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    Total Productive Maintenance is a Great Fit for Industrial IoT

    As Industry 4.0 continues to mature across manufacturing enterprises globally, many assume that new technologies will replace old methodologies to spur continued improvements in efficiency and production.  And while that may be the case for some applications, it is also true that these new technologies can be complementary to existing practices.

    One such methodology that aligns especially well with the value offerings of Industrial IoT applications is that of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).  Built on the 5S foundation popularized by lean methodology, TPM is a maintenance model that helps alleviate downtime and improve production.  Using this model, downtime for maintenance is included in manufacturing as part of manufacturing scheduling.  Operators and technicians, those most familiar with the equipment, are given responsibility for certain aspects of preventive and regular maintenance as part of their responsibilities.


    Eight Pillars of TPM

    The goal of TPM is to improve productivity, efficiency, and safety while building a culture that includes basic maintenance into standard operating procedures for line staff.  This includes 8 pillars of activity:

    • Autonomous Maintenance – Operators monitor the condition of their own workstations.
    • Process and Machine Improvement – Leads and operators collect information and prioritize maintenance tasks.
    • Preventive Maintenance – Operators perform basic preventive maintenance tasks.
    • Early Management of New Equipment – Leads and operators proactively assess new components and report based on maintenance records.
    • Process Quality Management -  Quality improvement ideas emanate from shared operation and maintenance responsibilities.
    • Administrative Work – Outcomes based on data are shared with leads and operators.
    • Education and Training -  The continuous improvement leads to continuous education of operators and leads.
    • Safety – The improved equipment performance provides a safer operating environment.


    Aligning TPM with Industrial IoT

    So how does TPM align with the value offerings of the Industrial IoT?  Rather than being a methodology at odds with a new technology, it is easy to see that programs such as TPM are almost tailor made for IIoT.  A strong and comprehensive Industrial IoT platform will offer several things:  

    • First, it will offer devices in the form of sensors, temperature sensors, wear sensors, and other equipment that can be fitted to any machine regardless of age.  This brings all the equipment within a factory into the ecosystem of full data collection.  This includes state of the art edge devices to simplify IoT connectivity working across ethernet, Wi-Fi, and cellular technologies.  Connecting directly to equipment PLCs, this allows even older, legacy equipment to be brought in line for data capture.


    • Second, an IIoT platform will offer full visualization of the factory.  Many have heard of the “Hidden Factory”, where efficiency and higher productivity are waiting to be unlocked.  This is realized through visualization of the data in real-time and at the fingertips of the operators, technicians, leads, and managers who need it.  It is estimated that visualization alone can increase efficiency by as much as 20%.  This visualization is captured by intuitive, dynamic, and customizable dashboards that display production data and equipment conditions.  These same dashboard views are available through the use of tablet, phone, and other portable devices as well allowing for decision-making at the point of need.


    Dashboard on Shop Floor of Manufacturer

    Shop floor visualization is important at multiple levels of the organization, from technicians to plant managers.

    • Third, an IIoT platform should allow full monitoring of machine conditions and advise an action to be taken.  This is done through data analytics collection. As machine performance data is collected, it can be used to analyze historical trends, understand real-time performance, and send notifications for action to be taken.  

    At MachineMetrics, the goal of the data is to provide you with real-time visualization and analysis that fully aligns with all three.  And data is what makes MachineMetrics so good at what we do.  By driving value through the use of analytics, MachineMetrics helps customers improve their OEE and manufacturing efficiency as well as identifying bottlenecks in production.  This drives value through the use of analytics throughout the operation.


    Forging Ahead

    TPM is different from traditional preventive maintenance.  In traditional maintenance programs, a time-oriented list is utilized based on OEM recommendations.  This method of maintenance does not factor in production materials that put aggressive or mild strain on equipment, meaning that equipment either malfunctions sooner than expected or much longer than expected.  One adds cost in the form of breakdowns and the other adds cost in the form of replacing parts that are still in optimal working order.  MachineMetrics helps customers with advanced machine learning, deep analytics, and intuitive and customized dashboards that allow operators, technicians, and managers to act in real-time at a level not previously possible.  

    Traditional maintenance is also not predictive.  And being matrix-based rather than analytics-based, traditional maintenance relies on pre-set time to perform maintenance.  It does not have the ability afforded IIoT technology to schedule the maintenance in conjunction with changeovers or other scheduled downtime to reduce overall downtime.  We’ve seen this time and time again at MachineMetrics. Our software brings the benefits of Industrial IoT to the production floor, allowing customers to develop dynamic, data driven maintenance programs that save time and money.  

    Intuitively, the effectiveness of TPM is made possible by the value offerings of the Industrial IoT.  By providing data via a vibration monitoring system, temperature sensors, and wear sensors, IIoT allows for accurate and actionable capture of data that makes full realization of TPM possible.  In doing so, the potential of the “Hidden Factory” is unlocked and digital lean can be realized through the use of IIoT technology by building on lean principles.

    Header image source: Unsplash


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