What does TPM mean?
TPM stands for Total Productive Maintenance but is also called TPU (total productive content) in Swedish. It is a method for increasing the efficiency of the equipment and developing the company’s processes. TPM as a concept was introduced in the 1970s, after Japanese engineers studied and further developed American technologies for productive maintenance. The method is primarily useful in an automated and / or maintenance-intensive industry.
TPM and Lean
Simplified, it can be said that companies normally act according to a reactive or proactive strategy when it comes to maintenance of machines. Reactive means using the machines until they break down and then repair them, while proactive means using preventive maintenance activities to prevent machines from breaking down. By implementing TPM, an aggressive maintenance strategy is used, which means that the goal, in addition to avoiding faults in machines and equipment, is also to improve the machines’ productivity.
Both TPM and lean production are focused on reducing waste, but where the latter is a way of thinking and a philosophy, TPM is a method. This could mean eliminating downtime, speed losses and quality losses.
As the degree of automation in the industry increases, there is a risk that operators will won’t be able to keep up with developments and thereby lose control and knowledge of their machines. As a consequence, not all incipient problems are detected in time and that errors are only fixed temporarily. It is therefore important that operators are trained and involved in the care of equipment and that the maintenance department is given the opportunity to focus on more advanced maintenance and on improvement measures for the equipment. With the rapid technological development, interest in TPM is growing worldwide.
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