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Advanced Operations Management

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TPM, which stands for total productive maintenance, debuted in 1971 in Japan. This system ensures that industrial machines are available in a better way by a prudent process of utilizing maintenance and production resources. The machine operator undergoes a simple training to be able to execute the basic fault diagnosis and maintenance, as opposed to the majority production firms where the operator is unauthorized to undertake maintenance procedures. This industrial maneuver accelerates problem identification and remedy before further damage is registered to avoid work-related accidents, errors, and losses due to wear and tear. Furthermore, TPM reduces the cost of maintenance, ensures the products consigned to consumers are flawless, and makes it possible for goods to be successfully produced without reducing their quality (An introduction to Total Productive Maintenance).

A popular company, based in the United Kingdom, British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF), has openly admitted using the TPM practices. Effective maintenance strategy emanated from industries, which may suffer from a huge hit when abrupt machine failure is reported. In BPIF, regular basic preventive maintenance procedures on the printers and other electrical machines is necessary. The computer server under no circumstance should be allowed to break down due to malware. The backup electricity generator must be available on a 24/7 basis to ensure that regular power loss does not drag productivity back.

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Nissan is an automotive manufacturing company, which has strived to maintain its dominance, behind Toyota, in producing low cost vehicles, which are usually used by consumers, from developing nations in particular. It employs a total productive maintenance. Nissan monitors vibrations in the gearbox, motor, misalignment, bearing diagnostics and imbalance. Trained operators just use fixed or handheld measuring instruments.

The operators are as good as engineers. In addition, they can carry out oil analysis and crack detection in the factory to ensure that the cars, which will be channeled into the market are reliable. There is nothing worse than a failed engine or any faulty car component because the casualty will be human loss and subsequent loss of product trust from consumers. I mean those handheld measuring instruments among others, which are to be regularly checked and maintained by trained operators to enhance measurement accuracy hence reliability.

The British Printing Industries Federation and Nissan have some similarities in that both use the TPM strategy. The maintenance engineers trust their machine operators to the extent of delegating the whole maintenance burden to them. It induces unusual confidence in the operators who will respond affirmatively towards perfection.

There is, however, a slight difference in the manner in which the total productive maintenance is carried out by each company. The British Printing Industries Federation conducts the TPM activities by a replacement mechanism. Whenever a certain component of a machine is out of order, that component is removed and another one is fixed. There are drivers as well as mechanics to keep a constant supply of products. It will consequentially build reliability and trust in the company.

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To the contrary, Nissan maintenance team composed of the operators and engineers, who focus chiefly on the accuracy of measuring instruments. If gear cutting is done inaccurately, then it will fail.

The molds which make up bearings, the thread cutting lathe machines and thermometers are fixed with perfection to get perfect results because automobile failure is fatal and can claim many lives, unlike a failure observed in a printer. There is no room for mechanical failure as it can destroy reputation of a company.

Reliability is an important aspect of marketing. For Nissan, before the car is introduced to the market, the companys test driver must drive it to its maximum speed, if possible. He is not just a driver, but he will be very keen to ensure that all car parts perform their duties efficiently before recommending it to be released to the market. Why are they doing this? They want to sell fault-free cars to solidify customer trust in their cars. British Printing Industries Federation besides offering printing services, also has mass production of printers for global sales. If these printers are not 100% effective, then sales may go down drastically, which is the last thing any manufacturer would want to experience. Poor product reviews from customers can cause a market nightmare, and what follows? The company will close down.

5S is very effective method of engaging people in the society to make a contribution to the change of culture. It builds an affirmative culture of both workers and customers. 5S is based on tidiness, proper organization and arrangement set up to boost productivity. It is purely visual orientation to instill self-discipline into employees to do their job more appropriately and produce goods of greater quality. This method works on a simple philosophy, If you cannot return a tool to its recommended place, then you cannot follow production standards. I like the way Nissan and BPIF organize the workplace. In fact, a customer who visits these two companies will definitely come again. Looking at everything around and seeing that the work place is in order gives outsiders the impression that, this is a serious team of professionals. 5S is not only applied in production centers but also in courts, colleges, family homes, hotels, etc. It has been institutionalized by default and thus students and professionals are well organized (Bresko).

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