What happens when the maintenance team is the only one that cares about maintenance?
There might not be a more common, or truer, saying in the world of sports than, “Defense wins championships.”
Although there are no championships to win in business, there are quotas to hit and money to make. And defence still matters. In this case, defence means maintenance. But when the maintenance team is the only one playing defence, they’re outnumbered and the losses pile up.
A faulty part goes unnoticed and causes a breakdown. That’s a loss. A machine isn’t lubricated properly and results in waste. Loss. A PM is missed and an accident happens. Another loss.
But a lot of these losses can be avoided with total productive maintenance. Total productive maintenance (TPM) is a defence-first mentality for business. The work order process is one of the cornerstones of this strategy. This article will explore how to create and optimize that process with TPM in mind.
What is total productive maintenance: A brief primer on TPM
Total productive maintenance is the idea that everyone has a part to play in improving the performance and quality of systems with maintenance. That includes the maintenance team, but also operations, production, finance, and other departments. When you have 100 eyes peeled for possible equipment failures or safety hazards instead of five or 10, they’re easier and more efficient to catch and fix.
An example of TPM in action would be an operator doing routine maintenance, like basic lubrication, or a plant manager creating an asset management policy. Neither person is on the maintenance team, but both use maintenance to have a direct impact on the health and performance of equipment.
There’s a lot more to TPM than we can fit in this article. If you want to read more, check out these articles on getting started with TPM and putting a TPM plan into action.
12 ways to use work orders to build a successful TPM program
How to get operations involved TPM
Work orders are the bread and butter of maintenance which also makes them essential for a good TPM program and getting operators involved in maintenance success.
Find a starting line: Work out the wrinkles in your TPM program by starting small. Focus on one machine or area of your plant. Look for equipment with a low criticality that requires regularly scheduled maintenance. Split the responsibility of the PM between maintenance and operations.
Designate a maintenance type for operators: This creates clear roles and responsibilities and allows you to track where extra training, information, or resources are needed to help operators be successful.
Write bullet-proof work request templates: Be very clear about what information is needed to help technicians complete a job. Operators will gain a better understanding and appreciation for what goes into maintenance.
Write a template for completion notes that leaves no room for error: Break this section of a work order into specific fields that helps you document exactly what happened on the job. Operators will be able to spot useful information in past work orders much easier. It will also make training requirements easier to create.
Build solid task lists: Find a balance between being detailed in your tasks and overwhelming operators with too much. Adding pictures helps you avoid information overload. Providing estimated times for each task is an extra bit of guidance that operators will appreciate.
Add as many visual aids to work orders as you can: In addition to pictures, add diagrams or videos if your operators are accessing the work order from a mobile device.
Highlight success with work order data: There might be resistance to your TPM program at first. There’s a lot of data in your work orders that help you prove that it’s worth it. Even something as simple as having fewer reactive work orders tells a story. Fewer breakdowns mean more throughput and less waste from post-failure startups.
How to get the rest of your organization involved in your plan
A true total productive maintenance strategy doesn’t stop at the edge of the production floor. It reaches into the offices of almost everyone at your company. Here are a few ways you can start bringing more and more people into the TPM fold.
Assist in design and/or procurement: Use common maintenance types and failure codes, along with request and completion notes, to help reliability and purchasing personnel build or buy equipment that won’t repeat the failures of past assets.
Advocate for more resources: Presenting a list of backlogged work orders, its labor hours, and the cost of not doing the work can help you highlight the scale of problems and convince your boss that you need some extra help.
Make maintenance accessible: Integrate your work order request system with the systems that everyone in your business uses, like email or Slack.
Identify inventory efficiencies: Use work order data to find out if the same parts cause breakdowns or failed inspections. Work with inventory personnel to find the root cause of the problem and solve it.
Celebrate your success: If you want people to c`are about maintenance, you need to prove it’s worth their attention. Work orders are a great source of success stories. They can help you draw a link between scheduled maintenance and failure prevention or clean start ups and higher production.
Everything you just read in three sentences
Talk with members of every group using work orders, from requesters in finance to operators, and find out how to make instructions and templates clear and accessible to each of them.
Piloting your TPM strategy on a small area of your organization will help you identify where it needs to be improved and how to scale the project moving forward.
Tracking good results from your work orders, no matter how small, will increase buy-in for your TPM program, or, in other words, bragging is the surest path to success.
There’s a reason people buy toolboxes. While each tool serves its purpose, having only one at your disposal vastly limits what you’re able to achieve. On the other hand, having all your tools allows you to do more and solve a wider range of problems.
Similarly, no maintenance team or plant manager should look to just one maintenance KPI to track and improve production. Multiple maintenance metrics—and categories of metrics—exist because each one provides different information that leads you to take several different actions.
Today, we’re going to take a look at Total effective equipment performance, or TEEP, and how your maintenance team can use it together with OEE and OOE to improve scheduling and output at your company.
What is TEEP?
Total effective equipment performance (let’s call it TEEP from now on) exists in the same family of maintenance metrics as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and overall operations effectiveness (OOE). All three metrics take machine performance, quality, and availability into account to measure overall equipment performance. Where these metrics differ lies in how they define availability.
On its own, TEEP measures your total potential for equipment capacity. It defines availability as a function of all available time—365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. When you measure TEEP, you’re asking, “How much could we potentially be producing if there were no limits to scheduling?”
TEEP is calculated by multiplying performance, quality, and availability, where availability is defined as current production time divided by all available time.
For example, if you ran a machine 24/7 for a week and it produced perfect products without stopping once, TEEP would be 100%. If that same machine ran 16 hours a day without stopping, availability would be 67% (16 hours divided by 24 hours). Let’s say it also operated at 90% of potential throughput (performance) and produced perfect products 88% of the time (quality). The asset’s TEEP would be 53% (0.9 x 0.88 x 0.67).
Of course, no plant is ever running on a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year schedule. This is why TEEP is useful when compared to the other metrics in its family.
How TEEP compares to OEE
As a metric, TEEP is most closely related to OEE, so let’s distinguish between these two metrics first.
While TEEP measures an asset’s potential capacity, OEE measures an asset’s current level of productivity. It’s calculated, much like TEEP, by multiplying an asset’s availability, performance, and quality, where availability is calculated as the total run time of the asset divided by the planned production time of that asset.
OEE differs from TEEP in that it is rooted in the reality of the current production schedule. It supposes that the maximum amount of time that a piece of equipment can run cannot be greater than what it already is.
Because OEE is a current-state metric, it gives production teams and operators a pretty accurate read on how well their equipment is performing, and whether any changes to availability, performance, or quality could increase capacity. Because OEE is closely tied to production, it’s a metric that many facilities monitor in real-time to determine whether any improvements could be made.
How TEEP compares to OOE
Similar to TEEP and OEE, OOE (overall operations effectiveness) is once again calculated by multiplying performance, quality, and availability, where availability is defined as actual production time divided by operating time.
Operating time includes the planned production time of an asset (like OEE), plus any unscheduled time during which an asset might be taken offline.
How to use TEEP
Now that we have these metrics—and the differences between them—straight, let’s talk about how they can be used together. We can think of these three metrics as a sort of cascading system, where TEEP measures the total effective (or potential) equipment performance, OOE measures your current equipment performance taking unscheduled time into account, and OEE measures everything as it is right now.
We spoke to Stuart Fergusson, Director of Solutions Engineering at Fiix, to parse out these three scenarios. “TEEP is a couple of steps removed from a true maintenance metric,” he says. “It’s useful at the business level for someone like a plant manager because it helps inform scheduling decisions.”
In other words, calculating TEEP helps you answer questions like, “Should we introduce new shifts? Is it worth it to run through the holidays? What would happen if we ran through weekends?”
Stuart adds that some people are quick to jump to metrics like TEEP because they’re actually not calculating OEE correctly. This happens when maintenance is done during downtime is not counted against OEE. As an example, think of a factory that shuts down during weekends and runs all maintenance during that time. Maintenance time is not being counted against production here, which could give you an inflated sense of what your OEE actually is. If maintenance is counted as planned downtime, you get a very different sense of your OEE and what you’re actually capable of achieving.
Take this example: Let’s say that you calculate your OEE as 90% based on the 5 days a week that your machinery runs. With an OEE that high, it seems like it would be simple to increase capacity without buying any new equipment. But what if you use the downtime on weekends to run all your routine maintenance? That time is not available for more production, because it’s always being blocked off for maintenance, but it’s throwing off your OEE because it’s not being included in the equation.
Stuart suggests calculating OEE, OOE, and TEEP the way you normally would, and then examining the deltas between each metric. By investigating the differences between each metric, you can start to see where changes in scheduling could be made to improve production.
“You could be running your equipment very, very well three days a week, and you would still get a low TEEP score,” he says. “But compared with OEE, you can look at that delta and say, ‘We would have to add X staff members to improve our OEE.’”
How TEEP can help you plan
TEEP can be improved when performance, availability, or quality improvement, and it’s probably most useful when you’re out of ideas for how you could improve your OEE given your current production schedule.
TEEP can be used as a benchmark to compare how you’re currently planning your plant production schedules. Unlike OEE and OOE, it gives you an idea of how much your equipment is sitting unused. Again, Stuart warns that its usefulness has its limits. “You should only ever be tracking and putting a metric in front of people that have the ability to change it,” he says. “There’s nothing an operator can do to affect the total available time. On top of that, they can’t schedule themselves in for another shift.”
But when operators, maintenance teams, and plant managers work together (yes, you’ve heard this before with regards to total productive maintenance), it’s clear how they can use their own metrics (like MTTR for maintenance) to improve overall equipment production capacity. When these functional areas can work together to improve capacity while taking the realities and limitations of the entire operation into account, a holistic picture starts to emerge of what a plant is truly capable of achieving.