Prescription for Total TPM Success

EP Editorial Staff | April 1, 2000

A proven 12-stage “Western” approach to successfully installing Total Productive Maintenance and setting the stage for world-class performance

At least every second attempted installation of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) results in failure. What went wrong? The reasons are many:  lack of proper understanding of the total effort required, lack of management support, lack of sufficient TPM staff, union resistance, not enough training carried out, change of priorities, lack of persistence, failure to develop a good installation strategy, and simply choosing the wrong approach.

So, what is the right approach? What are the common traits of successful TPM installations? Over the past 10 years, the author has been involved with dozens of TPM installations worldwide. The approach to TPM that follows is based on that experience. It outlines what it takes to produce excellent results. A 400 percent return on investment (ROI), plant capacity increases of more than 10 percent, and productivity improvement of 50 percent have been accomplished by using this approach to TPM installation.

The 12-step process is designed to create proper TPM understanding; accomplish TPM acceptance; create TPM support from management, unions, and employees; create enthusiasm and positive expectations for TPM; develop a realistic custom installation plan; and accomplish world-class results in a timely manner.

1. Collect InformationThe first order of business for installing a successful TPM program is to collect information about TPM and to understand how it works. The person leading the effort must understand what TPM is, how it works, the proper installation sequence, what it can do for the plant, the amount of effort that will be required, how long it will take, etc.

Information resources include TPM conferences, TPM seminars, TPM literature (books, magazines, the Internet), benchmarking programs, and conversations with experienced practitioners and consultants. Formal trip reports from conferences and plant visits are valuable resources for the following initial auditing and presentation phase.

2. Initial audit and presentationAfter gathering information on TPM and surveying current conditions, the next step is to present a proposal to management. This activity can be carried out by a consultant, plant personnel, or both.

Consultant or trainer involvement typically begins with a plant visit (usually a half day) to observe production operations, learn about the equipment (type, function, condition, problems, losses, etc.), study maintenance operations (structure, size, tasks, PMs, etc.), gauge orderliness and cleanliness in the plant, and talk to employees to determine their motivation and attitude.

The consultant then can develop and conduct the TPM presentation to management (which should include union representation). The presentation normally takes about 4 hr, including questions and answers, and covers the following:

  • TPM overview (What is TPM?)
  • What TPM can do for the plant
  • Sequence of a typical installation
  • How to develop proper strategy and a customized installation plan
  • How management and the union must support TPM
  • How to get organized for installing TPM
  • Expected costs and benefits, including ROI

The presentation also can be made by plant personnel covering the same points laced with examples and impressions from seminars, conferences, and plant visits. The presentation should end with a recommendation, typically a recommendation to install TPM, beginning with a proposal for internal TPM training followed by a TPM feasibility study.

Normally, management will make a positive decision at this point. This decision must include a commitment to strongly support TPM, carry out the necessary training and the feasibility study, appoint a TPM coordinator, and create the TPM steering committee.

3. In-plant TPM trainingIt is important that significant TPM knowledge be distributed to appropriate plant personnel. This typically is accomplished with a 2-day seminar in the plant or at a nearby hotel. An external TPM specialist typically conducts the seminar.Seminar attendees should include middle management (supervisors), maintenance personnel, and operators. Representatives from the union and human resources department should be included. Members of the future feasibility study teams must participate.

4. Study team training Additional training is required for members of the team that will conduct the TPM feasibility study. Not only must team members know TPM, they must understand the feasibility study process. Training is normally conducted by an external specialist or consultant in a 1-day course at the plant. The course typically includes exercises on running equipment (equipment condition analysis and overall equipment effectiveness) and review of a sample feasibility study report. Tasks and schedule for the study also are developed at this time.

5. Feasibility studyIt is the author’s experience that just about every successful TPM installation worldwide has been preceded by a good feasibility study. How can you develop a good TPM strategy and a customized (pilot) installation plan if you don’t know the exact amount and distribution of your equipment’s losses, or the current equipment condition, or the current skill levels of your employees, or the current type and amount of maintenance done for your equipment? The results of your feasibility study will establish a base line, against which you can measure TPM results and progress and also will allow you to set realistic goals, based on the data obtained.

A typical feasibility study program is outlined in the section “TPM Feasibility Study.”

A feasibility study typically includes two to six teams (five to nine members each) and takes 8 weeks. It will include overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) observations and calculations for 40 to 100 percent of important equipment. The study will evaluate the condition of that equipment and current and future required maintenance activity. Skills of plant personnel, cleanliness or orderliness of the plant, and plant culture (attitude, motivation, and management style) will be studied also.

6. Feasibility study presentation Considerable thought should be given to the formal presentation of the results of the feasibility study. The presentation, with appropriate visual aids, normally takes about 2 hr. Both management and the union should be in the audience.

The presentation should propose an installation strategy and identify a pilot installation. It should conclude with a recommendation that TPM be installed.

At this point, management will make a second and final commitment to install TPM. The level of enthusiasm is normally quite high, and the need (and benefits) to apply TPM have been clearly demonstrated. The cat is out of the bag now, because almost everybody has had some exposure or heard about TPM during the execution of the feasibility study. The OEE results are typically much lower than management thought (especially if all they have had as reports were uptime figures), creating a strong motivation to get going and improve the productivity of equipment and the quality of product.

The feasibility study presentation meeting can be regarded as the TPM kickoff.

7. Pilot installation A TPM pilot installation should cover between 10 and 25 percent of a plant’s equipment, not just a few selected machines. There should be a minimum of six TPM teams to insure survivability of the installation should one or two teams fail. Here you can test various approaches to learn which is best for the plant-wide installation.

Areas appropriate for pilot installations are those where major improvement is needed (too many breakdowns, delays, or idle time, or low capacity or productivity), where feasible (good motivation found during the feasibility study), where quick success is likely, and where it is difficult (if it works there, it will work everywhere).

A good feasibility study is required for all pilot areas. All employees in the pilot areas must receive TPM training and team leaders also must be trained. Clear goals and deadlines must be established and team meetings held on schedule.

8. Plant-wide installation Most companies (and TPM coordinators) wait too long before expanding their TPM installation. There is no need to wait for final results of the pilot installation because you will know fairly soon if the approach you have selected will work (especially if you are on the ball and measure results). A good and well thought out staggered expansion plan is important, as is a detailed installation plan for each additional area.

Expansion initiatives should begin every 3 mo (6 mo maximum) using the same priorities and decision criteria as for pilots. The installation strategy may have to be adapted for each new area. Successful installation usually can be completed in 3 yr, even in large plants.

9. Introduction audit To insure good progress and a proper and successful installation, audits have proven to be very valuable. There are two types of audits: the first audit is fairly simple and checks if the TPM fundamentals are done correctly (teamwork, organization, tasks, PM development, etc.) and whether the program is on schedule. They are typically carried out 6-12 mo after launch by internal or external specialists.

10. Progress audit The second audit is much more demanding and is usually the last step before the certification. A high percentage of the TPM goals are accomplished (and can be clearly demonstrated) and TPM is now practically a way of life in the audited areas. This audit will point out existing deficiencies (and opportunities) to bring TPM to a successful conclusion. The theoretical part of the audit will be done in the office with the team going over a lot of data followed by a practical part out in the plant around the equipment.The progress audit comes 18-30 mo after launch to determine if and how:

  • Preventive maintenance is carried out by the TPM teams
  • Equipment improvement activities have been executed according to schedules
  • An OEE of at least 85 percent has been reached
  • The improved equipment condition has been accomplished and documented
  • A ratio of 80 percent proactive vs. 20 percent reactive maintenance has been accomplished
  • The planned levels of skill have been accomplished

11. Certification The certification process is gaining more and more importance, especially in Europe and for automotive plants and suppliers where it is used to show the customer that equipment and product quality have been improved and that procedures are in place to maintain equipment to the highest levels and that this process is permanent.

The International TPM Institute certification process is based on a strict set of certification requirements.

12. TPM Award The final and most rewarding step of a TPM installation is achieving the TPM Award. The award testifies that your plant is world-class: highly productive, produces only top quality product, maintains its equipment in top shape, and has a culture based on teamwork. Only a few companies in the Western world have the TPM Award, but that record is now improving as we learn how to successfully install TPM using a custom-made Western approach that fits our culture and exact needs. MT

Ed Hartmann is president of International TPM Institute, Inc., a Total Productive Maintenance and maintenance improvement consulting company, Allison Park, PA. He can be reached at (412) 486-6340

TPM Feasibility Study: Agenda for Training and Execution

A feasibility study is an important element in a successful TPM installation. This agenda outlines the feasibility study process developed and used by International TPM Institute.
1. Learn and practice overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) observations and calculations

  • Select equipment to study (for today and during feasibility study)
  • Finalize forms for your equipment (enter reasons for breakdowns and idling/minor stoppages on OEE form)
  • Plan and schedule practice run (today)
  • Designate teams for the feasibility study
  • Practice OEE observations and calculations (today) and review
  • Organize for daily input and calculations (computer spreadsheet) during feasibility study
  • Develop detailed schedule for OEE measurements (during feasibility study)
  • Develop plan to summarize OEE data for all equipment and areas
  • Make Pareto charts

2. Equipment condition analysis (ECA)

  • Practice equipment condition analysis (today) and review
  • Feasibility study teams and operators fill out forms during feasibility study
  • Assess condition of tools, dies, and fixtures along with major equipment

3. Develop tasks, schedule, and staffing plan for the feasibility study

  • Form a team (one per plant) that will carry out “skills required vs. skills available” analysis (during feasibility study)
  • Develop customized form for selected machines
  • Develop chart of skills and check correlation to current pay grades
  • Summarize data and develop required overall training plan
  • Determine trainability of operators; check past participation in training courses and results
  • Determine motivation; interview operators and supervisors as needed
  • Form a team that will analyze current maintenance operations
  • Develop a customized form for current maintenance analysis and proposed maintenance for selected, representative equipment and carry out analysis. Use a neutral team
  • Assess current preventive maintenance (PM) program and results (including status of checklists, PM work orders, PM schedule, PM compliance, PM reports, equipment history, predictive maintenance, etc.)
  • Assess maintenance management in general: work order system, maintenance information system (CMMS), planning and scheduling, maintenance control (reports), organization, etc.
  • Collect maintenance costs (especially breakdown repair costs) and other data for baseline
  • Form a team (one for the whole plant) that will assess and report on housekeeping, cleanliness, discipline, procedures, etc.
  • Document equipment problems (dirt, rust, spills, leaks, low oil levels, loose and missing parts, etc.) with color photos
  • Form a team to assess and report on corporate and plant culture and on existing teamwork. Items to be covered include:
    • Level of employee involvement, enthusiasm, team spirit, etc. (include management style, empowerment, delegation, etc.)
    • Number and location of existing teams
    • Function (purpose) of existing teams
    • Are they still active?
    • How will future TPM teams fit into the current existing team structure?
    • Can existing (manufacturing) teams be converted into TPM teams?
    • Can TPM be added to existing teams?
  • Develop feasibility study schedule (typically 8 wk)
  • Establish and document the baseline (all current data)
  • Use failure information sheet (FISH) as a test (especially if there is no usable breakdown data) and expand when ready to respond to operator’s suggestions
  • TPM coordinator develops a draft (outline) and then writes the feasibility study report (input from all teams). Include typical examples of losses and improvement opportunities (benefits)
  • Develop a custom TPM pilot installation plan that will:
    • Include two areas (departments) minimum
    • Propose number of TPM teams
    • Provide a training plan
    • Provide an installation schedule
  • Prepare for the feasibility study management presentation that should:
    • Present all important data from the study in organized form
    • Provide for across-the-board participation (including operators and maintenance)
    • Propose the TPM organization (at least for the pilot installation)
    • Present a draft TPM vision, mission statement, policy, and strategy
    • Propose a TPM logo (and motto, if appropriate)
    • Present goals (including ROI) and schedule for the pilot installation
    • Propose additional public relations and TPM information activities
    • Present draft of master plan


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