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Preventive Maintenance Step #4: Get Everyone Involved with Maintenance

Maintaining Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Similar to TQM (Total Quality Management) and TPS (Toyota Production System), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) originated in Japan, and shares many of the same principles. Usually, when people say “TPM”, they usually mean “a good maintenance system”. However, TPM is actually a particular approach to maintenance.

What Is Total Productive Maintenance?

Essentially, the idea behind TPM is to get everybody in the factory involved with maintenance. According to Seiichi Nakajima, who is considered the father of TPM:

TPM is a company-wide program for improving equipment effectiveness—something maintenance alone could not do. When TPM came to America, we realized we probably made a mistake calling it Total Productive Maintenance. Probably should have been Total Productive Manufacturing.

TPM expands on maintenance and preventive maintenance concepts by integrating all departments and individuals inside a company. Even with limited resources, enhancing overall performance is possible with an organization-wide approach centered on taking responsibility for the machines and equipment.

The Benefits of a Total Productive Maintenance System

By including operators in maintenance duties, as well as planning and scheduling such actions to assure regular control of critical equipment, your organization can reap the following advantages:

  • The operators and local leaders are more likely to see a leakage or to detect an abnormal noise, since they are constantly on site, so issues are identified much earlier.
  • Specialized maintenance staff can be freed to carry out more value-added tasks.
  • You are able to maintain quality and safety with good implementation of a 5S program.

Using the 5S Program for Total Productive Maintenance

5S is a systematic process through which employees make space, set the tools, materials, and equipment in order, – ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ – and regularly clean and inspect the tools and equipment.

5S is a great basis for a TPM implementation. It helps give a purpose to the 5S efforts, which often sees great resistance and is always at risk of being abandoned.

With a properly implemented 5S system, you will have the foundation for an autonomous maintenance system in place.

The 6 Steps of Autonomous Maintenance

To implement an autonomous maintenance system, you will need to follow these steps:


Provide training to production operators, local leaders, and engineers.


Initial cleaning & inspection by all involved parties to restore the machine’s performance. This can take a long time and should lead to identification of many signs of deterioration.


Eliminating contamination and inaccessible areas – make sure deterioration can’t take place again by removing sources of dirt as well as make it easy to access the parts of the machine that need regular cleaning and inspection among other changes.


Develop standards for cleaning, lubrication and inspection and make sure it can be kept up over time.


Inspection and monitoring – look out for issues on an ongoing basis and make small adjustments.


Finalize standards and document the whole process.

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