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Use a total productive maintenance (TPM) checklist to ensure quality

The total productive maintenance checklist aims to eliminate breakdowns, defects, and slow runs of production equipment. The checklist is used to assess whether a company is following the TPM program.

What is a Total Productive Maintenance Checklist?

A total productive maintenance process follows the 5s methodology
introduced and developed in Japan around the 1960s. The 5s are:

  • Seiri (sorting): aims to remove anything unnecessary in the work area.
  • Seiton (systematising): organizes the items to maintain clean locations for materials, tools, and machines.
  • Seiso (cleaning): implements regular cleaning practices by dividing the floor into several areas and assigning teams to clean their assigned areas.
  • Seiketsu (standardising): creates standards for performing the first three tasks.
  • Shitsuke (self-discipline): aims to make the system sustainable and ensures that all standards are applied regularly.

Following these principles, a total productive maintenance (TPM) checklist is used to assess a company’s progress toward achieving its goal in proper equipment maintenance. Manufacturing or production companies can assess cleaning levels, sources of contamination, involvement of team members, and more by following a structured checklist and taking required actions from there.

A TPM checklist ensures that all team members understand, maintain, and improve the integrity of production and quality systems. By applying the principles of TPM, the company will achieve a continuous production cycle without any breakdowns.

In this article, you will learn:

1. The 8 Basic Principles Of Total Productive Maintenance

2. How You Can Implement A TPM Program

3. How A Digital Checklist Maker Can Assist Your TPM Goals

TPM team analysis

The 8 Pillars Of Total Productive Maintenance

The eight pillars of TPM focus on preventive
and proactive procedures to improve equipment reliability. TPM strives for perfect production, which translates to:

  • No breakdowns
  • No slow runs
  • No defects
  • No accidents

In order to achieve these goals, it is important to base your production cycle on a solid base of structured tasks and principles that are outlined in the following 8 axioms:

  1. Autonomous maintenance
    Operators are responsible for maintenance and adjustments of machines assigned to them. This will result in more skilled and motivated employees that also understand the objectives of a lean organization.
  2. Focused improvement
    Improvement, or kaizen in Japanese, identifies and improves goals and brings about change. It ensures that teams from different departments work together to clearly identify problems and apply solutions that continuously improve the processes.
  3. Planned maintenance
    Planned maintenance consists of preventive and predictive maintenance using the data gleaned from monitoring machine behavior and maintenance history. Scheduled maintenance anticipates major breakdowns and as a result, production activities increase while unplanned downtimes decrease consequently.
  4. Quality maintenance
    By performing quality maintenance you ensure that the equipment can detect and prevent errors during production. It uses lean tools that “teach” machines to detect and report abnormal conditions. It ideally results in the total elimination of the root cause of defects.
  5. Early equipment management
    Focus on machine design that allows you and your operators to properly handle and maintain the equipment. This includes easy cleaning, inspection and lubrication, machine part accessibility, and ergonomics. The goal is to bring machine performance levels to a faster speed.
  6. Training and education
    The training and education pillar focuses on the improvement and enhancement of employees’ skills. In a way, both people and the machine they operate grow together and improve their relationship over time, resulting in higher productivity and fewer errors.
  7. Safety, health, and environment
    This pillar in the TPM checklist focuses on improving the working conditions of employees by removing potential health and safety hazards. To ensure this, you could perform a safety audit, for example.

  8. The Office TPM
    The final pillar stresses the importance of using the principles of total productive maintenance in the administration. Its goal is to improve administrative operations, such as scheduling and procurement so that this positively influences the rest of the production process.

How To Implement Total Maintenance In 5 Steps

The implementation of total productive maintenance principles will optimize work schedules, produce efficient employees, create a cleaner and safer work environment, achieve equipment reliability, and save you money. It is a program that is designed for a holisitic approach to productivity by paying attention to all of the branches influencing a production cycle, including management and administration down to the very basic principles of health and safety of employees.

Here’s how to implement these principles in the workplace:


Choose an area where you can start applying TPM principles first. Once employees see the benefits of the process, they will be more accepting of the new style of process. Include employees from different departments during the pilot process and create a project board so they can visualize where they’re going.

When looking for a pilot area, you should ask these three questions:

  1. Which equipment is the easiest to improve?
    By choosing the easiest equipment to improve, you will most likely get positive results that motivate you to continue the TPM program.
  2. What are the bottleneck areas?
    Choose a machine that slows down the production process. Once you solve this, your total output will increase.
  3. Which area is the most problematic one?
    If you are able to fix a machine that gives operators a lot of headaches you encourage them to adopt TPM processes in the workplace as a good solution to problems of this kind.


The concept of this principle focuses on the 5s system and autonomous maintenance. Operators should first learn how to consistently keep the machine in its optimum condition using the 5s program: by being organized, clean, orderly, using standardized and sustainable methods.


This step requires tracking the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of the target machine. Monitoring and measuring OEE provides a data-driven confirmation on whether your TPM program is effective or not. More so, it tracks your overall program as well and gives you a general idea of your efficiency.


After you have a data-driven overview of where your top bottlenecks and losses are, address them immediately. Start by organizing a cross-functional team of operators, supervisors, and maintenance personnel to delve into the OEE data initiating a root cause analysis to identify the main cause of the losses.


Choose which parts should receive proactive maintenance by looking at these three elements:

  • Stress points
  • Wear components
  • Components that fail

After that, employ proactive maintenance intervals. These intervals are flexible and can (and should!) be adjusted whenever necessary.

TPM team with laptop

Introduce A TPM Program With A Checklist Software

Lumiform’s audit app assists you in establishing a total productive maintenance program effortlessly by providing you with a flexible, accessible and adjustable checklist service. Have your team perform any kind of quality audits wherever and whenever – from a smartphone or tablet, online or offline. Create checklists, edit them and stay up-to-date with real-time updates and automated analyses.

Lumiform can be whatever you need it to be – the fully flexible software is designed to serve you and adjust itself to your specific needs, no matter how big or small your organization so that you can reach your highest potential.

Woman With Laptop

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