DPA Helps Aerospace Supplier Ensure Machine Reliability

DPA Helps Aerospace Supplier Ensure Machine Reliability

DPA Success Stories

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) Culture Helps Spot Problems Before They Become Crises

A manufacturer of specialty components wanted to make sure that its molding press equipment will reliably produce a 60% increase in orders from its biggest aviation customer. The company asked Daniel Penn Associates to help it develop a holistic, best practice-based Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) system to help equipment perform at peak levels.


The company’s existing TPM process was out-of-date and under-resourced. The two-employee maintenance department performed all scheduled equipment checks and general repairs for the entire facility, using Excel spreadsheets to track their efforts. Daily operator walkarounds (autonomous maintenance) took place infrequently in only a few areas. DPA also found that no autonomous maintenance or other sophisticated TPM was being performed in the facility’s molding press area.

Although the company’s performance for On-time Delivery and Quality were excellent, the projected increase in production, the age of key equipment and lack of holistic TPM processes posed risks to meet future capacity needs. DPA’s goal: To help the company implement a data-driven maintenance system and philosophy will mitigate that risk without the need for additional capital expenditures on equipment.

Training First

To foster an understanding that total productive maintenance is everyone’s responsibility and kick off the company’s work to adopt a comprehensive TPM system, DPA senior consultant Paul Bourdon provided training and orientation for management and employees. Training sessions drew from best practices of the Japanese Institute of Preventative Maintenance (JIPM), the recognized leader in the world for TPM processes. The sessions helped employees become fluent in prudent TPM philosophies and prepare an employee-led Kaizen team to address the improvement challenges ahead.

Kaizen Teamwork

Efforts focused on the facility’s hydraulic molding presses, which account for 80% of the operation’s production. With management’s support, DPA worked with a team of four employees to conduct the first TPM Kaizen event on one hydraulic molding press that would be used as a model to guide maintenance protocols for other units. They cleaned and inspected for defects, creating a before-and-after scorecard to log and track improvements as they were made. Defects that could be repaired during the event were done and plans were made to address more time-consuming repairs afterward. The team also performed 5S and Lockout-Tagout (LOTO) evaluations of the press area.

Event datasheet to Identify Issues

TPM Initial Evaluation Summary Sheet

Actions and Results

As a result of improvements made in the pilot TPM for the first hydraulic press’ electrical, lubrication, work organization and control procedures, the Kaizen team increased compliance with its TPM scorecard by 48.7%, from 1.78 to 3.47 out of 5. They identified the top five potential failures for the press (hydraulic hoses, heat exchanger, temperature controllers, oil pump and platen heaters), and set up controls protocols and a list of critical spare parts needed to prevent these failures. They created a Kaizen Newspaper to address identified future repair, maintenance, and improvement needs, set a schedule for these actions and assigned team members to implement them.

Overall Accomplishments

The company’s new, robust TPM program will support its efforts to become a Gold Supplier to its major customer. The orientation, training and Kaizen event helped management more efficiently target resources to the ongoing TPM effort. Activities for the first hydraulic mold press are now being rolled out to similar pieces of equipment in the press area. By understanding the most critical downtime issues and setting up a mitigation program, the company is now prepared to meet increased demand.

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