The TPM (Total Productivity Maintenance) method



The TPM (Total Productivity Maintenance) method, translated into French as total productive maintenance, is a comprehensive approach to industrial maintenance which aims to maximize the efficiency of equipment while involving each employee, from management to line operators. Born in Japan in 1971 , it is part of the philosophy of continuous improvement, seeking to eliminate losses and inefficiencies at all levels of the organization. TPM stands out for its proactive and preventative approach, emphasizing routine maintenance carried out by operators themselves, in addition to more traditional maintenance practices. This method aims not only to keep equipment in optimal working order but also to create a safer and more pleasant working environment, thus contributing to a better quality of life at work. The integration of TPM into industrial processes is today considered a key element to achieve operational excellence and maintain competitiveness in the global market.

Fundamentals of TPM

TPM is based on eight fundamental pillars, each targeting specific aspects of maintenance and production management. These pillars form the foundation on which the TPM approach is based to continually improve productivity, quality, and safety in production environments .

1. Autonomous maintenance

Encourages operators to take charge of the routine maintenance of their equipment, thus promoting better understanding and increased commitment to their work tools.

2. Targeted Improvement

Focuses on identifying and eliminating root causes of losses, such as breakdowns, quality defects, and production stoppages.

3. Scheduled maintenance

Aims to develop preventive maintenance programs based on rigorous analysis of data and maintenance histories to reduce unplanned downtime.

4. Quality improvement

Integrates quality control techniques into maintenance activities to prevent defects and ensure the production of high quality goods.

5. TPM by design

Integrating efficiency concepts into each phase of equipment design to eliminate losses and optimize defect-free production.

6. Training and Learning

Focuses on developing the skills of all employees to ensure they are able to perform their maintenance and production tasks efficiently and safely.

7. TPM for administrative support

Extends TPM principles to administrative and support activities to improve efficiency and productivity throughout the organization.

8. Safety, health and environment management

Prioritizes the creation of a safe and healthy working environment, minimizing the risk of accidents and promoting employee well-being.

Adopting the fundamental principles of TPM not only increases the lifespan and efficiency of equipment but also contributes to a positive corporate culture, where each member of the organization plays an active role in 'continuous improvement. By integrating these principles, companies can achieve significant gains in quality, cost, time, safety, in addition to improving employee morale, thus establishing the foundations for sustainable competitiveness.

Implementation of TPM

Preparedness and Awareness

  • Awareness of TPM principles : Organize workshops to familiarize all staff with the benefits of TPM and the importance of the Synthetic Rate of Return (SEE) as a key performance indicator.

  • Process standardization : Adopt 5S principles to create an orderly work environment conducive to efficiency and safety. Standardized procedures and processes, inspired by 5S (Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke), are the foundation of TPM. They provide a solid foundation for the order and cleanliness necessary for effective maintenance.

Selection of a Pilot Zone

  • Identify a specific section of the company to begin applying TPM. This makes it possible to concretely illustrate the benefits of the program and to serve as a model for other sections.

Skills Development and Training

  • Targeted Training : Provide comprehensive training on specific responsibilities within the TPM program, emphasizing the importance of OEE for continuous improvement.

  • Digital transition : Integrate digital technologies to support training, communication, and knowledge management.

Equipment Optimization

  • Perform a complete equipment overhaul in the pilot area, focusing on improving OEE through preventive and corrective actions.

Improved OEE

  • OEE monitoring : Set up systems for continuous OEE monitoring , allowing losses to be identified and improvement actions to be initiated.

  • Loss Reduction : Use OEE data to target and eliminate the causes of non-productivity, targeting the six major losses of TPM.

Maintenance Planning

  • Develop preventative maintenance programs based on OEE analysis, planning maintenance activities to minimize impact on production.

  • Implement autonomous maintenance activities by operators.

Integration of Digital Technologies

Continuous Evaluation and Improvement

  • After evaluating successes in the pilot area, gradually expand the application of TPM to other areas, using lessons learned and adapting strategies as needed.

    Benefits of TPM

    Implementing TPM offers many benefits for businesses looking to improve operational efficiency and productivity. Here are the main benefits:

    Increased Productivity:

    TPM optimizes equipment utilization, resulting in increased productivity through reduced downtime and production interruptions.

    Quality improvement :

    By focusing on preventive maintenance, TPM helps reduce manufacturing errors and improve the quality of finished products, thereby contributing to better customer satisfaction.

    Cost reduction :

    Reducing equipment breakdowns and optimizing maintenance processes helps reduce repair costs and expenses related to unplanned downtime.

    Improvement of Safety and Health at Work:

    TPM involves special attention to cleanliness, order, and safety, helping to reduce accidents and improve working conditions for employees.

    Employee Engagement:

    TPM encourages the active participation of all employees in maintenance activities, which increases their engagement and sense of belonging.

    Extended Equipment Life:

    Regular and preventive maintenance helps extend the life of equipment, reducing the need for costly investments in new equipment.

    Challenges and Solutions

    Although TPM has many benefits, its implementation can also encounter challenges. Here are some common obstacles and strategies to overcome them:

    Resistance to change :

    Employees may be reluctant to adopt new ways of working.

    Solution: Actively involve employees in the implementation process and provide them with adequate training to facilitate acceptance of change.

    Lack of Management Commitment:

    Lack of management support can limit the effectiveness of TPM.

    Solution: Demonstrate the financial and operational benefits of TPM to gain management support and commitment.

    Implementation Difficulties:

    The complexity of implementing a comprehensive TPM strategy can discourage some businesses.

    Solution: Start with small pilot projects to demonstrate the effectiveness of TPM before scaling it across the entire organization.

    Lack of training :

    Employees may not have the necessary skills to carry out TPM activities.

    Solution: Provide training and certification programs to develop the necessary skills within the team.

    Performance Monitoring and Measurement:

    It can be difficult to measure the effectiveness of TPM without the proper tools.

    Solution: Use maintenance management software (CMMS) to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and measure the impact of TPM on the organization.

      By addressing these challenges with targeted strategies, businesses can maximize the benefits of TPM and ensure successful implementation for continuous improvement in productivity and efficiency.


      To deepen your understanding of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and explore more strategies, tools and best practices in industrial maintenance and LEAN, the following resources are highly recommended:

      • IEEE : Visit to access research articles and publications on innovations in preventive maintenance and related technologies, offered by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

      • ISA : The International Society of Automation at provides valuable resources on industrial automation, including preventative maintenance practices and case studies.

      • NIST : The National Institute of Standards and Technology, accessible through , publishes standards, guides, and research that can serve as a reference for implementing TPM.

      • : Find TPM articles, white papers, and case studies by visiting , a reliability and maintenance portal.

      • Plant Engineering : This magazine features articles on industrial plant management, maintenance and safety, including TPM insights at .

      • AME : The Association for Manufacturing Excellence offers resources and training on manufacturing excellence, including total productive maintenance, at .

      • : For news, articles and analysis on industrial trends, including maintenance and operational efficiency, visit .

      • SMRP : The Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals offers maintenance and reliability certifications, training, and resources at .

      These resources will provide you with a wide range of information and tools to support your journey to excellence in industrial maintenance.