Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
If you have a factory that uses machines and equipment, TPM will be a very valuable lean tool. TPM is a preventive maintenance (PM) approach that creates employee ownership and encompasses proactive machine upkeep. First of all, machines, tools, and fixtures should be set up for fast changeovers, easy operations, and preventive maintenance. You have to train your operators properly in setup, changeover, and running the equipment, including the necessary safety and cleanup procedures. Avoid purchasing cheap and potentially unreliable equipment. Although there is a short-term cost savings, in the long run the initial savings will be lost to downtime, poor quality, and missed delivery dates, and the equipment could jeopardize worker safety.
A TPM program should have three levels. The first level is the TPM required by the machine operator. These tasks include daily cleanup and checking operating conditions such as fluid levels, heat, and power. First-level TPM is relatively simple and should be performed daily. The second level of TPM is the work performed by a maintenance department less frequently, maybe once a week or month, depending on the machine’s use. Sometimes second-level TPM requires a total or partial teardown of the machine for repairs or replacing parts. The third level of TPM is the work performed by the manufacturer of the machine. This may be done once or twice a year. All levels of this TPM program are worth the investment in time and money to ensure that your equipment can operate at optimum productive levels and last the length of its life cycle.