Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a system for performing proactive maintenance, with the goal of increasing equipment availability and avoiding breakdowns.
TPM is used by various industries, but works especially well for manufacturers—and it can deliver compelling results over time.
According to Ahmet Caglayan of Productivity Inc., a consulting and training firm, TPM can bring a 30 percent improvement in productivity and up to a 40 percent reduction in maintenance costs within a few years.
What’s more, when used with a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), organizations can use TPM methods to eliminate costly machine downtime.
I’ve seen organizations with zero breakdowns or failures, and it took them seven to eight years. Following a consistent, step-by-step TPM approach gets you there.
Ahmet Caglayan, Productivity Inc.
In this report, we’ll describe what are commonly known as the eight pillars of TPM, and how CMMS software helps facilitate each.
Pillar 1: Autonomous Maintenance
The first step in the TPM approach, Caglayan says, involves a cultural change for most organizations.
Instead of having maintenance workers perform basic tasks (e.g., lubrications, cleanings and inspections), transfer these responsibilities to non-maintenance operators: those who actually work with the machines each day.
This frees maintenance personnel from less critical activities; if operators encounter any serious problems, they can simply create work orders for the maintenance team. Caglayan emphasizes that this cultural change must involve employees at all levels to bring the most benefit.
“It’s a top-down approach, so you want to get everyone involved,” he says. “It starts with the CEO all the way down to the operator level.”
CMMS Capabilities That Support Autonomous Maintenance:
- Work order management: This is a core function of any CMMS. Make sure the work order management capabilities in the system you choose are straightforward enough for operators to use to quickly and easily request work on a machine.
- Mobile capabilities: Maintenance personnel should be able to easily access work orders on a smartphone or tablet to reduce travel time between jobs. Mobile access is quickly becoming standard in most CMMSs.
Pillar 2: Maintenance Improvement
Overall, the goal of TPM is to move from reactive maintenance toward a proactive, planned maintenance process. In this pillar, organizations can begin to make the transition.
First, maintenance departments can analyze asset failures to find root causes, gathering knowledge on how each machine tends to break down. This information allows maintenance teams to modify assets or processes to improve reliability.
“So you restore basic conditions on the equipment in the first year—then we have a better-functioning plant, and we’ve also improved the skills of the people,” Caglayan says.
These modifications to assets or processes could include:
- Stronger inventory control
- Creating standard operating procedures for different types of work
- Developing preventive and predictive maintenance plans
This helps support the activities of the first pillar, while also helping control costs and resource availability, Caglayan explains.
CMMS Capabilities That Support Maintenance Improvement:
- Reporting: Using a CMMS, professionals can analyze past repair data to determine how assets fail, as well as how often assets need to be repaired to avoid breakdowns.
- Preventive maintenance: After analyzing common asset failure causes, maintenance teams can create more efficient preventive maintenance plans to address these failures before they occur.
- Predictive maintenance: Organizations may choose to include occasional spot checks on assets, or use asset-mounted sensors, to monitor real-time conditions. A CMMS can alert technicians when conditions indicate a potential problem.
Pillar 3: Training and Skills Development
This pillar encourages managers to ensure technicians have the necessary skills to complete repairs and other tasks. If workers aren’t capable of performing their jobs, the entire organization can slow to a crawl.
“We have much more technology today than ever, and your traditional mechanic needs to adapt to new technology,” Caglayan says. “Otherwise, we have extended breakdown times that would create more inefficiency.”
Employees need to not only know how to perform repairs and inspections, but also how to use the software correctly. For example, technicians should have knowledge about how each piece of equipment works and how each can break down to help keep downtime to a minimum.
In addition, all CMMS users should have a training session on how to submit work orders, produce basic reports and use mobile versions of the software.
CMMS Capabilities That Support Training and Skills Development:
- Employee profiles: Most modern CMMSs offer the ability to create profiles for individual technicians. These can display the types of training each worker has completed so managers can see who needs extra help.
- Vendor resources: This isn’t a software capability, but is an important aspect of training. Most vendors offer their own training services and knowledge centers, which include best practices for using the system.
Pillar 4: Focused Improvement
The goal with this pillar is to identify “losses” and eliminate them. Losses include anything that results in lower quality, speed or production time: for example, machine breakdowns, adjustments or quality defects.
Preventing losses not only improves quality and efficiency, but also increases overall equipment effectiveness (OEE): a measure of how effective a piece of equipment is during a given time period.
Using historical data to generate reports in the CMMS, organizations can identify any losses and deploy “loss-hunting” teams to address them.
CMMS Capabilities That Support Focused Improvement:
- Reporting: Focused improvement heavily depends on analyzing report data to determine which assets cause the most downtime or other problems.
- Work order management: “Loss-hunting” teams should use work orders to schedule and prioritize any tasks associated with eliminating losses.
Pillar 5: Early Equipment Management
This pillar prompts maintenance teams to gather knowledge about common equipment failures and share it with manufacturers or an internal engineering department. This allows machines to be redesigned or reconfigured to avoid common issues later on.
Caglayan says this can help “eliminate existing problems coming from the field, so that we can have more reliable equipment for the next task.”
Let’s say a maintenance manager uses the CMMS to generate a report on the amount of downtime for each asset. He notices that most of the AC motors in the plant tend to fail every few months for the same reason—perhaps the bearings wear down quickly.
This could be useful information for the asset manufacturer or the internal engineering team, who can modify parts so this failure cause is eliminated.
CMMS Capabilities That Support Early Equipment Management:
- Reporting: Reporting is critical in this process. A log of common failure causes for each asset can be sent to engineering or the machine supplier to improve upon consistent problems.
- Work order management: Recording the symptoms and repair history of assets over time provides the data machine suppliers can use to improve assets. Accurately noting these details when closing out work orders in the CMMS is crucial to reducing the complexity and frequency of repairs in the future.
Pillar 6: Quality Maintenance
This pillar focuses on internal and external quality. Maintenance teams should introduce occasional spot checks into the preventive maintenance schedule to identify any problems in the production sequence that could compromise the final product’s quality.
Caglayan says these checks should also be used to spot any generation of energy or material waste in the production cycle. Maintenance teams can then take action to reduce waste—which, in turn, saves money and increases production efficiency.
For example, a maintenance worker may spot a defect in a part of an assembly line during a monthly quality inspection. He can then submit a work order to correct the defect, which increases the quality of the final product.
CMMS Capabilities That Support Quality Maintenance:
- Predictive maintenance: To detect issues that impact quality of output, organizations can use condition monitoring, which allows maintenance workers to identify potential asset failure based on current data. This monitoring can be done through manual spot checks or by mounting sensors on machines to stream real-time condition data.
- Preventive maintenance: Maintenance teams should insert spot-check tasks into their current preventive maintenance plan in order to ensure quality of the final product. A CMMS allows users to add recurring preventive maintenance tasks, which will alert technicians as they come due.
Pillar 7: Environment, Health and Safety
Similar to the quality maintenance pillar, this one instructs maintenance teams to create periodic safety inspections in their CMMS preventive maintenance plan.
Caglayan says this not only keeps the workplace safe for employees, but also helps identify possible environmental issues, such as leaks or harmful waste materials.
According to OSHA compliance resources, these safety inspections could include:
- Checking guards on machines that keep dangerous parts tucked away.
- Making sure electrical components of machines are in good condition and cords are kept out of high-traffic areas.
- Verifying that required personal protective equipment is in working condition and utilized correctly.
This also helps companies comply with state regulations for health and safety. The CMMS will store details of any inspections performed and can generate a report to prove compliance.
CMMS Capabilities That Support Environment, Health and Safety:
- Safety management: Most CMMSs include the ability to manage inspections, safety records and required certifications for employees. Users can also store standard operating procedures, materials safety data, checklists and other safety-related documentation for quick retrieval.
- Audit reporting: With records of inspections, the CMMS can quickly print audit reports for external agencies. It can even help users automate internal safety audits.
Pillar 8: Office TPM
The final pillar of TPM applies to the administrative areas of a company: Primarily, it instructs these departments to organize and categorize office materials and spaces.
This helps administrative employees align their practices with the TPM goals of the entire company so that important documents can be found quickly.
“Anybody should be able to walk into an office and retrieve any document in less than 30 seconds,” Caglayan says. “It has to be easy to find so you don’t have to depend on another person.”
Managers can use a CMMS to manage inventory of office materials or create occasional tasks in the system to organize office spaces.
CMMS Capabilities That Support Office TPM:
- Inventory management: Organizations can use inventory management tools to manage office supply quantities and reorders. This can help reduce workplace clutter so that physical documents are easier to find.
- Document management: CMMS users can also upload and store documents in digital form within the system, enabling easy retrieval through keyword searches.
More CMMS Features to Look For
Caglayan points out a few additional aspects of a CMMS organizations that practice TPM should look for:
KPI tracking and dashboards. Dashboards are used to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and provide important data at a glance. This helps maintenance professionals stay on top of developing asset trends.
“We want to be able to capture the entirety of downtime in the system, as well as what parts were used and the diagnosis,” he says.
Ease of use. In order to be accessible for all employees, Caglayan says a CMMS should be as easy to use as a smartphone.
“A way to get buy-in is by using a simple system,” he says. “I’ve seen factories where they try to use the complicated screens, and operators can get very confused. It’s possible to make a lot of errors in that case.”
Finally, Caglayan says a CMMS is more than just a tool that helps organize and extract data—it also tells maintenance teams which assets need attention, and how to schedule tasks when implementing TPM.
To get the most out of TPM, organizations should seek an easy-to-use CMMS with strong preventive and predictive maintenance and mobile capabilities.
For those who want to take advantage of a CMMS when implementing TPM, visit our maintenance management software page for a list of the top systems. And for help choosing the best system for your needs, business owners can get a free consultation with our team of Software Advisors by calling (855) 998-8505.