TPM in Lean is the cyclical and preventive replacement of parts and subsystems that is carried out with the help of a CMMS class program. Not at all. Replacing components is only the result of a certain type of work culture – a technical work culture in which one of the most important driving elements is an operator and the Daily Inspection carried out by him. How long should this inspection take? 8 hours. This is how long an effective inspection, as part of Autonomous Maintenance, should take. Should a machine be stopped during this time, and should this time be unproductive? No!!! This is the time when the machine is working and the production process is carried out. How can this be done? Using your 5 senses as part of TPM – Autonomous Maintenance. Below is my interpretation of the 5 senses in TPM.
5 Senses in TPM Lean
Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) in Lean Manufacturing is a holistic approach aimed at maximizing the effectiveness of equipment and processes in a manufacturing setup. At the core of this approach lies the concept of the ‘5 Senses in TPM Lean’, a unique framework that encourages a sensory-driven perspective towards maintenance and efficiency. This introduction aims to shed light on how these five senses – Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch, and Taste – play a crucial role in identifying and addressing potential issues in the manufacturing environment. By tuning into these senses, workers can proactively detect anomalies, ensure safety, and maintain a high standard of quality in operations. This sensory approach enhances the overall TPM strategy, leading to more effective maintenance practices and a deeper understanding of the intricacies of manufacturing processes.
Sense of Sight
Sense of Hearing
Sense of Touch
Sense of Smell
Sense of Taste
5 Senses in TPM Lean – Real Examples
- Sight: An operator notices a slight discoloration on a conveyor belt, indicating excessive wear in a specific area. This visual cue prompts an immediate inspection, revealing a misalignment in the belt rollers. Early detection and correction of this issue prevent a potential breakdown, ensuring continuous operation.
- Sound: During a routine operation, an operator hears an irregular clanking sound coming from a hydraulic press. Familiar with the machine’s normal operating sounds, the operator quickly identifies this as abnormal. The investigation reveals a loose component that, if left unchecked, could have led to significant damage or operational downtime.
- Smell: While walking through the production floor, an operator detects a faint burning odor near an electric motor. Recognizing that this smell is unusual and could indicate overheating or an electrical issue, they immediately report it. The maintenance team discovers a wiring problem, averting a potential fire hazard.
- Touch: An operator, while handling a piece of machinery, feels an unusual vibration that wasn’t present before. Trusting their tactile experience, they report this change. A subsequent examination finds an imbalance in the machine’s moving parts, which is promptly corrected to prevent further mechanical stress.
- Taste: While taste is less commonly used in industrial settings due to safety concerns, it can be relevant in certain industries like food and beverage manufacturing. For instance, an operator notices an off-taste in a sample product from a production line. This alerts them to a possible contamination or process deviation, triggering a quality control check to ensure product integrity.
These examples demonstrate the practical application of the ‘5 Senses in TPM Lean’ approach, showcasing how empowering operators with sensory awareness can lead to proactive maintenance, enhanced safety, and improved operational efficiency.
Conlusions – TPM Lean
Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) in Lean Manufacturing transcends the traditional view of maintenance as merely a cyclical and preventive replacement of parts. It represents a profound shift towards a technical work culture where the operator, empowered by the practice of Daily Inspection, plays a pivotal role. This inspection, far from being an eight-hour interruption, is seamlessly integrated into the regular working hours. It exemplifies how maintenance can be proactive and productive without halting the machinery or the production process.
By leveraging these senses, TPM in Lean Manufacturing enables workers to proactively ensure safety, quality, and efficiency. It’s not just about maintenance; it’s about creating a symbiotic relationship between the operator and the machine, where each is attuned to the needs and signals of the other. This approach cultivates a culture of continuous improvement, where each member of the team is an active participant in the maintenance process.
I was lucky that everything I learned about Lean, Kaizen, or production optimization started in a Japanese company. There, under the supervision of Japanese staff and during training in Japan, I learned how to approach the Continuous Improvement process. Over time, I also learned about other practices in other companies.