Implementing total productive maintenance in a manufacturing small or medium-sized enterprise

Zhang Tian Xiang, Chin Jeng Feng


Purpose: This paper develops a ‘light’ total productive maintenance (TPM) model suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). By design, the system is rudimentary, using a relatively small sum of capital investment and resources. The model recommends TPM implementation in three stages, namely plan, improve, and sustain.

Design/methodology/approach: The literature review provides the inputs to the model development. Action research is used to demonstrate and verify the effectiveness and practicability of the framework, in an SME manufacturing hydraulic parts in China. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and awareness of employees were studied before and after the implementation. Findings: The case study shows a significantly improved production efficiency of the equipment. The framework structuralizes TPM deployment and binding different levels of the organization into the program, from planning, implementation to sustaining the practices. To break the barrier of shop-floor resistance, the leader must drive many activities unassisted, it, therefore, necessitates an open endorsement of authority by the steering committee composed of top management. The Prudent pilot run of TPM helped to accelerate the implementation at critical equipment, in addition to cultivating experience and hence confidence among staff.

Research limitations/implications: This study provides a pragmatic reference to other researchers and practitioners to promote a light TPM model in SMEs, without losing the essence of TPM. Being action research with the case study in a specific manufacturing industry, the resultant evidence, therefore, is anecdotal.

Originality/value: The model adopts a phased method to implement TPM, without aggravating the financial and human resource burden of the enterprise. It promotes the cultivation of employees’ TPM awareness and active involvement, which can lay a solid foundation for the wide implementation of TPM in SMEs.


Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)

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Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2023

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience