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Taipei hosts APO workshop on Total Productive Maintenance

13 Nov 2017

Practical steps in TPM were introduced, while showcasing applications from the ROC, Japan, and Malaysia.

In response to member countries’ needs for expanding the applications of fundamental productivity enhancement techniques and understanding their implications in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) organized a workshop on Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) Applications in SMEs in Taipei, 30 October–3 November 2017, in collaboration with the China Productivity Center (CPC).

The five-day workshop was inaugurated by CPC President Dr. Pao-Cheng Chang, while APO Secretariat Industry Department Program Officer Ta-Te Yang delivered the welcome address. The workshop, attended by 15 participants from 13 APO members countries, focused on the concept and major pillars of TPM. It also introduced practical steps in TPM implementation and showcased applications in the Republic of China (ROC), Japan, and Malaysia. Participants were familiarized with the concept and technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how industries in the ROC and Malaysia were responding to this transformation.

TPM is one of the most prevalent management techniques in the manufacturing sector, aimed at increasing efficiency through comprehensive, continuous optimization of production and maintenance with the direct participation and support of the entire workforce. While the concept originated in Japan during the early 1950s as a daily maintenance routine to ensure that plant machinery and equipment were in good condition, it was later expanded to overall business management, incorporating education, training, and management of health, safety, and the environment. It has since been widely adopted in countries with strong manufacturing bases, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

Moving toward the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in which digitization and massive customization play a pivotal role in both manufacturing and customer service, TPM will become even more important as the adoption of cyberphysical systems and customized production requires careful, integrated management of the workforce, equipment, and maintenance. Effective allocation and maintenance of machinery also directly influence the integration and analysis of data collected from equipment and facilities, which is the basis for management and strategic planning in the age of smart manufacturing.

During the APO workshop, delegates visited the newly upgraded intelligent factory of TECO Electric and Machinery, one of the biggest industrial motor and home appliances makers in the ROC, where they observed how performance and efficiency could be raised by combining productivity concepts and digitized automation.

The workshop was conducted by two APO international experts: Productivity Management Office Representative Kazuteru Chinone of Japan; and Catalyst Training and Consultancy Principal Consultant Che Abdul Kadir Abdullah of Malaysia. An expert from the ROC, Chung Yuan Christian University Professor Dr. Tsai-Chi Kuo, also gave participants a detailed overview of strategies adopted by companies in the ROC to upgrade and meet the requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the dynamic digital world.

The APO has been supporting SMEs in achieving excellence in their management and manufacturing capabilities and has conducted numerous training courses, workshops, and videoconference-based e-learning courses in member countries. This workshop was a continuation of those efforts, offering information on time-tested methods for adopting TPM combined with perspectives on how Industry 4.0 could mandate innovations in TPM practices.

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