Guidelines for successful implementation of total productive maintenance in a chemical plant
Mahlangu, Jethro Padya
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With the world economy becoming unpredictable, it has become a necessity for businesses to relook at the way they do business. The world has become competitive and companies that aim to become profitable have seen the need to find ways to improve efficiencies and increase productivity to stay relevant. There has been an adoption of strategies that are aimed at improving the efficiencies in companies such as Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). The strategy is aimed at improving equipment efficiencies and increase productivity through the transfer of certain skills from maintenance personnel to operators. The aim is that the operators perform some of the activities that the maintenance people used to do and they do the more complex tasks. By transferring these skills to operators there is constant cleaning, inspections and lubricating of equipment. This frees up time for maintenance people to do planning and other jobs that require time and higher skills levels. The implementation of these activities allows companies to tap into unused capacity that was always hidden by breakdowns and unplanned stops. The process however requires commitment from management and all stakeholders involved in the organisation. There are prescribed implementation processes that can be followed or companies can follow their own processes but the fundamentals of involving people from the onset must be followed. The involvement of stakeholders creates commitment at all levels and in order to sustain this initiative people must be committed to it. The inclusion of the activities transferred from maintenance people to operators, will reinforce the knowledge and habits required from operators and perhaps sustain the initiative.
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