As with the entire body of lean manufacturing systems – TPM originated in Japan. An organization called the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM) formed in 1961, although under a different moniker, and unveiled the TPM concept a decade later. The Japanese automotive supplier Nippondenso is first credited with utilizing the process, and Seiichi Nakajima of JIPM established eight management pillars, for which TPM is well-known today.
TPM aims to increase productivity, efficiency, and safely by empowering operators and team leaders to play a proactive role in day-to-day lubrication, inspection, and cleaning. Management is tasked with creating a “buy-in culture” to support continuous activities through eight pillars of activity.
The eight pillars of TPM include:
- Autonomous Maintenance: Operators monitor the condition of their own equipment and work areas
- Process & Machine Improvement: Team leaders collect information from operators and work areas, then prioritize preventative maintenance and improvements
- Preventative Maintenance: Operators and team leaders share preventative maintenance tasks and schedules
- Early Management of New Equipment: Team leaders anticipate and plan for parts of equipment lifecycles and report to mangers, based on maintenance reports
- Process Quality Management: Shared responsibility for operation and maintenance encourages quality improvement ideas from all areas of work
- Administrative Work: Managers prioritize data from the previous pillars and share outcomes with team leaders and work areas
- Education & Training: Continuous improvement includes operator and work area education and training which improves morale, retention and efficiency
- Safety & Sustained Success: Facility-wide safety is prioritized, which positively impacts sustained success of the TPM program
As maintenance is traditionally considered an inevitable and “not-for-profit” function, TPM is considered the most difficult lean manufacturing tool to implement. Shifting cultural beliefs within a facility, from the CEO to machinists and janitors, may take years but the pay off for both the finished product and employee morale is worth the investment.
Shifting cultural beliefs within a facility, from the CEO to machinists and janitors, may take years but the pay off for both the finished product and employee morale is worth the investment.