TPM: Total Productive Maintenance [Full Guide with Images]

By | September 21, 2018

What is TPM?

The word TPM stands for Total Productive Maintenance. TPM is a technique which is used in many companies to maximize the profit by minimizing the losses.

The effect of Total Productive Maintenance can be measured in a scale of PQCDSM i.e.

  • P: increases productivity of workplace
  • Q: increases quality of service produced
  • C: reduces cost of service produced
  • D: decreases delivery time of the service
  • S: increases safety at workplace
  • M: increases morale of employees

TPM is a step by step process and it involves all the employees for a factory for a common goal and that is to minimize the losses.

For understanding the TPM we should consider it as a structure, which has a base and eight pillars and, on those pillars, Total Productive Maintenance is based.

Base of TPM is ‘5-S’, without ‘5-S’ it is impossible to implement Total Productive Maintenance in a factory.

What is ‘5-S’?

5s method

‘5-S’ is a method or technique which is meant for better organization of workplace. It is impossible to maintain work efficiency in a workplace where it is difficult to find an item when it needed. Hence Japanese people evolved a technique which they named as ‘5-S’.

The name ‘5-S’ is derived from the names of five steps which are used in this technique.

Steps of ‘5-s’

  1. Seiri (Sort)

This step involves of sorting of useful and non-useful thing. We have to keep useful things and discard the non-useful things.

  1. Seiton (Set)

Now we have to set the useful material at right place.

  1. Seiso (Shine)

Now we have to clean the useful things, so that they can be used easily.

  1. Seiketsu (Standardize)

After the above mentioned three steps we have to standardize the procedures and practice for the next time.

  1. Shitsuke (Sustain)

This is one of the most important step of any process and that is to maintain what you have achieved. Doing only one time does not solves the purpose.

When a factory successfully implements ‘5-S’, it can move a step further in TPM and can form its eight pillars i.e. JH, KK, PM, QM, OPTM, E&T, SHE and DM

Each pillar will be discussed in details later on.

Audit of ‘5-S’

The company has to setup an audit committee which will audit the performance of ‘5-S’ in the company. Only that committee has powers to decide whether the ‘5-S’ has been successfully implemented in the company or not. For more reliability a company can also take help of external auditors to audit the ‘5-S’.

Now we will try to understand each pillar of TPM in brief. Each pillar has some members and a pillar head, who is responsible for that pillar. In a whole Total Productive Maintenance has a head (or Chaiman) who is responsible for the implementation of TPM in the company.

Pillars of TPM

There are eight pillars of TPM, they are

  1. Jishu-Hozen (JH) or Autonomous Maintenance

This pillar is responsible for autonomous maintenance of the machines and equipment used for work. It is considered that there is a mother and child like relationship between a machine and its operator. It is much easier and profitable to get a machine maintained by its operator.

  1. Kobetsu-Kaizen (KK) or Focused improvement

This pillar is responsible for gradual improvements in the systems with the involvement of employees. Pillar members itself suggest improvement plans and its make improvement.

  1. Planned Maintenance (PM)

This pillar is responsible of maintenance of machines on a regular interval of time. It is easier and much cheaper to maintain a machine when it is not in use, rather than maintaining it when a breakdown occurred.

  1. Quality Maintenance (QM)

This pillar is responsible for the improvement of the quality of service produced. It helps in increasing quality of services and maintaining it.

  1. Office Total Productive Maintenance (OPTM)

This pillar is responsible for maintaining TPM in office so that the official work gets completed and delivered efficiently.

  1. Education and Training (E&T)

This pillar is responsible for education and training of employees, so that all the employees remain updated and contribute with their maximum efficiency to the company.

  1. Development Management (DM)

This pillar is responsible for the development of systems within the company, so that company can grow.

  1. Safety, Health and Environment (SHE)

This pillar is responsible for safety and health of employees so that they always remain fit for the work. This pillar also helps in protecting our environment in such a manner that our systems do not produce and harm to our environment.

Audit of TPM

Same like ‘5-S’ we have to make audit committees of each pillar of TPM. These audit committees have to submit their audit reports to the TPM Chairman or Head. After clearance from internal audit committees of different pillars of TPM and external audit is mandatory. The external audit committee (most preferably from the company who has already implemented Total Productive Maintenance in their company) will decide whether the TPM is successfully implemented in your company or not.

Benefits of TPM

TPM is a very beneficial technique. It has many tangible and intangible benefits, some of them are listed below.

  • Wastage reduction
  • Increased work efficiency
  • Team working capacity development
  • Ownership feeling development
  • More employee engagement
  • It increases productivity of workplace
  • It increases quality of service produced
  • It reduces cost of service produced
  • It decreases delivery time of the service
  • It increases safety at workplace
  • It increases morale of employees
  • Increases Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE)

Image source:

Attribution: By Nikita Klyuchko – Nikita Klyuchko, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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