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CHAPTER1 The History of Maintenance

Maintenance in History Since the beginning of time, humans have always felt the need for the maintenance of their equipment, even the most rudimentary tools. Most of the failures experienced have been a result of abuse, as it sometimes still happens. First, they would do maintenance only when it was no longer possible to run it. That was called Breakdown or Reactive Maintenance. It was until 1950 that some groups of Japanese engineers started a new concept in maintenance that consisted on following the manufacturers recommendations about the care that should be taken in the operation and maintenance of the machines and devices. That new trend was called Preventive Maintenance. As a result, plant managers were encouraged to have their supervisors, mechanics, electricians and other specialists, develop programs for lubricating and making key observations to prevent damages of the equipment.

Although it helped reduce down-time, it was an expensive alternative. The reason: Many parts were replaced on a time-basis, while they could've lasted longer. Also many unnecessary man-hours were put into it and in not few cases excess lubrication caused more damage than good. The times and needs changed, in 1960 new concepts were established, Productive Maintenance was the name for the new trend which determined a more professional approach. The assignment of a higher responsibility to all the people related to maintenance consisted of a series of considerations about the reliability and design of the equipment and the plant itself. The change was so profound that the term Maintenance was changed to Plant Engineering and the tasks to be performed, included a higher understanding of the reliability of each element of the machines and installations in general.

Just a decade later, the globalization of the marketplace created new, stronger needs for excellence in all activities. The World-Class standards In terms of equipment maintenance were understood, a dynamic system was created. TPM, is a continuous improvement concept that has proven to be effective, first in Japan and now back in America (where the concept was first created). It is about the involvement and participation of each and everyone of the members in the organization towards optimizing the outcome of each piece of equipment. This is a completely new philosophy, a different approach that will keep updated by itself. It implies a continuous improvement in all aspects and is called TPM. As we stated in the Definition, TPM stands for Total Productive Maintenance and may also for Total Participation Maintenance.

The purpose is to transform the attitude of all the members of the industrial community, all kinds and levels of workers, operators, supervisors, engineers, administrators are included in this major responsibility. TPM implementation is a goal that we all share. It also generates benefits for all of us. Through this effort, we all are responsible for the up-keeping of the equipment. It becomes more productive, safer and easier to operate and even looks nicer. The participation of people who are not familiar with the equipment and its operation, enriches the results because their observations are in many cases more objective than those of the people who live with the equipment in a daily basis.