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TPM Definitions



1. The Japanese Definition of TPM

  • (By Siiechi Nakajima - the father of TPM - and vice chairman of the Japanese Institute of Plant Maintenance JIPM)

  • "TPM is a system of maintenance covering the entire life of the equipment in every division including planning, manufacturing, and maintenance."

  • TPM is characterized by 5 key elements:

  1. TPM aims to maximize equipment effectiveness.

  2. TPM establishes a thorough system of Preventive Maintenance (PM) for the equipment’s entire life span.

  3.  TPM is cross-functional, implemented by various departments (engineering, operators, maintenance, managers).

  4.  TPM involves every single employee.

  5.  TPM is based on the promotion of Preventive Maintenance through the motivation of management and autonomous Small Group Activity (SGA).

  • The Japanese approach emphasizes the role of teamwork, small group activities and the participation of all employees in the TPM process to accomplish equipment improvement objectives.

2. The Western Definition of TPM

  • “The philosophy at the heart of the TPM process is that all the Assets on which production depends are kept always in Optimum Condition and Available for maximum output.” (Willmott 1994 p. 2)

  • “Total Productive Maintenance permanently improves the overall effectiveness of equipment with the active involvement of operators.” (Hartmann 1992 p. 15)

The western approach moves the emphasis away from both maintenance and teamwork and towards Equipment Management and Utilization with operator participation.

3. Revised definition of TPM by JIPM 1996

  • A broader application of TPM towards company-wide productivity.

  • "TPM aims at:

  1. Establishing a corporate culture that will Maximize Production system Effectiveness.

  2. Organizing a practical shop-floor system to Prevent Losses before they occur throughout the entire production system Life Cycle, with a view to achieving:

    • zero Accidents,

    • zero Defects and

    • zero Breakdowns.

  3. Involving all the functions of an organization including production, development, sales and management.

  4. Achieving zero losses through the activities of ‘overlapping small groups"

4. Types of Maintenance

"It is used when the equipment failure does not significantly affect the operation or production or generate any significant loss other than repair cost."

"Maintenance (including inspection, cleaning, and repair) of equipment on a regular basis that is sufficient to prevent unplanned failure."

"It is a daily maintenance (cleaning, inspection, oiling and re-tightening), designed to retain the healthy condition of equipment and prevent failure through the prevention of deterioration, periodic inspection or equipment condition diagnosis, to measure deterioration."


Effective PM activities enable a company to achieve a ratio of 80 percent proactive maintenance to 20 percent (or less) reactive maintenance.

  • It is further divided into

"Time based maintenance consists of periodically inspecting, servicing and cleaning equipment and replacing parts to prevent sudden failure and process problems."

"This is a method in which the service life of important part is predicted based on inspection or diagnosis, in order to use the parts to the limit of their service life." It manages trend values, by measuring and analyzing data about deterioration and employs a surveillance system, designed to monitor conditions through an on-line system.

"An equipment maintenance strategy based on measuring the condition of equipment in order to assess whether it will fail during some future period, and then taking appropriate action to avoid the consequences of that failure. The condition of equipment could be monitored using Condition Monitoring, Statistical Process Control techniques, by monitoring equipment performance, or through the use of the Human Senses. ... KeyTerms.htm

It improves equipment and its components so that preventive maintenance can be carried out reliably. Equipment with design weakness must be redesigned to improve reliability or improving maintainability

It indicates the design of a new equipment. Weakness of current machines are sufficiently studied (on site information leading to failure prevention, easier maintenance and prevents of defects, safety and ease of manufacturing ) and are incorporated before commissioning a new equipment.

5. JISHU HOZEN (Autonomous maintenance)

  • "Component of Total Productive Maintenance. Basic preventive maintenance activities carried out by machine operators after training"

  • TPM pillar that "is geared towards developing operators to be able to take care of small maintenance tasks, thus freeing up the skilled maintenance people to spend time on more value added activity and technical repairs. The operators are responsible for upkeep of their equipment to prevent it from deteriorating."