Three reasons why TPM in the manufacturing industry is useless

tpm useless
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The word TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) has been around for over 20 to 30 years.

It wouldn’t be strange if it became a dead word, but there are still some companies that continue TPM activities.

It’s true that you’re paying unnecessary costs.

Among them, the TPM instruction meeting is useless in the top class.

Here are three reasons why TPM coaching sessions are useless.

Would you like to quit TPM…?

Definition of TPM (Total Productive Maintenance)

TPM seems to have been proposed in 1971.

  1. Aiming to create a corporate structure that pursues the ultimate in production system efficiency (comprehensive efficiency)
  2. We have built a mechanism to prevent all kinds of loss, such as “zero accidents, zero defects, and zero failures” for the entire life cycle of the production system.
  3. Across all departments, including manufacturing, development, sales, and management
  4. Everyone from top management to frontline workers participates
  5. Achieving zero loss through overlapping small group activities

it’s difficult.

Super easy to say, let’s all do our best to zero loss .

I will explain each item.

Creating a corporate structure that pursues the ultimate in production system efficiency

This expression fits the Japanese mind very well.

The Japanese have a great ability to try to master one thing.

The production facilities we have now may have been purchased 30 or 40 years ago.

If you throw it away and buy a new one, you should be able to drive efficiently with modern technology.

As a result of pursuing the limit, it would be nice if we could come to the conclusion of introducing new equipment, but it is usually rejected.

The company can’t afford to buy new equipment, so I say let’s make full use of the current equipment.

The current equipment is from 30 to 40 years ago, but only about 90% of the functions are used, right?

If you master the remaining 10%, you will be even more efficient.

I interpret that the company presents this wording with such nuances.

It’s already more than enough when you’re 90% mastered with 30-year-old technology.

On the contrary, it becomes a hindrance to the introduction of new technology.

Build a mechanism to prevent all kinds of loss in the production system by genchi genbutsu

This is very important.

Japanese companies do this as a matter of course, so you may not notice it.

However, if you turn your eyes to another place, there are quite a few cases where this is not possible.

For example, don’t you see such a sight when you get on the Shinkansen or an airplane?

A scene where the person who entered before you puts their luggage on the upper shelf while standing in the aisle near the seat.

No one else will be allowed inside until the person has finished packing.

If we could let everyone inside first and put our luggage in later, we might be able to leave sooner. No wonder.

Elementary school students are rather proper.

Those who are aware act properly, but those who are not aware do not act.

TPM says that we should find these kinds of losses in each workplace and solve them by ourselves without being told by anyone .

When this works, the upper person is easy and good.

Across all departments

This also meets the Japanese mind.

with the whole family. with everyone in the village.

Red light, if everyone crosses it, it’s not scary. (lol)

Don’t be fooled by the beautiful description of all departments.

everyone participates

No veto.

I have no choice but to do it blindly without judging whether it is reasonable or not.

Even if there are few people who work with motivation.

Still, isn’t there a lot of companies that can’t quit once they start?

If you assign a specialized role like a TPM person, the moment you quit TPM, that person will be unemployed.

Achieve zero loss through overlapping small group activities

This doesn’t fit Japanese people at all.

Let’s get excited like an izakaya and exchange opinions.

You should get some great ideas from there. Loss can be zero!

That kind of thinking.

But I don’t think there’s an atmosphere to exchange opinions in the current major manufacturing industry.

In a small workplace, it is easy to express one’s opinion, but the larger the workplace, the more difficult it is for individual opinions to be heard.

It’s power harassment if you say your opinion.

Even so, the idea of ​​TPM is to believe that there is absolute value in the participation of all.

Without realizing that there is a dangerous element in the sense of forcing people to express their opinions even if they don’t want to. It’s disgusting.

Eight Pillars of TPM

TPM is a concept proposed for various manufacturing industries.

Depending on the company, there are wide differences in the level of industry, production method, equipment condition, problems, technical level, management level, etc.

When the scope is wide, it can’t be helped that you can only say general things.

The following eight pillars are deployed as TPM in many companies.

  1. Individual improvements for equipment efficiency
  2. Creating a self-maintenance system
  3. Establishment of maintenance department and planned maintenance system
  4. Skill education and training for operation and maintenance
  5. Establishment of initial equipment management system
  6. Building a quality assurance system
  7. Creating a system for administrative indirect departments
  8. Creating a management system for a safe environment

Of these eight pillars, we would like to introduce the ones that are being deployed at chemical plants.

Individual improvements for equipment efficiency

I think this is the only TPM that can be said to have survived into the Reiwa era.

Rather, TPM is about individual improvements .

The remaining seven are all about the organization, such as “system” .

The target is to build a management system to maintain and manage it.

A management system that is also important for audits.

It is also important for TPM, so the expression is tied to the eight pillars and the organization.

At this moment, it will be far from “improvement” .

This is because the parts other than the original conservation activities will stand out.

Creating a self-maintenance system

Voluntary maintenance often refers to maintenance activities performed by the operating department.

Before the introduction of TPM, the thinking of the operation department was that if something broke, it would be repaired .

If TPM changes the way of thinking and promotes voluntary maintenance, it will be decided that we should do what we can .

As of Reiwa, some chemical companies have established a voluntary maintenance system.

It’s hard to control the time it takes to ask the slow-moving all-question maintenance team.

Establishment of maintenance department and planned maintenance system

Few companies do not have a dedicated maintenance department.

If this is not working, it is very dangerous as a manufacturing industry.

The purpose of the maintenance department is to carry out planned maintenance.

Zero failure is not the goal.

It’s difficult to express it because the definition of failure is different for each company.

Create a system to continue operation even if equipment breaks down

I believe that this is the responsibility of the maintenance department.

For this reason, we carry out planned maintenance.

This is also the same as voluntary maintenance, and it is not a world where one person in charge can do something.

People don’t change that easily.

I tried my best for a while, but I couldn’t change because I was in charge.

Skill education and training for operation and maintenance

Many companies provide ongoing training.

Since the training program is fixed , I think there are many companies that outsource it to affiliated companies.

Education is an issue for all companies.

That’s why it is now considered as a destination for DX.

If a teacher faces a student and reads a textbook aloud,

All you have to do is upload videos and documents to the intranet or internal system .

The number of such companies is increasing.

The company I work for is starting to do the same.

At least face-to-face courses have decreased dramatically, and online meetings have increased dramatically.

It’s a waste of time traveling.

It is too wasteful for people from different offices to go on business trips and gather together.

Establishment of initial equipment management system

From this child onwards, there are many common matters as “system creation”.

The maintenance department will be responsible for the initial management system.

Some companies consider it as part of the maintenance department’s planned maintenance.

If it is a chemical plant, we will target the start-up when new products or new equipment are introduced .

In this case, rather than the maintenance department taking the lead, the design department will take the lead.

In my company, the design department is the main body in the construction of the initial management system.

Building a quality assurance system

From here on out, it’s just grouping because “everyone participates”.

In practice, I think there are many companies that do their work without even being aware of the word TPM.

The quality control department does not work,

Aim for zero quality in operation and maintenance departments

It’s a simple task, just instruct it.

Creating a system for administrative indirect departments

This is also a negative effect of “all participation”.

Indirect departments such as research and development, sales, production planning, and human resources.

Creating a management system for a safe environment

This is also a negative effect of “all participation”.

It is intended for cases where safety and the environment have been established as a specialized unit.

Some companies may place them within the organization of the general affairs department.

3 reasons why TPM coaching sessions are said to be useless

Here are three reasons why TPM coaching sessions are said to be useless.

The TPM Guidance is a place to show off your daily TPM activities .

However, this activity is very cost-effective .

There is no meaning in the sense of unity in which everyone participates

There is no sense of unity in the participation of all TPM instructors.

For some reason, the TPM guidance meeting is based on all participants .

This is probably due to the deep-rooted belief that TPM activities are based on the participation of all employees .

I have to participate in the TPM guidance meeting even if I give up other work

In this way, a guidance meeting that paid a huge amount of man-hours will occur.

There are almost no benefits to be had.

Satisfaction , if any . It’s a matter of feeling.

If you include preparations for presentations and practice, it takes a considerable amount of time, and even though the people listening to you have to stop working, the effect you get is just satisfaction.

The larger the scale of the factory, the greater the impact of wasting time, which is a demerit of TPM training.

exhausted themes

The theme of the TPM guidance meeting is exhausted.

More than 20 years have passed since TPM activities.

Even though there has been no progress in Japan, let alone the manufacturing industry, for more than 20 years, TPM activities do not create themes every year.

Themes are exhausted.

Even so, the factory holds a TPM instruction meeting every year.

We will rotate which department will receive instruction.

The department responsible for the announcement is miserable.

You have to choose a theme, create presentation materials in addition to your daily work, and practice presentations repeatedly.

Some workers will be happy to work on it because they will be paid overtime.

Still, the themes are exhausted, as if squeezing out a dry rag.

It takes time just to come up with a theme .

effects can be faked

At the TOM Guidance Meeting, I always report on the “effects”.

○○ had the effect of △△.

Benefits are in terms of money and time.

But this effect can be easily faked.

No one can properly assess its effectiveness.

Sometimes it is effective in terms of instantaneous wind speed, and sometimes it is buried in another rationalization.

The longer the evaluation time is, the more likely it is to be faked.

Recently, you can see the same development in DX .


Information on TPM may be too late, but I would like to have basic knowledge for those who enter the manufacturing industry.

Recently, there are fewer people to teach in-house, so let’s make use of studying from books.


I introduced the reason why the TPM guidance meeting is said to be useless.

There is no meaning in a sense of unity in which all members participate.

A company that can’t make the decision to quit like this will only increase the number of events that can be done once and worsen productivity.

In order to create a position for a specific person, the work of the majority of other people is stopped.

Please feel free to post your worries, questions, and questions about the design, maintenance, and operation of chemical plants in the comments section. (Comments are at the bottom of this article.)

*We will read all the comments and reply seriously.