Strategos Lean Briefing

The Newsletter of Lean Manufacturing Strategy
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06 January 2009      

The Central Problem of Maintenance:

The cost of doing it well is accurate and obvious.
The cost of doing it poorly is fuzzy and hidden.

Doing maintenance well includes activities such as servicing, checking, replacing components before failure, keeping accurate records and stocking spare parts. These costs are recorded accurately and presented regularly in the financials. 

The cost of poor maintenance is in surprise breakdowns, cascading failures, slow output, difficult setups, defects, frustration, chaos, excess inventory and general commotion.  These costs are buried in overhead and "efficiency'" They are hidden but very real--and very large.

Management neglect often results. Poor maintenance is also a roadblock to Lean Manufacturing. Lean requires the predictability of machines that are ready to perform, quality-capable and easy to setup.

The "Lean" answer is Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). TPM uses proven tools and techniques in a self-reinforcing system where the various parts integrate with each other as well as with the larger Lean system.

TPM In A Nutshell

Our new web pages explain TPM from a practical perspective, but one that includes the dynamic and socio-technical effects. TPM is more than a list of techniques or a sketch of the Parthenon. It is the "system effects" that really make it work. You may download this series as a free, printer-friendly pdf file.

I am particularly interested in reader reaction to "TPM In A Nutshell." this graphic depicts many aspects of TPM and their interactions in a succinct, memorable and understandable way. You may download "TPM In A Nutshell" as high-resolution BMP file for posters or training.

I hope that you find this new material useful. Please consider it a work-in-progress that we intend to expand and elaborate on in the coming weeks.

All this will be discussed in an upcoming teleconference I am presenting for Lorman Education on 15 JAN. Click Here for information and enrollment.

Best Wishes for the New Year,

Quarterman Lee

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Guide to Cycle Counting

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