The Predictive Side of TPM

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is often misunderstood to be a maintenance program, run by maintenance personnel, and managed by engineers. Even though TPM is much more than just maintenance, maintenance is still an essential component for a robust TPM program. Hixson has observed that many companies are using two primary approaches to maintain and repair equipment:

  • Corrective/Reactive Maintenance (C/RM) – repairing equipment when it fails. Also known as Run-to-Failure (RtF) maintenance.
  • Preventive Maintenance (PM) – taking equipment offline for inspection and repair on a planned basis.

A third maintenance approach growing in popularity is Predictive Maintenance (PdM). PdM goes further than other approaches by detecting problems before failure occurs. Therefore, its use can help companies minimize costly unplanned breakdowns and unscheduled downtime, while limiting maintenance activities to only those that are necessary. Using a number of tools and techniques to monitor equipment condition (see Experience in Brief), PdM systemically calculates when problems are going to occur by identifying symptoms of wear and other failures.

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