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TPM, A new paradigm in manufacturing

Continued from Aug. 21 2009

The purpose of these activities is to achieve quickly and economically products that are easy to make and equipment that is easy to use. TPM in Administrative and Support departments play an important role in backing up production activities.

The quality and timeliness of the information supplied by administrative and support departments have a major impact on these activities. TPM program in such a department must aim to create an “information factory” and apply process analysis to streamline the information flow. Initially, TPM addresses manufacturing and a little bit on supporting administration functions within manufacturing.

In the second stage TPM addresses supply chain issues. Finally TPM in sales addresses all the losses in the distribution network and takes the organizations to World-Class. TPM is a step by step approach and it takes about seven years to achieve World-Class status.

Today, most of organizations are in a hurry to reach World-Class and, they are reluctant to choose TPM as a road map in view of its step by step approach and prolonged process.

The Toyota Production System (TPS) is closely linked to TPM. TPS is down to earth elimination of waste. Just in Time (JIT) delivery and “Jidoka” (Automation) are two major concepts incorporated into the Toyota Production System. For JIT system to function properly, defective products should be kept to the minimum, aiming at a zero level of processed product inventory. The automation to function properly, the equipment failure rate should also be kept to the zero level. TPM is essential in achieving the zero level of defective products, processed inventory and equipment failures.

Any organization loves to implement TPS because it brings more profit to the business quickly through elimination of seven wastes. (Especially through inventory reduction). How can we reduce inventory without reliable equipment and skilled workforce? TPM addresses both.

My advise to lean implementers is, to start their transformation journey with 5S and TPM because you need reliable equipment and a highly disciplined set of employees who can take your organization to World-Class. It is very appropriate that the Jasteca Institute of Management has launched a TPM practitioner certificate program for the benefit of Sri Lankan industries.

Thilak Pushpakumara

(JIPM accredited TPM instructor), CEO/Lean Management Consultant; Institute of Lean Management (Pvt) Ltd, Former Plant Manager, Unilever, Sri Lanka, Former General Manager, Productivity Improvement and Training and Development, Loadstar Pvt, Limited

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