Urgently need more capacity for those ‘green shoots’? Have you considered how quickly and cost effectively TPM can work for you?

The recent flurry of discussions of ‘green shoots’ in the UK economy seems to be beginning to show through in confidence levels in a number of industries including those in the building and construction sectors. The US economy where recovery appears to be several quarters ahead of the UK, there are now reported shortages of key construction materials as a result of suppliers having downsized in recent years and now lacking the capacity to respond.

In such an environment, the use of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) to increase output rather than increasing raw plant capacity is the logical solution. Whilst TPM might seem to be the natural next step after Lean Manufacturing, implementation is often delayed by IT systems that hinder rather than help management to realise the benefits.

So what is Total Productive Maintenance?

In broad terms, it is the process of achieving zero breakdowns whilst maintaining value and quality. TPM can be broken down into five key areas that span the entire organisation and its culture:

  • improving equipment effectiveness
  • preventative maintenance over the life span of the equipment
  • use of each department’s knowledge in a cross-functional manner across the organisation
  • use of the skills of everyone in the organisation
  • use of small automatous groups to maximise motivation and innovation.

Many of these elements are widely deployed as best practice across businesses, however it is still not widespread for TPM to be fully deployed strategically across British organisation.

Why is TPM ideal for increasing capacity?

By avoiding waste, we increase capacity of the existing plant whilst reducing cost and maintaining the quality of product. This improved equipment utilisation can produced significant increases in productive capacity and so delay the need for the cost of plant expansion in the current uncertain economic environment.

How can we overcome the challenge presented by IT?

One of the challenges for any organisation implementing TPM is converting improvements into business intelligence and management reporting. IT needs be used as an enabling tool rather than the ‘problem’. Idhammar’s solution elegantly integrates computerised maintenance management (CMMS) with the measurement of overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) to allow organisations to overcome these challenges.

Building the Business Case

This case study for Paint Pot International (PPI) demonstrates that the existing plant wasted 28% of its capacity primarily because of poor availability and performance. Utilisation of Idhammar’s integrated CMMS and OEE software system at the price of around 15,000 Euros per line increased capacity by approximately 7.5% over the first year. This resulted in an operational ROI time of just two months! Further significant improvements in capacity and the consequent cost savings are still being produced by PPI.

Bristol-based Idhammar Systems has many years’ of experience across a wide range of industrial sectors, so if you are looking to increase capacity in the short term, speak to us and let us help you build the business case.