually phase it in. The reason for this is it will essentially enable an organization-wide adjustment to your culture and practices over time. Everyone is involved in TPM, so you’ll likely have a number of hurdles to overcome.

That said, following these steps should help.

Pick a Single Machine

To begin, start with one machine and build out from there. By starting small, you’ll be able to learn and perfect your processes before you expand.

When choosing a machine, you may want to go for an asset that’s critical to your process. This will allow you to measure the effectiveness of your TPM more easily, and it will also tend to involve more employees. On the other hand, you might opt for a less critical asset. It’ll be harder to measure success, but it will be lower risk.

Instill Foundational Practices

Once you’ve picked an asset to pilot your TPM program, it’s time to start training your operations crew on some foundational practices. In TPM, these practices are referred to as 5S, which stands for the following:

  1. Sort
  2. Straighten
  3. Shine
  4. Standardize
  5. Sustain

5S essentially sets the groundwork for keeping work areas neat and orderly while also getting the asset into basic condition. On top of that, it also sets the stage for autonomous maintenance, i.e. maintenance where the operations crew handles upkeep tasks automatically.

Plan Preventive Maintenance

Once you have your groundwork laid out, it’s time to start working on improving your equipment’s effectiveness. The primary way of doing this is through preventive maintenance.

The PM tasks you plan should be designed to improve the asset’s performance, reduce downtime, and increase reliability.

Make Adjustments and Expand

As you engage in regular maintenance, keep the asset clean and in good working order, and collect data on the results, you’ll likely find ways to improve. Continuous improvement is one of the eight pillars of TPM, so figuring out how you can do better is an essential part of the process.

As you improve your maintenance processes, you’ll be able to extend your TPM to other assets and eventually to your organization as a whole.