tpm blog
Jun 28, 2021 Rebecca Nguyen

What is Total Productive Maintenance?

An overview of TPM and how connected worker tools can provide support across the TPM pillars.

What is Total Productive Maintenance?

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a Japanese Lean Manufacturing system dating back to the mid-twentieth century. Under TPM, maintenance and production personnel work together to improve asset reliability, maximize overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), ensure product quality, as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Because of its focus on the machine, practitioners can sometimes lose sight of the role the worker has in TPM. The Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance emphasizes:

“Total Productive Maintenance focuses on equipment and people and is a maintenance technique which improves productivity to achieve zero losses and reinforces production foundations.”

The Eight Pillars of TPM

TPM is built on pillars which focus on achieving zero breakdowns, zero accidents, and zero errors through specific sets of activities and tasks. 

  1. Autonomous maintenance
  2. Focused Improvement
  3. Planned Maintenance
  4. Quality Maintenance
  5. Early Management
  6. Education and Training
  7. Safety, Health, and Environment
  8. Office TPM

The Benefits of TPM

Through the TPM methodology, manufacturing organizations can gain a range of benefits including:

  • Less unplanned maintenance
  • Less downtime
  • Safer working environment
  • Lower production costs 
  • Measurable results

The Challenges with Implementing TPM

The benefits of TPM sound great on paper, but they often aren’t realized for a number of years because it is challenging and heavy to implement TPM. What’s more, according to Ed Hartmann, founder and President of the International TPM Institute, every second TPM implementation results in failure

TPM is challenging because it is more than just a maintenance policy, processes or tools. It requires a cultural and philosophical change from top management to operators. 

Here’s a list of the common challenges with TPM implementation: 

  1. Driving company culture change
  2. Sharing knowledge and providing training
  3. Increasing costs related to man and method issues

Luckily, in the era of industrial digital transformation, there are digital tools available to help you connect and empower frontline workers to address many of these challenges, and to achieve TPM success.

Drive Your TPM Initiatives by Connecting your Workforce

Connected Worker solutions, like Poka, can be the driver and enabler for your TPM initiatives by reducing the heaviness of implementation and addressing common challenges. Without digital support, you risk losing momentum and reaching a ceiling with your TPM efforts. 

A Connected Worker is one that is digitally connected and empowered to learn continuously, collaborate to solve problems, and to share knowledge in real-time from the factory floor. Further, connected workers have the information and insights they need to manage (not just operate) their equipment effectively. With this understanding of a connected factory worker, it is clear how TPM and digital transformation strategies can and should align.

Take a look at how a connected worker platform can provide support across TPM pillars in the infographic below. 

connected worker and tpm pillars

By using a Connected Worker tool in support of your TPM initiatives, you will be able to: 

  • Simplify your TPM practice as a whole
  • Improve your organization’s speed, agility, and responsiveness to the current and future environment
  • Increase productivity

To learn more about the role of the connected worker in TPM, download our complete e-book below. 

TPM E-Book


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