11 October 2017
by Tetra Pak Editorial Team
Generating less waste. Increasing efficiency. Decreasing downtime. Ensuring quality and safety. These are universal goals of today’s food and beverage processing plants. Some companies are turning to the Total Productive Maintenance Methodology, or TPM, to achieve these goals and more.
What is it and what value does it bring?
TPM is not new. On the contrary, it was developed by the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance in the second half of the 20th century. It is, however, still not widely implemented in the food industry despite its tangible benefits. The TPM methodology is based on the concept of continuous improvement and takes a holistic, operations-wide approach to maximize productivity by systematically reducing waste and losses.  

Striving to maximize its plant’s output and overall efficiency, Tetra Pak has implemented TPM in its factories globally since the early 2000’s. Today, the methodology is engrained in the company’s way of working, shaping the personnel mindset to always look one step ahead and identify potential risks, anticipate issues and take preventive actions.
Drawing from this extensive experience, Tetra Pak started to help its customers through the TPM journey. Tetra Pak’s Expert Services team worked with a tomato puree producer in North America to implement TPM with positive, measurable results:
  • 10% increase in Production Time Utilization (PTU)
  • 35% reduction in packaging material waste
  • 35% reduction in set-up time

How does it work?

The TPM methodology drives continuous improvement, which means systematically measuring performance, benchmarking and closing gaps for optimized output. It is built on eight pillars with each pillar representing a cross-functional team focused on a specific management subject. These teams become centers of knowledge that identify and eliminate losses, train and give support to improvement teams as well as help the company reach its goals.
Once all parts of TPM are in motion, it’s important to continue to encourage these behaviors at every level of the organization and continue the positive momentum. TPM is as much about a culture change as it is a change in how an operations are performed.
The next article in this series will further explore the most pressing questions from those interested in implementing TPM and focus on how company culture must change to ensure TPM remains in place long term.
To learn more about TPM, consider attending the webinar “Total Productive Maintenance, Strategies to Improve Your Food and Beverage Operations” on October 31st at 10 am CST. You can register here.


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