The major credit for the development of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) goes to Seiichi Nakajima, an engineer from Japan. Nakajima developed TPM in the early 1970s as an outgrowth of productive maintenance––a hybrid of preventive and predictive maintenance and several engineering methods carried out through employee involvement.
Nakajima was instrumental in incorporating the best known evolving maintenance systems into one organized approach. Nakajima began studying American preventive maintenance in the 1950s. He learned of reliability and maintainability engineering, life cycle costing, zero defects, preventive and predictive maintenance, operator-assisted maintenance, and task teams. Nakajima then superbly combined these practices to create a highly effective process. As a result of his work, Toyota was able to significantly reduce equipment related problems in its movement toward Just-In-Time (JIT). By minimizing delays caused by equipment problems, Total Productive Maintenance is a key contributor in streamlining the flow of production.