Total Productive Maintenance is an element of Lean that integrates the care and maintenance of equipment (and processes) into the main stream of operations. Equipment performance needs to be consistent, at its design point and predictable. Just like the process that needs to be monitored and controlled to keep it within spec limits, so too does the equipment need to be monitored and fine-tuned to keep it operating at its required level of performance and reliability. Obviously there are subject matter experts to advise on machine conditions and refurbishments, but the maintenance of the equipment and the maintenance of the process are seen as one with the team responsible for both.


The main impacts are true team ownership of the area in which they work – the process, the equipment, the safety, the product quality. There is no demarcation of authority – the whole team owns the whole problem. Secondly the reliability is extremely high; the availability is certainly not 100% because of TPM but the team’s challenge is to constantly achieve the reliability with a minimum of lost availability. Ownership, common values and a shared vision are all a part of the high-performing, self-directed work team concept that is possible with TPM.


  • Stable Operation – lower maintenance costs and high reliability.
  • One characteristic of teams that employ TPM is less staff rotation.
  • In order to build up the level of teamwork that is seen with TPM a sustained period of working together is needed: daily or weekly rotations through the various plant sections is not compatible with TPM.