The 8 Pillars of TPM

Accelerating OEE Gains Through TPM

Dr Anthony Kenneson-Adams.  MA. Bsc(Hons). FInstLM. Royal Air Force (Ret’d)
Posted 06/15/2023

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), is a comprehensive maintenance management system that drives all three elements of OEE, namely: machine availability, speed, and quality. This short article will demonstrate how to accelerate your OEE gains by committing to a structured TPM program.

The focus of TPM is zero unplanned failures, zero product defects and zero accidents, these are the foundation on which to build the eight pillars of TPM that will support increased productivity through work force empowerment.

8 pillars of total productive maintenance

8 Pillars of TPM: Here’s a brief description of each pillar:

  1. Autonomous Maintenance: This pillar focuses on empowering operators to take ownership of routine equipment maintenance tasks, such as cleaning, lubricating, and conducting basic inspections and repairs. By training operators in basic machine care, you will reduce equipment breakdowns and return machines to service far more quickly. 
  1. Process and Machine Improvement: Foster a culture of continuous improvement by encouraging employees to identify and solve problems related to equipment reliability, and efficiency.  Engage them in small groups with root cause analysis, that will solve their problems and improve their interaction with reliable equipment.  
  1. Preventative Maintenance: Preventive Maintenance emphasizes the establishment of a systematic approach to scheduled maintenance activities. Create reliability focused maintenance plans and conduct preventive maintenance activities to minimize unexpected breakdowns.
  1. Early Equipment Management: Consider maintenance requirements and operator feedback during the design and installation of new equipment. This will ensure that equipment is reliable, easy to maintain, and meets the team’s needs.
  1. Process Quality Management: Quality management of the maintenance process focuses on preventing defects and ensuring product quality by addressing equipment-related issues. It involves implementing measures to minimize variations, conducting equipment inspections, and integrating quality checks into the maintenance process.
  1. Work Order Planning and Prioritization:  Work Order Planning and Prioritization extends the principles of TPM beyond the shop floor to efficient administration of maintenance support functions by planning and prioritising the work that needs to be done. It aims to improve productivity, efficiency, and quality in office processes by efficient application of reporting and planning tools.
  1. Education and Training: You will not maximize the potential of your people without providing education and training to meet the needs of the team at all levels.  Training ensures that operators and maintenance personnel have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively operate, maintain, and troubleshoot equipment.
  1. Safety and Sustained Success: This pillar focuses on creating a safe and healthy work environment while minimizing the impact on the environment. It builds a culture of safe and sustainable process to maintain a healthy and productive environment.  

Implementing these eight pillars of TPM allows organizations to improve equipment reliability, reduce downtime, enhance product quality, accelerate gains in OEE and create a culture of continuous improvement.

To learn more, continue reading to learn The Missing Link Between OEE and TPM


Dr Anthony Kenneson-Adams

Dr. Anthony Kenneson-Adams had a 30-year career in the Royal Air Force, becoming a Senior Engineering Officer, Project Manager and Engineering Authority responsible for multiple fast jets and large-body aircraft in peace and war operations. On retiring from the Royal Air Force, he became a Corporate Operational Excellence Consultant in the Paper Manufacturing and Packaging Industries and is now the Head of Learning and Knowledge Transfer for the international Project 7 Consultancy.  You can contact Anthony at or [email protected]

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