Total Productive Maintenance

TPM stands for Total Productive Maintenance in the original. Today TPM is also interpreted as Total Productive Manufacturing and Total Productive Management in the context of comprehensive production system. Here parallels can be seen to Kaizen or Lean Production.

From the basic idea here TPM is a program of continuous improvement in all areas of a company. This concerns above all about the chase after losses and waste with the goal of zero defects, zero breakdowns, zero quality loss, zero accidents, etc. Main focus is in the area of ​​production.

The complete periphery of the TPM includes eight different columns, each including approaches to elimination of the six loss.

Historical Development

TPM finds its origin in the maintenance, as Japanese companies took over the so-called Preventive Maintenance of Americans. The objective was to avoid malfunctions in equipment. For decades this goal has been pursued in Japan, from which resulted in different maintenance concepts. These are presented below. By combining the above concepts, the TPM concept known today was created, which not only refers to the maintenance, but on the whole company.

  • To 1950: Breakdown Maintenance (Fire - maintenance)
  • 1951: In Japan, the U.S. Preventive Maintenance is taken (preventive plant maintenance )
  • 1957: creation of Corrective Maintenance ( improving plant reliability and performance hins. )
  • 1959: creation of Maintenance Prevention ( eighth with purchase of the plant to ease of maintenance )
  • 1961: creation of Productive Maintenance by merging of Preventive Maintenance, Corrective Maintenance and Maintenance Prevention. Maintenance duties are executed only the maintenance department
  • 1969: Development of Productive Maintenance to Total Productive Maintenance. Maintenance tasks are shared with the employees on the production line.

The eight pillars of TPM

The implementation of each column is based on intermediate steps. In general, each column is converted by 7 steps.

Figures for TPM

To use TPM effectively, indicators are indispensable, which form a benchmark for TPM activities. Basically, any investment by money saved should be measurable. This will be respected also in certification.

An important figure within the TPM concept is the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness, Overall Equipment Effectiveness ). It is a measure of the value added, which occur at a facility.

The eight- pillar concept of TPM are the following characteristics, which have to be adapted individually for each company. However, these figures form the basis to use TPM across the enterprise:

  • P for Productivity

(eg labor productivity, value added per person, noise reduction )

  • Q for Quality

(eg number of process errors, number of defects, number of customer complaints )

  • C for Costs

(eg, labor reduction, maintenance costs, energy costs)

  • D for Delivery

(eg, stock quantity, inventory turnover )

  • S for Safety

(eg number of accidents, disease status, indicators regarding pollution)

  • M for Morale

(eg number of suggestions for improvement, number small group meetings )


To reward successful TPM implementations of competition TPM Factory of the Year was created in Germany. There TPM implementations will be awarded and presented at a conference annually.