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    7 Key Decisions for TPM Implementers

    UPDATED 1/27/2012 DECISION #7 ADDED (Complete)

    In any TPM implementation there are key questions that need to be asked and answered. There are no right answers—they’re all “how?” questions—but if the answer to any one of them is “We are not going to do this,” then the effectiveness of your TPM implementation is in serious doubt.

    7 Key Decisions for TPM Implementers

    1st Key Decision:
    How are we going to organize teams to restore our equipment and remove accelerated deterioration?

    There is an old story about the rabbi who was challenged to summarize the Torah while standing on one leg. He promptly did so and said, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary.” If challenged to summarize TPM I would say, “Eliminate accelerated deterioration. That is TPM, the rest is commentary.”

    The key difference in the TPM approach to maintenance is the concept of Accelerated Deterioration – equipment deteriorates, but it deteriorates faster when not maintained adequately. The steps of Autonomous Maintenance provide a process for restoring, improving, and maintaining equipment, but implementers need to decide how to organize teams to carry out this activity, based on their organizational structure and equipment requirements.

    2nd Key Decision:
    How are we going to measure and visually display OEE?

    OEE is the main output focus of TPM – we are interested in the effectiveness of our equipment. Valid OEE measurement is the best known way to baseline and track equipment performance. TPM implementers need to develop simple, robust and visual systems for measuring and communicating OEE performance.

    3rd Key Decision:
    How are we going to categorize and analyse losses?

    Many companies find that the conventional 6,7 or 8 losses in the TPM textbooks do not fit their production, but in order to manage focused improvement, TPM implementers need to develop a loss model appropriate to their particular circumstances and collect and monitor data relating to their model. We can ultimately assign costs to each category of loss so that we can gauge a proper return on our investment in TPM.

    4th Key Decision:
    How are we going to rank and prioritize our equipment?

    While TPM is most concerned with equipment effectiveness, we are also concerned with optimizing our maintenance activities. One key element of Maintenance Decision Logic (the process used to assess optimum maintenance activity) is to rank equipment according to its importance in the production process. TPM implementers need to define ranking criteria and categories appropriate to their circumstances.

    5th Key Decision:
    How are we going to apply Maintenance Decision Logic?

    In the MDL process implementers also need to define the categories of maintenance activity appropriate to their situation and rank them in terms of cost and complexity.

    6th Key Decision:
    How are we going to communicate our TPM vision?

    Some would say this should be the first question, but we would rather use the process of answering the first five to develop the understanding of TPM which we need to share with others. The more that TPM has been customized to the plant, the more compelling the vision will be. TPM implementation will only be effective if there is both a shared vision and shared understanding of the TPM process. Implementers need to develop a communication plan to share that vision and understanding.

    7th Key Decision:
    How are we going to define our roll-out plan?

    TPM activities move from pilots to encompass priority equipment and then the whole plant. It is almost impossible to predict the resources required for this roll out and the way people will respond to TPM before completing pilot projects. Implementers will however need an outline plan for this roll-out in order to manage company expectations, together with a process for reviewing the roll-out program as part of a Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle.

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