As the end of the year festivities are coming, it is time for plant manager to take stock. How productive were the machines this year? Among the plants surveyed, approximately 5% of unplanned stoppages are due to machine breakdowns in 2020. For a third of them, breakdowns account for 20% of the causes of annual stoppages.

The consequences can be serious with a client’s delivery delayed, or worse: The stress generated by the need to catch up is accident prone.

The best way to avoid them: TPM

TPM (Total Productive Maintenance or Maintenance Productive Totale in French) is a corporate culture resulting from LEAN Management. It promotes maximum efficiency of production equipment. Its goal is to obtain “0 accident, 0 breakdown, 0 failure”.

The objective of this philosophy is to produce more and better by tackling waste (or Mudas). In relation to the machines, this implies seeking to maximize production time, to ensure that this production is done at optimal rates while producing compliant parts. These are the 3 axes measured by the OEE: Availability, Performance and Quality.

The main change is in the mindset with cooperation between departments, especially between production and maintenance. The maintenance technician will then also become a technical advisor and will work with the operators.

With TPM, 5 levels of maintenance are involved.

Maintenance Level 1 or Self-Maintenance

Maintenance level 1 is the first level of maintenance, it is preventive. The operator carries it out following a standard or a checklist, and at the end of a training course. This will involve visual checks, lubrication or simple measures. It is periodic and fast, at each shift or at the beginning of each day for example. The frequency is to be defined in relation to the manufacturer’s data, the history of failures or a possible FMECA (Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis).

Level 1 maintenance involves the operator and raises his skills. It becomes able to detect abnormal facts, vibrations or wear. At the same time, the use of the 5S makes it possible to have clean and tidy machines. This saves time for the maintenance technician and makes it possible to detect potential problems – leaks, for example – more quickly.

Maintenance level 2

Level 2 maintenance is also part of prevention. These are periodic replacements of parts, or adjustments that can be made by following a procedure.

Usually the maintenance technicians will take care of it, although some involved, experienced and above all trained operators may claim it.

Other levels of maintenance (3-4-5)

Other levels of maintenance most often require shutting down production. Calibrations or adjustments may be necessary. In-depth knowledge is essential, it can be internal or external.

At this point, the operator finds himself in “technical unemployment”. The development of poly-competence can certainly limit the loss of human time, but the availability of the machine is also impacted.

Holidays, how to take advantage of this downtime?

When the workshop is closed, the maintenance time is not scheduled in production time. This is the opportunity to perform level three, four and five maintenance. In this way, these operations have no impact on production.

In addition, technicians and other machine operators are not under pressure from the manager who is willing to do anything to save a few minutes and achieve his goals. Be careful, however, not to fall into excessive maintenance, which would generate unnecessary costs. What a waste ! But how do you know the right time for this maintenance ? What if production doesn’t stop during vacations?

Non-stop production

If production does not stop during the vacations, there is no longer a window of opportunity to perform these level three, four or five maintenances. Each stoppage will affect our availability and thus directly our production. In this case, it is necessary to choose the best time to intervene on your machines. Premature intervention is a waste of time. Conversely, neglecting the needs of the machine is a mistake. This can lead to non-quality, a breakdown or worse, the endangerment of people in the workshop.

It will soon be possible, thanks to the IoT, to know the state of the components inside the machines, and at the same time to predict the ideal moment of intervention. This will maximize the use of production tools by limiting downtime. This is predictive maintenance.

To conclude

While your maintenance team will do everything possible during the plant shutdown, isn’t it time to question the impact of downtime on production? If you are equipped with a performance analysis tool such as PerfTrak, you are aware of this data.

But are LEAN tools deployed to process this information and gain in productivity? And if you don’t have an analysis tool, do you have an idea of the cost of downtime for your production machines? Meanwhile getting answers to these questions,

TEEPTRAK team wishes you a Merry Christmas

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