Total Productive Maintenance

Last updated: June 5, 2017

What Does Total Productive Maintenance Mean?

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is an approach to equipment maintenance that aims to achieve a perfect production process by increasing productivity, efficiency, and safety. The three goals of TPM are zero unplanned failures, zero product defects, and zero accidents. These goals are advanced by implementing eight “pillars” aimed at establishing reliability within the production process in order to maximize productivity. One of these pillars is a focus on creating a safe work environment through a deliberate workplace safety improvement process. This process involves the participation of employees in setting workplace safety standards and maintaining a safe work environment. TPM’s explicit emphasis on eliminating accidents and prioritizing workplace safety make it a popular approach to occupational health and safety management.

Safeopedia Explains Total Productive Maintenance

Total Productive Maintenance is a concept invented in Japan by Seiichi Nakajima of the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM). The first company to use TPM was Japanese automotive supplier Nipppondenso. TPM is considered to be a “holistic” system because it blurs the lines between production and maintenance and requires the participation of all personnel within the work site. This “buy-in” approach places it in accordance with the emphasis that OSHA and other occupational health and safety agencies place on creating a culture of workplace safety.

The TPM system is organized into eight “pillars” which prioritize empowering machine operators and team leaders to work proactively within a safe work environment. These principles are based around creating a “buy-in culture” to support the goal of achieving an optimally productive workplace, with safety being seen as a key contributor to workplace productivity. TPM tasks operators with monitoring their own equipment and work areas to ensure they are in good working order and safe condition. Operators and other employees work in teams to create maintenance plans, including safety plans. These teams cross-coordinate to share information, creating accountability between the teams. This process also involves regular training to improve productivity, increasing worker retention of safety standards.


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