How to increase your OEE through Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Now more than ever, OEMs and other manufacturing industries need to consider how to increase their overall equipment effectiveness (GEFF or OEE). One way to achieve this is through Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). Preventive maintenance aims to avoid operational interruptions and maximise productivity. In this article, we look at the benefits of TPM and the steps needed to implement it. We also show you how to facilitate the practical implementation with digital tools in order to use the potential of TPM in your company with manageable effort.

Definition: What is Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)?

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a proactive maintenance concept that focuses on maximising the productivity and efficiency of a manufacturing or production process. It involves all employees in the maintenance process – not only the technicians, but explicitly, among others, the workers who, for example, complete cleaning and lubrication tasks and even small maintenance jobs in the course of their daily work. This aspect is very important and requires the development of a corporate culture in which everyone takes responsibility actively and on their own initiative.

The goal of TPM is to identify and eliminate waste and inefficiencies in the production process and thereby improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). There are parallels to the concepts of Kaizen and Lean Production.   

What are the benefits of introducing TPM?

One of the main benefits of implementing TPM is the potential for a significant increase in overall plant effectiveness. According to a study by the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance , companies can increase their OEE by an average of 20 to 30 per cent with the help of TPM. Peak values are even 50 to 60 percent higher OEE.

How do these massive improvements come about through the introduction of TPM in a manufacturing or production operation?

Let’s take a look at the five most important benefits:

Increase the reliability of your equipment

TPM enables you to detect potential equipment failures before they occur. As a result, machines run more reliably. As a result, downtime is reduced.


Improve your efficiency

TPM allows you to uncover where material, time and manpower are being wasted in your production processes. This makes your processes smoother – with a significant positive impact on your overall efficiency.


Optimise your product quality

The involvement of all employees in the maintenance process also means an expansion of quality management. Possible weaknesses in the production processes are recognised and eliminated more quickly. This benefits your product quality.


Reduce your maintenance costs

By proactively eliminating potential plant failures, you reduce your maintenance costs. Because the cheapest damage to repair is the damage that does not occur in the first place.


Enhance safety

TPM enables you to identify and eliminate potential safety risks at an early stage. This increases safety for machines and personnel.

TPM: checklists and worksheets are mandatory

The core of working with Total Productive Maintenance is the consistent use of checklists. Worksheets and concrete, detailed work instructions are developed on the basis of maintenance and inspection schedules. They break down which individual maintenance tasks have to be carried out and at what intervals (daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly/annually) this should be done. This requires a high degree of discipline and no less administrative effort. It is all too easy for the regular tasks to be forgotten – especially when the company has its hands full.


In many companies, results are still recorded in the traditional way with pen and paper. They are recorded on index cards or in Excel sheets. A very simplified, exemplary worksheet can be downloaded here and adapt it to your specific needs and requirements. It then needs to be updated regularly to accurately track the progress of the TPM programme.

Does it look laborious? Yes, in a way it is. Because this conventional way of documenting causes a lot of work and encourages errors.

Digitalisation puts an end to paperwork

Fortunately, there is another way. Among the numerous features of the digital after-sales service platform Makula are some that make the introduction of TPM much easier. For example, you save yourself the time-consuming maintenance of your analogue lists. You enter the tasks individually into the software and can assign them to a specific employee at a specific time. The employee, in turn, is guided through the individual steps and simply enters the results on a smartphone or tablet. This is an example of what such a screen might look like:

Forms can be signed digitally by the service team and the customer and Completed maintenance forms are automatically added to the machine history and can be consulted at any moment by the service team and the customer.

Thanks to the automated reminder function, no check is forgotten.

Which leading companies are already using TPM?

Toyota Corporation, the world’s largest carmaker in terms of production, is considered the mother of Total Productive Maintenance. We have also looked at other industries in which our customers are particularly active.


The technology group Siemens applies the system of preventive maintenance in several production plants. We find concrete figures for the plant in Fort Madison: Here, the OEE could already be increased by 25 per cent in the first year.

Tetra Pak 

The world’s leading supplier of packaging solutions for food also works with TPM. According to a case study by the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance, the company achieved a 40 per cent improvement in OEE in just one year.



TPM is also used in the construction industry.  Bechtel, a global engineering, construction and project management company, has been able to improve asset reliability, reduce maintenance costs and increase production efficiency through preventive maintenance, thus improving its competitiveness.  

Implement TPM - how do you go about it?

You don’t have to be a global corporation to establish preventive maintenance in your company. Even as a small or medium-sized machine builder or OEM, you can benefit from the advantages. Our tip: Follow these five steps to do so

Assemble a TPM team

This interdisciplinary committee is responsible for planning and implementing TPM in the company and ensuring that it is integrated into the company culture and processes.

Involve all employees in the implementation

TPM is a team-based approach, so it is important to really involve all employees in the process. Form TPM teams: In addition, set up separate teams for each production line or group of plants to ensure that maintenance is carried out systematically and consistently.

Ensure proper training

Train all employees on TPM principles and procedures, as well as the specific tasks and responsibilities they are expected to perform under the TPM programme.

Set clear goals and targets

Without metrics and deadlines, the best TPM implementation is useless. Work with KPIs to track progress.

Regularly review your processes

The implementation of TPM is an ongoing process. Review it at regular intervals and adjust it if necessary to achieve the company’s goals.

Maintenance is just one aspect of the Makula platform. Arrange a no-obligation demo appointment and find out how to digitise and optimise your after-sales processes!

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