TPM, the First Step In Lean Manufacturing Implementation

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TPM, the First Step In Lean Manufacturing Implementation

Enrique Mora

 

For several years now, I have been very familiar with the implementation of the lean manufacturing disciplines. I know of the problems that implementers face and how these can be approached to fully accomplish their goals.

On the other hand, we have seen so much progress in machine designs, so many innovative systems, that our maintenance crews are very much aware of the need to keep up with change.

This makes me think that it is obvious that the most successful lean implementations begin with TPM. Total Productive Maintenance starts by creating a very much needed bonding and cooperation between maintenance crews and production operators, supervisors and management.

TPM is a discipline comprised of most of the key ingredients of the Toyota Production System, now known as Lean Manufacturing, such as:

  • Total participation
  • Employee empowerment
  • Leadership environment
  • Continuous improvement
  • Development of ownership feeling
  • Increased reliability

Once a good TPM program takes off, the benefits start flowing to the whole organization. That is when a lot of people start coming aboard. The participants feel encouraged and become familiar with communicating their ideas, confident in the new listening attitude of the whole team.

In order to create the right environment, we have to comply with the most elemental requirements:

Total commitment from the top management

Appropriate diffusion of the plan and its results.

Authentic empowerment and mutual respect at all levels

I have experienced first hand the benefits derived from this approach. The spirit of cooperation is growing constantly after 2 years of the implementation stage. It is not unusual for operators to come up with outstanding ideas to improve quality or cut-shorten-ease operations.

It is important to thoroughly assess  the needs of a plant to determine which discipline should be implemented first, and to be open minded toward applying more than one discipline at the time.

 

 

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This page last updated on

08/01/08 17:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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