Unveiling the Basics and Benefits of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) 2 of 2


Implementing a proactive maintenance model within your facility and diligently following its principles on a routine basis can yield significant advantages for your company. By implementing the TPM strategy, it's possible to see maintenance costs drop 25-30% and conversion costs decline by 20-25% over five years. This approach not only enhances overall production but also ensures that your equipment consistently operates at peak efficiency, effectively reducing costly downtime. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) stands as a highly acclaimed method employed to attain these objectives, with an emphasis on empowering employees to ensure increased availability, performance, and product/service quality.

Over the past two weeks since the first article on TPM, we've engaged in discussions with various facilities facing challenges in meeting their organizational objectives. In one instance, a company with remarkable revenue growth in recent years is seeking to double its success. However, they are facing capacity constraints. Surprisingly, when we inquired about their preventive maintenance program, they admitted to not having one. Their rationale was that their team knew what needed to be done, and they were too occupied to plan out the work.

In a separate case, we spoke with a different organization that is eager to explore best maintenance practices and their implementation. They are trying to improve first-pass yields, reduce rework, and reduce or eliminate expediting charges. Regrettably, they find themselves swamped with break-fix maintenance, leaving them little time for improvement initiatives.

Both scenarios resemble a situation where you want to go from Phoenix to Chicago while you’re on the freeway to San Diego. Every moment, you drive in the wrong direction, further from your destination, but you do not turn around due to time constraints. This is a common dilemma in many facilities, and it's crucial to address these issues proactively to achieve their goals.

Today’s article will address the pillars of TPM and how they will help both facilities achieve better performance and achieve their overall goals of improving their manufacturing yields and throughput.

Eight Pillars of TPM

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a highly valuable approach for optimizing equipment and facility management across maintenance industries, including real estate and facilities. In the context of the situations outlined in the introduction, TPM holds immense potential to enhance what is known as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), representing the productive manufacturing time.

By implementing TPM in these cases, substantial improvements in OEE can be achieved, resulting in enhanced throughput. Furthermore, TPM initiatives are poised to drive improvements in the overall quality of operations, subsequently yielding increased production. In this way, TPM can play a pivotal role in elevating the performance and efficiency of real estate and facility management, aligning with industry best practices, and maximizing impact.


Let's delve deeper into the significance of each of the eight pillars of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM):

  1. Autonomous Maintenance

This foundational pillar is about nurturing a culture of responsibility within your front-line employees. It's a profound empowerment strategy, as it entrusts them with the care of equipment and the responsibility to carry out routine maintenance tasks. By doing so, they become the vanguards, the first line of defense against breakdowns, ensuring the equipment operates smoothly and consistently.


Moreover, this approach transforms them into active stakeholders in the equipment's performance. Their engagement adds a layer of vigilance, using their eyes, ears, and other senses as early sensors to spot potential issues and propose solutions. This boosts maintenance efficiency and forges a more profound sense of team ownership.


An added advantage of involving front-line employees in routine maintenance is the equitable distribution of tasks. Simpler, daily maintenance activities are delegated to these employees, liberating bandwidth for dedicated maintenance technicians to tackle more intricate challenges. This redistribution of tasks creates a cohesive maintenance team where everyone plays a vital role, collectively contributing to the overall well-being of the equipment and, by extension, the organization's success.

  1. Focused Improvement

One of the fundamental pillars of TPM. Its purpose is to enable an unwavering commitment to perpetual progress. It achieves this by implementing precision-focused projects that hone-in on enhancing equipment efficiency. The goal is to achieve optimal equipment performance, which is essential for the smooth operation of your organization.


Focused Improvement projects are like fine-tuning instruments designed to address the nuts and bolts of your equipment's functions. It meticulously identifies and eradicates wasteful practices and processes, conserving resources and further bolsters your bottom line by reducing unnecessary expenses.

Downtime is a formidable adversary in the realm of industry. It costs money, disrupts schedules, and tarnishes your reputation. That's why TPM recognizes reducing downtime as a primary objective. By cutting downtime, significant cost factors can be saved, enabling the resources to be channeled toward more productive endeavors. This translates into enhanced productivity and improved profitability.


In essence, focused improvement is your engine for progress. It drives you to achieve and exceed your performance targets. It's a strategic approach that ensures the smooth operation of your equipment, positions your organization for sustainable growth and success in a competitive landscape, and ultimately ensures a better future f or your business.


  1. Planned Maintenance

This is the backbone of any successful operation. It involves meticulous planning that revolves around scheduling and executing maintenance activities regularly. This planning is based on guidance from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), supported by the equipment's condition and performance data. The impact of planned maintenance is shown in figure 1.


Figure 1. Maintenance impact on OEE

Figure 1. Maintenance Impact on OEE

This systematic approach can significantly reduce or eliminate unplanned downtime, and your operations can perform optimally. Sticking to a regular maintenance schedule can keep your equipment in optimal condition, reduce the risk of unexpected equipment failures, and maximize your productivity and profitability. You must balance the cost of maintenance with gains made in manufacturing uptime and throughput. There is an optimal zone, as shown in figure 2.

Figure 2. Maintenance Mix Impact on Total Cost of Maintenance



  1. Quality Maintenance

At the core of TPM's principles lies an unwavering commitment to quality, a non-negotiable requirement in every industry. TPM ensures that your equipment, the lifeblood of your operations, consistently delivers high-quality products or services.


TPM establishes a comprehensive maintenance system that elevates the quality of your output. This approach extends to every aspect of your organization, resulting in cost savings, improved profitability, and the ability to invest in growth. TPM's Quality Maintenance pillar is crucial to sustaining and advancing your business by strengthening the financial foundations of your organization through an unwavering commitment to excellence.

  1. Education and Training

Central to the success of your TPM strategy is the investment in your team's education and skill development. This investment equips them with the essential knowledge and expertise required to comprehend equipment intricacies and implement best maintenance practices effectively. Consequently, they become invaluable assets in ensuring smooth operations and optimal performance.


Furthermore, it's imperative to keep your employees' skills updated and offer opportunities for skill expansion. As their skill set broadens, they become adept at a wider range of tasks and gain insights into the intricate interactions between various components of equipment and processes. This expanded skillset accelerates problem resolution and sparks new ideas for continuous improvement.

  1. Early Equipment Management

Embracing this forward-thinking pillar means integrating maintenance needs and reliability considerations into the very fabric of your decision-making process when acquiring new equipment. It's about fostering a culture of foresight, where making wise choices about equipment selection, proper installation, commissioning, and maintenance upon acquisition become paramount.


This approach recognizes that the foundation for long-term reliability and operational efficiency is laid right at the outset. By being meticulous and diligent at the early stages, you set the stage for equipment that consistently performs at its best, has an extended operational life, and requires fewer unplanned interruptions or costly emergency repairs. In essence, it's about building a robust infrastructure where the principles of Total Productive Maintenance are integrated right from the birth of the equipment, ensuring that it becomes an asset that continually adds value to your operations.

  1. Safety, Health, and Environment

Our commitment to the principles of safety, health, and environmental responsibility is unwavering. We believe that the protection of our employees and the environment is not just a priority; it's a fundamental obligation.In all our maintenance activities, we go the extra mile to ensure the highest standards of safety. This means meticulous planning, adherence to safety protocols, and continuous monitoring to mitigate risks. Our goal is clear: to create a workplace where every member of our team feels secure and protected, ensuring their well-being is never compromised.


But our responsibility doesn't end there. We recognize the importance of ethical and eco-friendly practices. Our maintenance procedures are designed with the environment in mind, minimizing the ecological footprint. This isn't just about compliance; it's about making a positive impact. We understand that in today's world, responsible environmental practices are critical for both corporate responsibility and the long-term well-being of our planet.


During our maintenance activities, we ensure that our actions adhere to these principles. It's a commitment to ethical conduct, safeguarding our employees and the world they work in. By doing so, we not only enhance the safety and health of our team but also contribute to a sustainable and environmentally responsible future. It's a holistic approach that aligns with our industry's best practices, demonstrating our dedication to a better, safer, and more sustainable world.

  1. Administrative and Office TPM

In addition to the production floor, TPM principles can be applied to administrative and office processes, resulting in improved organizational efficiency. By eliminating unnecessary paperwork, streamlining decision-making, and improving communication, you can make the entire operation run smoothly and effectively. In essence, TPM can optimize the administrative and office aspects of your organization, leading to increased productivity and success.

Benefits of TPM in Real Estate and Facility Management

The benefits of TPM can be staggering when the pillars have been diligently implemented. As indicated, it's possible to see maintenance costs drop 25-30% and conversion costs decline by 20-25% over five years. When we implemented TPM at one large community college district, they were able to save $21 million out of a projected $100 million facilities operations budget that was going to be for a large capital expansion.


Key Benefits of TPM to an Organization:

  1. Improved Equipment Reliability and Performance
  2. Increased Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
  3. Reduced Downtime and Productivity Loss
  4. Enhanced Product Quality and Customer Satisfaction
  5. Lower Maintenance Costs
  6. Engaged and Skilled Workforce
  7. Improved Safety and Environmental Responsibility
  8. Streamlined Administrative Processes
  9. Prolonged Equipment Lifespan
  10. Competitive Advantage and Innovation
  11. Sustainability and Cost Savings

TPM offers a comprehensive package of advantages, from boosting equipment efficiency to creating a culture of continuous improvement, ultimately contributing to an organization's long-term success.