Total productive maintenance (TPM) is a maintenance management approach that looks at maintenance as a productive function, and considers that it should be the concern of every unit in the organization. It aims to eliminate big losses on equipment effectiveness e.g. setup time, breakdown, speed losses, waiting time, etc. TPM stemmed from Productive Maintenance which originated in the United States in the 1940’s and was characterized by developing maintenance techniques to improve the reliability and longevity of equipment. TPM, on the other hand, was developed by the Japanese and is focused on achieving maintenance efficiency through a comprehensive system based on respect for individuals and total employee participation. TPM was initially implemented within the automotive industry, particularly in Toyota, Nissan and Mazda. TPM later spread to America and the West and many companies and organizations began to implement TPM such as Dupont, Exxon, Kodak, AT&T, Ford, Hewlett-Packard, among others. By the late 1990’s, TPM has swept across other industries and was well established as a continuous improvement effort. TPM aims toward four zeros: zero defect, zero breakdown, zero accident, and zero waste. It has seven pillars as shown below:

  1. Focused improvement – The aim is to return the equipment to a good-as-new condition after usage. It involves the following improvement activities – restoring the equipment to its optimal condition, determining and eliminating productivity loss modes or causal factors such as physical or operator reasons.
  2. Autonomous maintenance – This is aimed to maintain and improve the condition of the equipment. Operators accept and share the responsibility for the performance and status of the equipment. Autonomous maintenance involves detecting signs of productivity losses, discovering indications of abnormalities and acting on these discoveries.
  3. Planned maintenance – Under this pillar, the focus is on devising a planned maintenance system which will result to no failures and no defects. It involves regular preventive maintenance, corrective maintenance, and breakdown maintenance.
  4. Education and Training – Under this pillar, the objective is to fill in knowledge gaps necessary to achieve TPM goals. This applies to managers, operators and maintenance personnel.
  5. Quality Maintenance – This focuses on preventive action (before it happens) rather than reactive measures (after it happens). Equipment and processes are ensured to be always functioning properly.
  6. Early Equipment Management – Also known as Early Management, Initial Phase Management and Initial Flow Control, this pillar is aimed to minimize the life cycle cost of an equipment.
  7. Safety, Health and Environment – Also described as “maintenance of peace of mind”, the pillar works to identify and eliminate safety and environmental incidents. As this becomes an increasing point of focus, it now also includes reduction of energy consumption, elimination of toxic waste, and reduction of raw material consumption.

Studies show that TPM implementation successfully reduced equipment breakdown, minimized idle and minor stops, lessen quality defects, increased productivity, trimmed labor and costs, reduced number of accidents, and encouraged employee involvement. Other indirect benefits of TPM are improved organizational image to customers and stakeholders, increased confidence of employees, and promotion of a standard and disciplined work culture.