Total Process Reliability - TPM

Training Snapshot: Achieving Total Process Reliability through TPM

If you have ever you wanted to peak under the hood of Marshall Institute training content now’s your chance. I will be revealing content from our industrial maintenance and reliability public seminars in this Training Snapshot series.  This is my third post in the series. In addition to this post I suggest you take a look at the two posts I have shared on:

In this post we are looking into our Achieving Total Process Reliability through TPM seminar.  Marshall Institute was forged in the crucible of Preventive Maintenance and TPM theory and practice. This subject is core to our company and culture and the seminar is our flagship course. The content below is taken from the first of eight sections.  In section 1 we introduce the basics of Total Productive Maintenance (aka TPM). From this section I will share what TPM is, and just as important, what it’s not, followed by the key 5 TPM activities and goals.  I wrap up the snapshot with the 5 philosophies and the 3 principles. Enjoy.


The Road to Reliability

The Road To Reliability



A partnership between maintenance, operations, and engineering (and others) for…

The Stores Stock Committee: Straightening Roads & Leveling Mountains

For this month’s blog, we are going to slow down just a little and spend some time discussing a nuance that will be critical for the storeroom to successfully advance fromeffective to efficient. For this transformation, we must have an active support structure to provide guidance, oversight, and clout, essentially straightening roads and leveling the mountains of obstacles that might impede progress.

Companies that have ventured into Total Process Reliability (TPR) with Marshall Institute will recognize the support structure necessity as being step 3 of the 8-phase change model.

Design for Reliability - Part 2 of 4

Teaching the Millenials a sound reliability strategy early in their career (the Matures, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers too) can be the critical component of a strong manufacturing strategy. 

Millenials have been categorized as seeing the world as a union of people and countries connected electronically and technologically 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; spending a lot of time interacting with social media and using more than one medium at a time, with parents that catered to their needs more than the rest of us.  Some see them as most times arrogant but, they may actually be the most productive, innovative generation in history (Sujansky, 2009).   What in the world does this have to do with reliability? – a lot.  Building a powerful brand comes with a strong reliability strategy.  Every organization, no matter what it may be manufacturing, requires a powerful and strong reliability strategy lined up with its corporate strategy. In today’s climate this includes being connected and collaborating 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; spending a lot of time interacting with social media and using more than one medium at a time not only with the corporate strategy but with people, processes, programs, and performance beyond internal and external boundaries. Reliability has evolved from a reactive, "keep the failures quiet," enviroment brought on by pressures to meet production/manufacturing targets to the promotion and use of:

Design for Reliability - Part 1 of 4

When I launched into the reliability profession, I thought condition monitoring was the center of the reliability universe. 

I was so focused on putting my hands on equipment to feel if it was running right or listening to it talk to me about its condition to determine when something was going to fail. The next step was ensuring my spare part was around.  It never occurred to me I may be able to prevent the failure from ever happening or at least extend the life of the component and system.  

I never thought of design improvements, manufacturing process or total system interfaces impacts to my failures, if I did it was a blame not a solution.  Budgets seem to be squeezed and limited for RCM and many times a lesson learned instead of a proactive event.   

I was frustrated with the design or at least what I thought was the design of many components and had no foresight to focus on a different type of bottom line. 

Sustaining TPM: Develop a Strategy

The final video in the Sustaining TPM series reviews the importance of establishing a both a short and long term strategy.   Creating a clear strategy plan is vital for any long term improvement effort to be sustained.  Studies such as the AT Kearney study and results from the NAME award recipients (North American Maintenance Excellence) show that the best of the best have both a 1 and 5 year strategy plans.

Greg highlights key elements for developing a sustainable strategy:

Sustaining TPM: Build Internal Expertise

So far, in the Sustaining TPM video series we have discussed the importance of gaining consensus on strengths and opportunities and building a persuasive case for change. This next and equally important topic is building internal expertise

For those currently embarking on your TPM implementation journey, let's assume you have successfully executed the first two steps. This means that your peers and management team are on board with the need for Total Productive Maintenance and also the current areas for opportunities that exist at your site. With this momentum built, it is vital to utilize individuals who are able and willing to drive the process. This is the step of building internal expertise.

On your journey you will require the sponsorship of corporate and you may seek the services of a consulting company; however valuable these people are, they cannot sustain your process. Sustaining the process comes from a sense of ownership, and this has to be developed at the shop floor.


Sustaining TPM: How to Gain Consensus

What does an organization have to do in order to take the first step to achieve sustained reliability improvement? Here at Marshall Institute, we believe that this is to assess the organization's current state and gain consensus on strengths and opportunities.

Greg Folts covers this topic in the second video in our Sustaining TPM series. He discusses the importance of gaining consensus in sustaining TPM improvement and identifies proven methods to achieve consensus. These are:

Sustaining TPM: 4 Steps for Success

Change is inevitable, just like death and taxes :). Accepting this is the first step to successfully managing and sustaining change.

Successfully managing and sustaining Total Productive Maintenance / Total Process Reliability implementation in a manufacturing environment is difficult, but there are proven steps that will guide your journey and, if followed, will support your success.  In this asset maintenance management video blog series, Greg Folts discusses four key steps necessary for managing a successful TPM implementation.

The steps are:

Greg's Total Productive Maintenance Tips

With more than 17 years experience I feel that I have accumulated some useful Total Productive Maintenance/Total Process Reliability (TPM/TPR ) tips.  In today's blog post I want to share a few of these tips with you.  They should provide valuable ways to improve and optimize your TPM/TPR process.

TPM Video Series: Labeling Tip for better Visual Controls

In today's video I cover a cost-effective and quick-to-implement tactic that extends the life of equipment labels.

Often equipment labels become unfixed, scrapped and tattered due to the daily wear of plant life. These labels are important visual aids for operators and maintenance technicians and must be easy to read and clearly visible.  Extending the life cycle of these labels becomes an important element of equipment reliability. Applying clear boxing tape over the labels will increase the adhesion surface area to protect labels from oil, lube, moisture; anything that could contaminate or destroy the labels. These are the two quick steps to improve the life cycle of your equipment labels:

TPM Series: Defect Tagging as a Visual Control

Defect Tags are great tools and visual aids for both operations and maintenance to use to identify equipment defects.

The 2 key advantages of Defect Tagging are:

  1. Other operators and maintenance people can see that a defect has been identified and that a work order has been created.
  2. When a work order has been made, and the repair planned and scheduled, the maintenance mechanic can see exactly where the defect is located on the piece of equipment.

In addition to Defect Tags, there are Opportunity Tags. These tags, colored differently from Defect Tags, highlight areas of improvement on a piece of equipment. Opportunities are not issues that are a concern for equipment reliability; they are ways to optimize the equipment for maintenance work or operation.

TPM Video Series: Using Transparency Sheets to Increase Reliability

TPM colored transparency sheets are great tools to identify normal equipment operating conditions from abnormal.

My short instructional video outlines how to use TPM transparency sheets as a visual control to mark the normal operating range for a gauge.  The value of the gauge marking is that it provides a very clear and quick way for operators to identify if equipment is running properly or not.  This knowledge allows an operator to act quickly in the event that equipment is not running properly. Such as fast response may prevent a large failure from occuring.

If you are not currently using TPM transparency sheets as visual controls you should strongly consider it.  For such a small investment the results can be significant. Check out the video below and start using transparency sheets today!


Tidy Up Your TPM

Fall is in the air. The nights are getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and the leaves are starting to change colors here in the Mountains of North Carolina. Fall has always been my favorite season for many reasons; including, Friday night High School football games, County fairs, church BBQ’s and most of all deer season!

Fall is also a great time to re-evaluate your TPM/TPR processes. To help self-evaluate your processes ask yourself these key questions:

Successful TPM Communication: 7 Times 7 Ways


Communication is said to be the glue that binds an organization together.  It is also, in my opinion, an essential part of gaining Total Productive Maintenance/Total Process Reliability (TPM/TPR) buy-in and sustaining the focus. A mistake many organizations make is assuming that several announcements and a note on the notice board is sufficient communication.  At Marshall Institute we say one must communicate seven times, seven ways; but that does not mean seven months apart.

Develop and implement a robust communication plan and check to see if the target audience has received the unfiltered message. If you want to know if your message is getting out clearly why not ask someone on the night shift if he or she has received the message? The day shift is easy but how about the rest of the folks?

Communicate both 'the what' and 'the why'. Allow people to respond and give their input and raise questions up front. The sooner you placate the nay-sayers and iron-out misconceptions the stronger your TPM implementation adoption will be.