TPM Project in Polyurethane Foam Production

Case Study

TPM Project in Polyurethane Foam Production


The Company

The company has been a prominent manufacturer of flexible polyurethane foams since the 1970s. With over 40 years of experience, it has grown significantly, expanding its operations and establishing itself as a leader. Production primarily caters to the furniture sector, with products widely used in various daily applications. The company values its operations’ efficiency, safety, and sustainability, holding rigorous quality and environmental certifications.

The Challenge

The company faced several challenges in its manufacturing processes. The maintenance strategy was ineffective, relying on a single technician with plans based on time cycles instead of usage, wear, and chemical exposure cycles. This resulted in recurring issues such as spills, leaks, and breakdowns, leading to a loss of raw material value and reduced production availability. Consequently, the worn-out equipment affected performance and led to frequent breakdowns.

Additionally, chemical contamination of raw materials, exacerbated by a lack of operator training, contributed to quality and efficiency problems. These challenges led to inefficiencies and high operational costs, negatively impacting the company’s productivity and overall performance.

The Approach

To address these challenges, the company implemented a Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) project with a comprehensive strategy, including the following actions:

  1. Equipment Reconditioning: Returning equipment to its original manufacturing conditions to ensure better performance.
  2. Structured Problem Solving: Focusing on eliminating contamination root causes.
  3. Implement Visual Management and Maintenance Standards: Organizing workspaces and digitizing routes, routines, and maintenance instructions.
  4. Operator Training: Educating operators on basic maintenance standards and procedures.
  5. Daily Kaizen Implementation: Promoting continuous improvement and encouraging operators to identify problems daily and propose immediate solutions.
  6. Standardize Lubricants and Visual Management: Introducing maintenance carts with tools, standards, and lubricants.
Example of lubricant standardization

7. Kaizen Events:

  • Autonomous Maintenance: Introducing autonomous maintenance activities enables operators to perform basic maintenance tasks.
 support framework for autonomous maintenance
  • Eliminate Contamination Sources: Implement actions to eliminate contamination and facilitate maintenance.
  • Standardization: Create and implement standards for lubricants and autonomous maintenance routes.
  • Visual Management: Identify and standardize critical maintenance points using visual symbols and standard colors.
Skills Matrix with Integrated Training Plan

The Results

The TPM project generated substantial benefits. The Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) increased from 18 to 38 hours, while the number of monthly breakdowns was reduced from 18 to 4.

Equipment availability rose from 67% to 80%, and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) significantly improved. Additionally, yearly savings were significant and did not require additional investment. These results demonstrate TPM’s effectiveness in improving the company’s maintenance and operational efficiency, fostering a continuous improvement culture and creating a better organized and productive work environment.

Results of implemented actions

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