TPM & TWI: the perfect marriage in the food sector

With the, often high, investment in a new machine, there is a temptation to think that it can do without maintenance for a while. In the stress of getting the machine up and running as quickly as possible, people sometimes neglect to set up a proper maintenance schedule. Did the project engineer involve the technical department in this? Or is the technician on his own during the first outage on the weekend after completion? And besides the mechanic, there is another person who sees, hears, smells and feels all deviations on the machine day in and day out: the operator. Does it get all the room it needs to do its own inspections and minor maintenance.

Recognizable situation? The demand for your products is growing and the machinery was too outdated and unreliable to keep up with production growth. You have invested a lot in new machines with extra capacity. Routine manual work is simultaneously automated in this process. But looking at the monthly reports, you find that it is still difficult to deliver on time, the OEE is not at the desired level and maintenance costs have not decreased either, despite state-of-the-art machinery.


Good ownership has a number of prerequisites

Unfortunately, we encounter the situation outlined above all too often. Much effort has been made, but the expected result is not forthcoming. What we often see then is the lack of proper ownership. Good ownership is an important foundation for a successful Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) implementation. A good maintenance strategy hinges on employee involvement.

Good ownership has 3 important prerequisites, knowing, being able and wanting. A powerful method that fits this perfectly is “Training Within Industry” (TWI). TWI is a practical approach to establishing and maintaining Standardized Work. A characteristic of the approach is to show the task in several steps and have the trainee perform it in several steps. TWI has a long history of success within both industrial and transactional environments and is an essential element within Lean and continuous improvement programs. TWI generates cooperation and positive labor relations; it teaches supervisors how to train employees quickly and properly; and it is used to solve problems quickly and efficiently.


Good ownership: knowing

In any work environment, it is crucial to work to the agreed upon standard. This applies both to the execution of operational work and maintenance work. In case of deviations, one then always goes back to the standard: was the standard there?; was the standard current?; was the standard followed? But suppose the most current standard was there, and the employee had also read through it extensively. So where is there room for improvement? Finally, we have another, less influential factor: people. With easy-to-read standards, visual aids and indicators, we try as best we can to prevent mistakes from being made, but human error can still occur.

“Without a standard, there is no logical basis for making a decision or taking an action.”

Joseph Juran

To ensure that (new) employees can work as well as possible according to the (new) standard and thus also make as few mistakes as possible, we apply TWI. Within TWI, a task analysis sheet is used where a task is instructed through repetitions in up to 8 steps. Several case studies show that with TWI, training time is reduced by 60-80%, and human error is reduced by 90%.


Good ownership: being able

New machinery and a modified process also requires new training for your employees. Employees are given responsibility for machines that often cost several tons. Explaining what the buttons on the machine are for only during delivery is not going to work. Are employees really aware of how the system works, and the “why” of the actions?

TWI can then be used to set up and quickly teach standard work in the event of (sudden) work adjustment or capacity expansion. This could include using a flexible shell to handle peaks in production. Through TWI, the standard of some basic and/or critical tasks is established and taught to the flex workers.


Good ownership: wanting

Do you also notice when you do your rounds in production, how eagerly operators tell you what ideas they have for improvement? But do you also notice the frustration when these ideas remain dormant and are not implemented? We often see a lack of proper communication structure for problem solving. Please agree among yourselves on who has what responsibility regarding reporting and resolving issues, how these items will be followed up and how these items should be escalated if issues are too complex to resolve immediately. Short, connected, standing consultations based on facts and KPIs (using Short Interval Management) are a powerful tool in this regard. The defects found during daily operations or during maintenance work are then quickly fixed root by root.


In conclusion

Wondering how your organization, too, can achieve higher returns? Then make a no-obligation appointment, by phone or using the form below, and inquire about our in-company TPM training or open TWI training with hands-on guidance. A short scan with savings potential is also possible!

This blog was written by our consultants Arnold Verhagen and David van Eekhout.

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