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Posts Tagged ‘kaizen’

TPM Principles & Application

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Back in 2009, KCTS starting blogging about Total Productive Maintenance which has been a core system within KCTS since it started in 1998.

Read it again below:

TPM Principles & Application

What is it?

TPM means Total Productive Maintenance. TPM is about involving everyone in creating and sustaining the necessary standards in their own areas. The standards must continually challenge the organisation to get better results as fast as possible.

A number of techniques are used to get the involvement and change in standards which are needed to deliver better results.

The techniques are often shown as a “TPM Temple”. This demonstrates that the techniques all aim to reduce Losses & Wastes, often measured by OEE, and apply to any organisation no matter the structure or products. Each technique has a number of Key Steps which need to be done to get the involvement and change in standards which are needed to deliver better results. The techniques focused upon within this programme are:

•    Focused Improvement, also called Continuous Improvement or Kaizen
•    Autonomous Maintenance
•    Professional Maintenance, also called Condition Based & Planned Maintenance
•    5S, also called Workplace Organisation
•    TPM Loss & Waste programme including OEE, Overall Equipment Effectiveness

Other techniques which may be applied as part of TPM are:
•    Safety, Health & Environment, reducing accidents, illness & emissions
•    Training & Education, improving consistency and delivery of knowledge
•    Early Management, improving the way new products and process are introduced
•    Quality Maintenance, reducing quality problems
•    TPM in Administration, involving people who work in offices and helping change standards in the offices to deliver better results

TPM aims to reduce losses to ZERO. This can be an extremely tough target for some losses, but ultimately satisfying for the people where the losses occur when achieved.

When to use it?

Identification of the type of problem can help work out the plan on how to solve it. Autonomous Maintenance and Professional Maintenance can eliminate sporadic problems by getting reliability back into the process, the area or the activities. Quality Maintenance will improve reliability of the process further to reduce quality defects. Other parts of TPM that can eliminate chronic problems include Focused Improvement, 5S Workplace Organisation and Training & Education.

What does it achieve?

Ownership of problems is only possible when people within the area, or activity, where the problem occurs can be involved in its elimination. TPM focuses people on creating and updating standards to share learning and tackle common problems. TPM delivers results faster than tackling problems in an unstructured way.

TPM aims to reduce losses to ZERO.

Key steps:

1.    Visit the area, or observe the activity, and investigate the problem
2.    If the problem relates to Safety, Illness or Emissions, select Safety, Health & Environment techniques to eliminate the problem.
3.    If the problem occurs regularly, every shift or every day or every week the problem is Chronic
4.    Select Focused Improvement, 5S or Training & Education when there are Chronic problems
5.    If the problem occurs regularly, every month or every year or every few years the problem is Sporadic
6.    Select Autonomous Maintenance and Professional Maintenance or Quality Maintenance as an improvement tool when there are Sporadic problems.
7.    Visit the area, or observe the activity, and check the problem has been eliminated


•    Most people do not mind changing, but most people mind being changed. The way that people are involved is crucial and standards must be written by those who work within the area, or activity. These standards must be communicated and reviewed by the other people who also work within the area, or activity.

Quick Wins from 5S

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Written By: Paul Steven – KCTS Lean Consultant

5S has many specific definitions for each “S”. I prefer, Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardise & Sustain. All five should be applied together in sequence using Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) to drive a virtuous circle of improvement. PDCA means that rather than gaining perfection in a single cycle of 5S, success is found by repeating and learning from 5S through using it everyday. 

5S may be introduced by itself, but for quick wins I suggest you include the introduction of Standardised Work in conjunction with your 5S programme. Standardised Work is a subject entire books are written to describe and I shall endeavour to discuss it regularly whilst I blog. But as a start, the principle behind Standard Work is that if all people complete repetitive tasks in the same way each time they complete it and describe their methods so that others can do it identically then everyone who follows that method will have the same problems in executing it perfectly. Describing the method including symbols, drawings and photographs it is known as Standardised Work. As we strive for perfection in the method we can try to both understand and solve the problems involved in reaching perfection. Every time we solve a problem, we update the Standardised Work with the improved method and train everyone who uses it to ensure the maximum benefit from the improvement is felt. It is the fastest way to create a learning organisation where everyone’s problem solving is targeted for everyone’s benefit. Let’s look at how 5S and Standardised Work can compliment each other.  

When applying Sort for the first time you can have a number of benefits quickly whether using Standardised Work or nor. In addition to the removal of obviously unneeded items and engagement of allowing people to set their own standards at work, the biggest opportunities come from red tagging. Red tagging can be done using actual red tags or anything that you agree identifies items which may not be required. At the moment of tagging we just don’t know if the item in question is needed. The red tagging is your opportunity to deal with the item. In some simple but effective 5S programmes, the red tags will be cleared by quick discussion some that should be kept are disposed of and many that are not required will be kept, and perhaps shared to other departments within the organisation. This can form part of the virtuous circle of PDCA, but for a quick win from Sort you should use your Standardised Work to drive removal of red tags. The red tags should be kept or disposed of based on whether the items are mentioned within the Standardised Work. 

By having Standardised Work where all tools and necessary materials are accounted for, the red tagging leads to either faster removal of unnecessary items or improved Standardised Work. If you don’t have any Standardised Work, you should start writing how to work in an area whilst applying Sort as it helps you know what items are needed. Although you start writing the Standardised Work during Sort, as all 5S are introduced sequentially but together the Standardised Work will also be visualised during Set in Order. 

Once you try to remove any item using red tagging and Standardised Work, the real use of that item is quickly revealed. The item may now need to be included within a revised Standardised Work document or it inclusion agreed through a trial, or the item may need disposal and the proven standards reinforced. Whatever the outcome, if positive discussion and experimentation is used in the spirit of PDCA, progress is being made towards perfection. We are ensuring only that which is required within the workplace is kept within the workplace by applying Sort. Plus, we reinforce Standardised Work and continue to highlight problems which in turn can be solved by ensuring only needed items are kept in an area. As more problems are identified and solved, everyone benefits – KPI’s increase and work satisfaction improves as we strive for perfection in Standardised Work by eliminating problems.


Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
Written By: Paul Steven – KCTS Lean Consultant

Can Shine within 5 S bring a team together?

As written in previous blogs, 5S forms a foundation for improving your environment. If you need to improve your reliability or reduce the costs of your processes or even increase the capacity within your work place, you should consider using 5S.

The first S, SORT, allows you to select the things needed to complete your work which improves standardisation as only agreed tools, jigs and machines can be used. As Taiichi Ohno, father of TPS, says “Where there is no Standard there can be no Kaizen”, so we must try to get standards in place before trying to improve.

The second S, SET IN ORDER, ensures that you have a place for everything you kept from Sort and that you make it the correct place by thinking about how often you use it. Spaghetti Diagrams and Process Mapping can take Set In Order into the detail where you get quantifiable benefits by creating flow.

The third S, SHINE, will be my focus during this blog. Many explanations of 5S start from a position of single ownership. These explanations work logically on bringing pride and ownership into the work place, which is also true of shared spaces used by teams. When you apply Shine to your work station, in your factory or in your office, you begin to own the cleanliness of your area and set the level of “Shine” to where you find it acceptable.

But, how do you align your ownership with the others in your team when you all share an area. If you work at a specific machine or work centre, or have a desk within an office, you can own your cleanliness standards because it is your own area. Once that specific machine or work centre or that desk is shared across shifts or through flexibility within your business shared with colleagues as a hot desk, that ownership of Shine standards becomes more complex.

So, what can you do to get simple Shine standards? If you start with your standard for handing the area over to another person after use then progress can be made quickly to set Shine standards for Handover. These Handover standards are the best place for you to start building a common Shine standard. You may maintain your own Shine standards during your time within your shared area but if you agree a Handover standard with the other people in your team then you must reset to these Handover standards each time you leave.

Most importantly you should agree that every team member has the power to challenge each other to keep the Handover standards. Do this and success is around the corner for you and your colleagues. In the spirit of continuous improvement, kaizen, the most sustainable to grow commitment is to demonstrate success everyday. You must commit to your Handover standard before challenging others. Once successfully keeping the Handover standard, you will be able to think how to achieve that Handover standard throughout the day so that it can become a Shine Standard. Perhaps starting twice per day then once an hour and so on until it is attained naturally throughout the day. Once the standard is consistent across all the team, any improvement of the Shine standard has a better chance of being sustained.

Have you agreed your Handover Standards for your area? If not, I suggest you start today and if you don’t need a handover standard then I hope your Shine standards are ready for further improvement.

Quick Kaizen Knowledge sheet

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

KCTS Resource October edition supplement 1

We’ve just released another KCTS Resource supplement titled; Quick Kaizen knowledge sheet.

Quick Kaizen is a method of recording progress when solving a simple problem. This gives focus to an area or activity and allows us to monitor the potential methods for a solution, helping us to keep track of reported proof tests and to logically decide on the best solution(s)…

Download pdf >>

Quick Kaizen Download

Quick Kaizen Download



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