Total Productive Maintenance

A main pillar of the Toyota Production System (TPS) is Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). The essential strategy is to eliminate the potential of a problem. That is, eliminate a problem before it occurs.

Process Improvement Japan

TPM`s Basic Elements:

1. Maximizes equipment effectiveness.

2. Establishes a thorough system of preventative maintenance (PM) for the equipment`s entire life span.

3. Implemented by various departments (engineering, operations, maintenance).

4. Involves every single employee- from top management to workers on the floor.

5. Based on the promotion of productive maintenance through workforce motivation management via autonomous small group activities.

In American style PM, the maintenance department is generally responsible for carrying out PM. This reflects the concept of a division of labor - a feature of American labor unions. Japanese style PM or TPM, on the other hand, relies on everyone`s participation, particularly autonomous maintenance by operators.

Stop Call Wait - Process Improvement Japan

In the Toyota Production System, maintenance personnel function as plant doctors. They are a vital resource to the company. They diagnose, fix and cure illnesses but they also practice preventative medicine. They stop sicknesses before they occur.

When a problem or abnormality occurs, the standard TPM instruction is:


The designated personnel then investigates the abnormality, identifies the cause, takes the appropriate measures, and keeps a record in order to do kaizen. - now or in the future. If the machine or operation is not stopped immediately upon sighting an abnormality, unnecessary defects will be produced resulting in waste.

The Goal of Total Productive Maintenance

To achieve overall equipment effectiveness, TPM works to eliminate the six big losses that are formidable obstacles to equipment effectiveness:

Down Time

1. Equipment failure - from breakdowns
2. Setup and adjustment - from exchange of die in injection molding machines, etc.

Speed losses

3. Idling and minor stoppages - due to the abnormal operation of sensors, blockage of work on chutes, etc.
4. Reduced speed - due to discrepancies between designed and actual speed of equipment.


5. Process defects - due to scraps and quality defects to be repaired.
6. Reduced yield - from machine start-up to production stability.

When to Carry out PM

1. If the equipment must be stopped and a long time is required to complete maintenance - carry out maintenance on holidays.

2. If the equipment must be stopped but only a short time is required to complete maintenance - carry out maintenance during rest periods.

3. If the equipment does not need to be stopped - carry out maintenance work while the equipment is operating.

How to Construct an Industrial Maintenance Schedule

1. Locate items requiring maintenance work. (Periodic inspection, periodic servicing, preventative repairs, patrol inspection and corrective maintenance)

2. Select work. (Assign priority)

3. Estimate cost, schedule, quantity of required work and required maintenance time.

4. Confirm placement of maintenance orders. (Confirm orders placed with subcontractors, parts, qualifications, etc.)

5. Prepare maintenance calendar.

6. Implement preventative maintenance.

7. Review maintenance intervals.

Repeat steps 1 through 7.

Lean 5s is essential to TPM, click here for more.

Return from Total Productive Maintenance to The Toyota Production System

Return from Total Productive Maintenance to Process Improvement Japan

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