Keywords: Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Kobetsu Kaizen, Process Industry, comprehensive approach for the deployment of Kobestu-Kaizen Pillar are. Abstract – Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a tool that increases the efficiency and effectiveness of equipment. In. 8 pillars of TPM, Kobetsu Kaizen play a. TPM is implemented in industry for improving production efficiency with an ultimate aim of attaining zero breakdowns, zero losses and zero defects. The purpose.

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It is loosely translated as Self-Improvement or Focussed improvement. It is difficult to find the right meaning for the word Kobetsu. If written in Kana, the meaning would be house-to-house, door-to-door, each house. If written in Kanji, it would represent particular case; discrete; individual; separate etc.

We all are aware that the objective of TPM is Zero stoppages unplanned stoppages. The losses can be classified into two categories — Sporadic and Chronic. Sporadic losses indicate sudden large deviations from the standard. They are immediately addressed and arrested. Chronic problems indicate smaller but frequent deviations from the standards. They are not immediately addressed and gradually we all accept them as a part of the process and start living with those problems.

While the sporadic losses are attacked, the chronic problems that results in loss of performance, quality and productivity does not seem to go away. Under such circumstances, achieving Zero Breakdowns becomes next to impossible. Kunio Shirose defined TPM as not only a set of activities for restoring equipment to optimal conditions but also to create an environment to sustain those conditions. Focused Improvement is the process of applying systematic problem solving methods to manufacturing.

It is all about the focused improvement of not only the equipment but also the processes as to reduce the losses in manufacturing. This is achieved by the collaborative effort of production workers and the maintenance team. The process relies on aligning the correct method to the correct scenario.

When a known solution exists to a problem clearly demonstrated, the rigour and analysis to find this solution becomes unnecessary as the learning from the history can be used to resolve the problem and it is inexpensive to implement.

If such a solution is expensive or difficult to implement, the rigour and analysis of the problem must be improved. The five Gs are Gemba — the real place, Gembutsu — the real tools pertaining to the Gemba, Genjitsu — the real facts which can be obtained only from the Gemba, Genri — that explains the principle of operation and Gensuko — Standardization or Institutionalization. Gemba is a combination of two Japanese words Gem and Ba.

Just as a raised platform draws attention of one and all, the Gemba should draw attention of one and all. Or in other words, Gemba means the real place where the value is added, where the problems are resolved, where the work is happening. The Gemba is the location where the incident actually occurred…. It is especially important for the members of the team that is assigned to resolve the problem.


Everyone needs to have the same perspective and knowledge of the current equipment areas that are being investigated. The use of M or N in Gemba, Gembutsu does not matter considering the phonetic issues.

While at the Gemba, the team should examine the equipment parts and materials that were associated with the problem or the failed equipment.

At times, there could be instances, where the problematic parts would have been removed as to keep the line running even before the team arrives on the Gemba. However, the team should insist on all the parts pertaining to the place for a detailed study which could explain how the failure had happened. Genjitsu refers to Data and Facts around the area of concern.

In this step, the team must gather all the data available about the 4Ms precisely say, process, equipment and materials before and after the condition of the problem. These data will assist the team in linking the facts behind the evidence that the team sees and what had happened.

While collecting the data, ensure the team includes the variable control data from the line, collect the real-facts after having informal chat with the Gemba-owners at the time of the failure or problem occurred.

Genri refers to Principles. Prior to attending to resolve an abnormality or a problem, one should be aware of the principle of operation. This would help the problem-solvers to do the root cause analysis in the right perspective. This is because, knowing the operational principle would help the team discriminate the current condition from the ideal condition. The gaps will be clearly seen without which, at times, the problem-solvers will be groping in dark and could be misled too.

Gensoku refers to Standards and parameters. There could be a possibility that the equipment failed because of deviations from the standards — more importantly the method-standard.


The Gemba-owner might be unaware of the Standard Operating Procedures. The One Point Lessons were not made or not providing clarity. The standard parameter chart was missing and the operator had set wrong parameters. In short, the actions or wrong-actions of the operator might lead to the problem.


Once the problem is resolved, the team should also ensure that the standards are revised accordingly as to prevent the recurrence. The study of Gembutsu and Genjitsu has to be systematic. This has dual benefits, the first one that provides a common methodology across the organisation on how the data and facts are collected, recorded and used in root-cause-problem-solving. This is followed by the 5W1H approach. Ksizen root cause of the problem will be found only when we find the immediate cause.


Let us adapt this 5G approach in our problem solving too.

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While collecting the data, ensure the team includes the variable control data from the line, collect the real-facts after having informal chat with the Gemba-owners at the time of the failure or problem occurred Genri: Taylor and Alan Cay Culler. An answer to curb the effect of recession by Benjamin Franklin. The forgotten Pillar by KII. A Contrast by James P. Must – before you embark on improvement journey by KII.

What the father of “Kaizen” has to say about it? Is it a myth or a reality? Key to drive Kaizen by KII.

Study on the Implementation of Kobetsu Kaizen (KK) Pillar of TPM in a Process Industry

Which one to use? Beyond Housekeeping by KII. Which stage are you at? Often neglected by many by KII. First step towards continual improvement by KII. Its now or never! To laizen sustainable competitive advantage by KII.

An approach to an evolutionary process by KII. Vital to Lean culture by KII. Foundation on which the transformation takes place by KII. To change culture Change habits by KII. Current perceptions in the industry by KII. Employees must be passionate about eliminating mistakes. The missing link of lean by Nidhi Shah. A journey to discover real kaizen by KII. Successful Person by KII. To add value and eliminate Muda by Kaisen.

The boy who learned to swim by KII. Five Guardians by KII. The obstacle in our path by KII. Managing to Learn by Kakzen. Become an adaptive Leader by KII. The bottom up approach for productivity improvement by KII.

Muda walk by KII. Tiger in the toilet by KII. A major driver of Change by KII. How can we change a system or mindset? Break the existing paradigm by Kaizeh.

TPM 8 PILLARS: PILLAR 3 – Kobetsu-Kaizen :

Key to sustained business success by KII. No prior mindset by KII. Save fuel, Save cost by KII. We are great Problem Solvers, But…….

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