Total Productive Maintenance

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…

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.

Total Process Reliability: Going Beyond TPM

What is Total Process Reliability—“TPR” ?

Total Process Reliability (TPR) is an organizational approach to improving operational reliability of major assets; in-turn improving overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), increasing production capacity, reducing costs and growing the effectiveness of the relationship between maintenance and operations. TPR combines the proven tools and techniques of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) with an effective organizational change model to establish a vigorous and structured improvement process leading to operational excellence. 

True TPR is philosophy adopted and practiced across the organization; it is NOT just a maintenance initiative.

Keeping TPM active in your organization (Quick Tip)


Don’t let Total Productive Maintenance become a “flavor of the month”. Communication is key to keeping Total Productive Maintenance active in your organization. Consider promoting it using signs, banners, t-shirts, communication boards, pens, note pads, post-it notes etc. Get creative because you are now a part time marketer as well as a full-time Total Productive Maintenance champion. 

Bonus TPM Tip
Incorporate TPM cleaning and lubrication standards into your document control processes. This will ensure that you are in compliance with FAA, FDA, ISO, etc., guidelines as well as helping TPM become ingrained in your organization’s culture.

Productivity Improvement through Total Productive Maintenance

Productivity is the ratio of output over input. Outputs are the products or services a company produces, while inputs are those resources (energy, labor, equipment, materials) we use to create the outputs.

To improve that ratio, and productivity, you could keep the same level of inputs while increasing outputs or reduce inputs while keeping outputs the same. However, to optimize this ratio, you must increase output while reducing inputs. The opportunity is not to just do the right things, it is doing the right things right! That is productivity improvement.

To achieve optimal productivity requires improving the process of converting input to outputs.  Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your systems and you will improve productivity.

TPM's Myth of Zero Unplanned Downtime

One of the goals of Total Productive Maintenance is to achieve zero unplanned downtime. While I understand the value of zero targets, in this case I think it serves to alienate some of the seasoned veterans that we desire to include in our reliability improvement efforts.  Our craftsmen intuitively know that preventing all failure is not possible, this disconnect between goal and reality aids the unfortunate leap to the philosophy that their job is simply to repair the failures quickly.  This problem is often compounded by rewarding reactive behaviors.  For example, when I worked in the trades, I quickly learned that the best troubleshooter and fastest repairman got the most recognition, praise, and overtime.

How do I select a TPM Coordinator?

I am often asked this question by clients who are in the infancy of their TPM implementation.  While there is no cookie cutter pattern for a TPM Coordinator I do believe that there are some characteristics, skills, personality traits that can be very helpful to a successful TPM Coordinator.
I have worked with many companies, organizations, and people who have
 implemented some very good TPM processes over the past 10 years.  I have met many TPM Champions and TPM Coordinators who were essential to these successful implementations.  From my many acquaintances, I have identified a few traits and skills that, at the very least, tend to prove helpful for TPM Coordinators. These are my personal observations and are not derived from any kind of scientific data.