Maintenance Technology June 2015 - (Page 6)
The Father of TPM
otal Productive Maintenance (TPM) was
first developed in 1969 in Japan at Nippon
Denso Co. (now Denso Corp., Kariya, Aichi
Prefecture, Japan), part of Toyota Motors,
under the leadership of Mr. Seiichi Nakajima of the
Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM), Tokyo.
TPM was further developed and refined in Japan
during the following decade, and reached America
in the mid-1980s.
On April 11, 2015, Mr. Nakajima, the "Father of
TPM," who brought us his passionate vision and
methods, died at age 96. This month, I would like
to pay tribute to him by sharing some of his life and
wisdom as my TPM sensei.
Production System-could not exist
without TPM. Trouble-free equipment
leads to uninterrupted flow, improved
quality, reduced waste, and lower costs.'
A life's work
Mr. Nakajima worked for more than a half century
as a maintenance and TPM consultant and teacher.
During the rebuilding of Japan following World
War II, he visited the U.S. to study maintenance
methods. After studying American-style preventive
maintenance, Mr. Nakajima introduced Productive
Maintenance (PM), the predecessor of TPM, to
Japan in 1951.
I met Mr. Nakajima almost 40 years later in his
intensive "Introduction to TPM" workshop. While
his bilingual teaching method, with the aid of an
interpreter, seemed cumbersome at first, it afforded
plenty of time to make copious notes. These original
notes, and learning from Mr. Nakajima's lectures
over the subsequent five years, gave me many
insights to what TPM was intended to be and do.
A press release about Mr. Nakajima's death from
JMA Consultants Inc. (affiliated with the JIPM),
Englewood Cliffs, NJ, stated, "Without his remark-
able effort, TPM and the manufacturing industry
would not have been what it is today." It called his
establishment of the PM Awards (the current TPM
Awards), one of his most significant achievements.
The first PM Awards winner with TPM methodology was Denso in 1971, the year in which most
consider TPM to have originated.
The release added that Mr. Nakajima's achievement was also honored by the Emperor of Japan,
who presented him with the Ranju Ho-sho, or
Medal with Blue Ribbon. The award recognizes
individuals with significant lifetime achievements,
and was given to Mr. Nakajima by the Emperor "to
show gratitude for the dedication to improving the
manufacturing industry through TPM."
Toyota Production System
The renowned Toyota Production System (TPS)
and other key industrial strategies from Japan owe
much to Mr. Nakajima and TPM. Taiichi Ohno,
who developed the TPS and Kanban in the 1970s,
and Shigeo Shingo, a Toyota industrial engineer in
the 1960s and 1970s who contributed to TPS (and
other strategies), have cited Mr. Nakajima for his
foundational work in the area of eliminating equipment breakdowns. As Shingo wrote in A Study of the
Toyota Production System (1981), "To approach the
ideal of non-stock production [single-piece flow],
eliminate breakdowns and defects by detecting and
responding to their causes."
And in Toyota Production System (1978), Ohno
stated that, "Toyota's strength does not come from
its healing process-it comes from preventive
Ohno and Shingo saw that TPM was the answer
to eliminating equipment-related waste (or losses)
and achieving the goal of uninterrupted production
flow that could not be addressed by traditional
maintenance approaches. Seiichi Nakajima proved
over and over that TPM is the equipment side of
TPS (and lean manufacturing). Unfortunately,
Mr. Nakajima and his TPM principles are often
overlooked by many of today's "lean thinkers" as
they work to adapt the principles of the TPS to their
journeys of continuous improvement.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology June 2015
For On The Floor
Compressed Air Challenge
Friction, Fluid Optimize High-Inertia Systems
Improved Culture Cuts Downtime
Maximimize Power-Plant Skills
Gateways Make Systems Multilingual
Maintenance Technology June 2015