HR Business Synergy

Jul 14, 2023 14 min read

Total Productive Maintenance, a panacea for improving reliability of Plant, Equipment & profitability & optimizing the Human Resources

Total Productive Maintenance, A panacea for improving the reliability of Plant, Equipment & profitability & optimizing the Human Resources.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) has had great success as implemented by various companies worldwide. It has already paid a great dividend to the companies that have implemented the concept in its true sense.TPM is not a system, it is a strong tool that talks about Zeros (Zero Accidents, Zero Breakdowns, Zero customer complaints, Zero loss, and Zero defects). It has great potential to reduce the no. of breakdowns and hence to drastically reduce the maintenance cost, increase productivity & thus enhance profitability. TPM has 8 pillars in which Autonomous Maintenance is the heart of TPM which revolves around the Ownership concept of each individual working inside the plant and on the philosophy of “ I operate I maintain”. Involvement of top to bottom level employees ensures great reliability of all rotating and static equipment as well as plant. With a view to ensure reliable and uninterrupted refinery operations, TPM was adopted at Various Refineries as an improvement tool.

Our organization Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has a great success story after implementing TPM. In all TPM performance parameters (Productivity, Maintenance cost, Specific energy consumption & Safety), Our Refinery has done remarkable achievements over the last 11 years and won various prestigious awards from JIPM (Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance), Japan.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is an approach that integrates both operation and maintenance functions to create a common area of understanding and functioning to bring in a change of working culture & mindset of people that finally results in increased overall equipment effectiveness, minimum downtime and finally return on investment in multiple folds. It is “for”, “of” & “by” the people. TPM is basically a systematic approach that is highly effective for the improvement of productivity mostly explained in terms of ”Overall Plant Effectiveness (OPE)”, prolonging the economic service life of the equipment and increasing life cycle profit. It is a cultural change in the working environment, which starts with cleanliness and orderliness of the workplace/equipment and ends with achieving and sustaining quality of work life with a well-pronounced emphasis on operator-driven reliability. Our Refinery adopted TPM to remain a dominant force in the Downstream Oil sector in the post-APM scenario with the following objectives.

(1) Maximization of equipment availability

(2) Increasing the effective service life of the equipment

(3) Minimization of maintenance cost

(4) Minimization of life cycle cost of equipment

(5) Safety of equipment and personnel

TPM has a concept of eight pillars(Focused improvement, Autonomous Maintenance, Planned Maintenance, Quality maintenance, Office TPM, Early Management, Education & training, and Health Safety & Environment Pillar) and 5” S”( 1s-Sort out, 2s-Set in order, 3s-Shine, 4s-Standardize & 5s-Sustain), at its base encompassing all management tools which help in improving the profitability of a company through focused loss-elimination and developmental programs for improving the bottom line of the company on the equipment front as well as on the human resources through ownership concept for improvement of morale of the employees. The whole idea is to generate the concept of “My equipment – My unit – My refinery”.

Our Refineries had adopted & implemented the concept of eight pillars along with 5” S” in the refinery with the major stress on Autonomous Maintenance, Planned Maintenance, Focused Improvement, and Education & Training initially. The autonomous Maintenance ownership concept was introduced while Planned Maintenance was to help the equipment owner for specialized maintenance only. Thus the gap between Operation & Maintenance was bridged to a large extent by way of improvement of morale. Equipment owners were further facilitated with training and education while major improvement initiatives were taken up under the “Focused Improvement Pillar”.

Under the pillar of Autonomous Maintenance (AM), the equipment owner had taken various steps like initial cleaning of equipment, Countermeasures against sources of contamination, Creation of tentative standards & General Standards, Autonomous Inspection, Standardization, etc. for abnormality identification & looking for the solution of the perennial problem by way of doing Kaizens i.e. effective change in the existing system..

After the adoption of Autonomous Maintenance, A new concept of ownership came in as the relationship between mother and child. No example of ownership can be better than that of how a mother owns her child. To change the mindset of people, Management took a lot of initiative, discussed with employees at shop floor & convinces people that this system is meant to improve your workplace & subsequently you will be benefitted. A cleaner workplace will make your job easy & safe & arresting hydrocarbon/steam leaks will help you, as you are the primary people who will inhale the same. Employees initially who thought it is an additional burden, took this in the very right spirit & actively participated which is evident from the number of OPL (One Point Lesson) & Kaizen (Improvement idea) which took the quantum jump. Pillar activities also started and TPM review meetings were being organized regularly wherein the steering committee (Top Management) reviews the progress of the TPM implementation process. The review meeting had become a platform for sharing knowledge & discussion on key issues affecting the reliability and profitability of the refinery. Kaizens had been benefiting us either through the reduction of losses or through the improvement of housekeeping whereas one-point lessons had bettered our understanding of small things, which matter a lot to us.

TPM culture has borne fruit - resulting in a reduction in plant interruptions & enhancing plant safety in addition to improved housekeeping & loss reduction all over the Refinery which is demonstrated in all facets of the Refinery. IOCL Refineries have adopted the LEAF concept (Lifetime Estimation Analysis based on Failure Mechanism) in process units, Why why, and root cause analysis, thereby reducing interruptions, and improving distillate yield and overall productivity. Refineries have also adopted the MAKIGAMI approach of continuous improvements in Office TPM and the results of this are evident not only in the apparent improvements in work culture but also in the greater delight of both our internal and external customers.

Through internalizing the TPM way of life, Refineries have taken a focused approach to reduce losses progressively over the past few years and achieved the lowest-ever MBN which implies a significant reduction in energy consumption. Routine Maintenance costs has reduced drastically. The breakdown of equipment has also come down and Productivity has increased significantly.

People have started owing the equipment & actively participating in reducing the losses. Through the inculcation of the TPM culture & strong commitment and safety consciousness, Most Refineries have been able to achieve record no. of fire-free days and accident-free days.

With the improvement in all the indicators of TPM performance (PQCDSM), Our Refineries have challenged various TPM-related awards and successfully won many awards. The same journey continues for further improvement in refineries with the help of a panacea called “TPM”.

Role of Office TPM in improving HR processes.

Office TPM is one of the most important pillars of TPM which focuses on the improvement in Office related activities and provides administrative and support functions in the organization. The Human Resource Section of any organization is the main custodian of this pillar. The pillar applies the key TPM principles in eliminating waste and losses from all nontechnical departments (Administrative departments) like Human Resources, Materials & contracts, Engineering, Education & Training, etc.

The Office TPM team implements office versions of Focussed Improvement, Autonomous Maintenance, and the Training and Education pillars to establish sustainable, performing processes. They deploy a flexible policy to allow departments to manage peak workloads, without overstaffing, and a prioritized improvement program, by loss analysis, against the goals and objectives set in the preparatory activity phase.

Office TPM benefits organizations by eliminating losses in the administrative systems across the organization and into the extended supply chain. This delivers cost reductions in the organization’s overheads as well as supports improvement and sustainability of the manufacturing process efficiency.

The application of Office TPM also benefits the organisation by developing support functions that react flexibly to changes in customer requirements and that ensure a strong brand image is maintained.

Improvements like visual management, file preservation methods & minimum file

retrieval time, identifying and removing non-value added activities in the process, eliminating wastes generated in Office, simplification of employee-related work processes, reduction in the lead time of procurement, reduction in paper works, multi-skilling in office functions, timely bill payment of vendors, timely settlement of claims of employees, OT reduction, Optimizing the manpower deployment, benchmarking the office strength, etc are being done in various organization by implementing Office TPM in true sense.

Lesson Learnt from TPM & why a company should go for TPM:

As TPM is a cultural change, this can be brought through changing the mindset of the people rather than enforcing the same. The change shall not be brought all of a sudden rather than in phases. So, refineries first selected one of the units as a pilot model plant, practice TPM & show people that it has really improved a lot w.r.t. safety, productivity & Quality after adopting TPM. People now started doing TPM & requested management to introduce TPM in their respective areas. Over a period of time, TPM being practiced across the refinery, a healthy competition started within Units & employees to make it better w.r.t each other in terms of housekeeping, Visual management & Hydrocarbon & Steam leak minimization. TPM can be implemented in any industry/organization whether it is the Oil sector, Automobile sector, FMCG sector, manufacturing sector, etc, and have a great potential to give rich dividends to them. So, those companies who want to achieve Zeros (Zero accidents, Zero Breakdown, Zero customer complaints, Zero loss & Zero Defects) & 100 %( Overall Equipment effectiveness and Overall Plant Effectiveness) by involving each and every employee should go for TPM.


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