Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is the backbone of successful companies in Manufacturing, Power, Healthcare and other industries that heavily rely on automated machinery /equipment for their daily operations. TPM is a process that strives to ensure that the electrical and mechanical units across the company are in perfect working condition at all times. Simply means that your company’s core infrastructure is reliable and functions in an efficient manner, minimizing waste of material, effort and time throughout the workplace.

TPM is aimed at achieving efficient operations, zero defects and zero waste and is mostly applicable to manufacturing/assembly units. However it can improve operational efficiency of any organization where it is suitably adapted and applied. Implementing TPM requires a systematic multi-step approach best executed with the help of an experienced, reputed TPM consultant. The consultant is a subject expert but ideally will and should also have industry-specific knowledge to suitably apply TPM to enhance the efficiency of your business operations.

To better understand the role and significance of the TPM consultant, it is necessary to know more about the process, the pre-requisites for its successful implementation and how a consultant can be of help.

Total Productive Maintenance- Scope and Benefits

TPM is all about safe and efficient operations of both men and machines across an organization, enhancing productivity, profits, customer satisfaction, and employee morale in the process.

There are 8 pillars or main aspects of the TPM process, which, when implemented successfully maximize productivity and curbs losses/wastage/accidents.

While the maintenance department or team holds the key responsibility/accountability for the health of machinery and equipment in a manufacturing facility, the production team which works on the shop floor on a daily basis also plays a key role in identifying and reporting faulty / defective units in a timely manner. Drop in quality/quantity of outputs, delays in the production process or even slight differences in regular sounds emitted from the machinery prove valuable to detect and rectify faults in a pro-active manner.

Scope of TPM therefore spans all resources across the organization, making it necessary to adopt a systematic approach and hire TPM service companies to handle implementation aspects.

Benefits of TPM are aplenty. Notable among them are:
  • Significant increase in Overall Equipment Efficiency and productivity
  • Reduction in inventory levels
  • Reduction in production costs
  • Reduction in wastage/accidents
  • Enhanced quality of deliverables
  • Minimum downtime
  • Faster throughput / process times
  • Organized workplace, enhanced collaboration and knowledge sharing
  • Motivated, confident, skilled and responsible workforce
  • Increase in customer satisfaction

How Can TPM Consultants Enhance Business Efficiency

TPM consultancy firms and individual consultants can help you achieve high levels of productivity across your company by:

  1. Identifying possible areas improvement
  2. Drawing up plans for removing bottlenecks /potential problems
  3. Helping with implementation of plans in a phased manner
  4. Training your resources on TPM
  5. Auditing implementation and reviewing the results of the exercise to evaluate performance.

Their main challenge however is getting people across the company to participate in this initiative to make their workplace efficient, profitable and employee-friendly.

1. Assessment

The very first step of TPM initiative is to get the consultant assess your current business processes in detail to check how it fares when compared to the standards outlined as part of TPM methodology. Industry and TPM expertise enable consultants to identify processes that are inefficient, redundant or repetitive, problems with plant layouts, run-size, capacity utilization, skill-sets of shop floor staff and several other issues that make ideal candidates for improvements. Primarily assessment reveals the readiness of the business for TPM, extent and nature of corrective action that may be required.

2. Action Plans For TPM Implementation

TPM consultants work closely with staff across different levels of the company to create a team which has representatives from all departments. This cross-functional team will be responsible for working out corrective measures to enhance efficiencies under the guidance of the consultant. Concrete plans and implementation schedules, department wise key performance indicators (KPIs) etc., are formulated with the help of professional consultants.

3. Optimizing Efficiency of Men and Machines

While technical and subject expertise of consultants prove valuable in optimizing performance of automated/mechanical systems and equipment, they also put their personal skills to best use by persuading staff at all levels and across different departments to contribute their efforts to make TPM implementation a success. They counsel staff on how they can put-aside differences and proactively collaborate with each other to improve the overall performance and culture at workplace.

4. Training

One of the key services of consultants is the TPM training that they conduct. Getting all the employees familiar with TPM methodology, company-specific processes that need to be followed to sustain benefits of TPM, job or role specific guidelines and procedures are explained in detail.

Emphasis is on Planned, Preventative and Autonomous maintenance, standard operating procedures, safety and health, quality management and in general what each employee must do on his or her part to improve their performance and how exactly to do that. The entire workforce must be able to sustain TPM efforts and course correct to enhance efficiency and productivity in a continuous manner.

5. Audits/Reviews

Last but not the least, TPM consultants conduct implementation audits to ascertain the progress of the implementation exercise reporting directly to the management.

Once the TPM process is fully implemented as planned, the consultants review results and track KPIs over an agreed timeframe to quantify productivity/efficiency improvements and sign off the implementation. They also offer valuable advice on what further changes can be done to upgrade the systems / work environment and maximize productivity.

While the benefits of TPM implementations are noteworthy it is important to first get the current maintenance plan reviewed to understand the health of the infrastructure, history of faults/repairs undertaken and other parameters. This helps arrive at the scope of TPM implementation, extent and nature of likely changes, how long the process will take, costs involved and other factors. It is also important to time the initiative suitably so that orders in the pipeline are not disturbed!