Implementation of Total Productive Maintenance

There are four tool cornerstones in Total Productive Maintenance: OEE, 5S, Kaizen and Autonomous Maintenance. In this article we will focus on the last-named, as the other topics are covered in other articles.

Sixty percent of all jobs are simple

If you go to a normal plant and do a print-out of all maintenance jobs stored in their CMMS software, you will probably find a mixture of the following type of activities:

  • Emergency repairs
  • Inspections
  • Lubrication
  • Oil changes
  • Adjustments
  • Conditions checks
  • Planned replacements
  • Modifications
  • Reconditioning

Normally about 60 percent of the jobs on the list could be considered simple. This means that only basic maintenance knowledge is required and there are no safety risks involved. These 60 percent represent only about 20 percent of the time for the maintenance personnel, as they are quick and simple by nature, but a transfer of these duties to operators would nevertheless be a great relief for the maintenance department.

Conduct a TPM Event to list all necessary activities

A TPM Event is the most efficient way to determine all the activities that are needed for a disturbance free operation. This is cross-functional teamwork that is carried out by technicians, operators, engineers and supervisors. The idea is to go to the shop-floor with all the knowledge we have about the machinery, discuss it together, and then list everything that is needed on a specific equipment to ensure it is run problem-free. This includes cleaning, inspections, preventive maintenance, checks, etc.

A TPM event

With this list in hand it is time to determine what is suitable or not for the operators.

Determine if a task is suitible for operators

The key to successful implementation is that operators should participate in the maintenance, but that the work should not have a negative effect on their normal duties.

  • Is it possible to learn the task in about 30 minutes?
  • Can we facilitate the task so that it can be done during a normal production day, without hindering production?
  • Can we arrange it so that necessary tools are available for the operator?
  • Are there no safety hazards involved?

Then, but only then, maintenance performed by the operators might be the right choice for the task. Flag these tasks on the list for implementation. The tasks that are not considered suitable are transferred to the preventive maintenance schedule and will be carried out by the maintenance department or by specialists.

Conduct training

The next step, which is very important, is training of the operators. The training is typically excuted by the maintenance department in a TPM organization.

The operators should individually determine their need for training. The training should be hands-on and on-the-job with a good possibility to practice.

Introduce a system for scheduling and follow-up 

It is important to have a good system for scheduling and follow-up of the TPM duties. If you plan to use your CMMS system for this, you might have to think again, as most operators do not use the CMMS daily. Check-lists or card systems are common ways to implement a scheduling system for TPM. If you already have a working system for 5S scheduling, the best way is to integrate the systems.

By Oskar Olofsson

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