Focused Improvement (Kobetsu Kaizen) Pillars in TPM

What is Kobetsu Kaizen (Focused Improvement) Pillar in TPM?

→ Kobetsu Kaizen is one of the most essential pillars of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) Methodology.

→ Kobetsu Kaizen is a Japanese word it means Focused Improvement that means identifying, prioritizing, and eliminating losses.

→ Loss is any kind of waste like a waste of material, money, energy, time, etc.

→ Mainly it focuses on maximizing the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and reducing the transformation cost.

→ Refer to this article for a Detailed Presentation on Kaizen.

→ This pillar is focused on preventing the recurring problems of machine stoppages and failures.

→ As we all know that one of the objectives of TPM is Zero Losses (Breakdowns or unplanned stoppages).

→ So if we need to achieve zero stoppages, we need to eliminate the losses due to Sporadic and Chronic Losses.

→ TPM helps us restore equipment in basic condition like brand new (Refer to the Jishu Hozen Pillar of TPM for detailed Presentation) and sustain this condition.

→ The focused Improvement Pillar is focused on equipment and process improvement activities by reducing various losses.

→ In other words, we can say that Maximizing Equipment Effectiveness by elimination of failures and defects.

→ As per Suzuki, "Focused_Improvement includes all activities that maximize the overall effectiveness of equipment, processes, and plants by eliminating different losses.

→ Refer to this article for a better understanding of "Classification of 16 Production Losses

→ There are three levels of Kaizens: (1) Restoration, (2) Renovation, and (3) Innovation


Three Basic Activities of Kobetsu Kaizen Pillar

→ The three basic improvement activities of the Kobetssu Kaizen are mentioned below.

     ⇢ (1) The equipment is restored to its optimal condition.

     ⇢ (2) Then the equipment's productivity loss causing factors are identified and eliminated

     ⇢ (3) Basis on the learning during the 1st and 2nd step (restoration and elimination of losses) the optimal condition will be maintained till the equipment's designed lifetime.


→ During the restoration and loss elimination activity, we need to focus below things.

     ⇢ (1) 16 Losses in the Production

               ➛ 1. Equipment Failure (Breakdown)

               ➛ 2. Set up & Adjustment

               ➛ 3. Cutting Tool/Blade Change

               ➛ 4. Start-up Loss

               ➛ 5. Minor Stoppage & Idling 

               ➛ 6. Speed Loss

               ➛ 7. Defect & Rework 

               ➛ 8. Shutdown (Planned Maintenance)

               ➛ 9. Management Loss

               ➛ 10. Motion or Operating Motion Loss

               ➛ 11. Line Organization Loss

               ➛ 12. Distribution/Logistic Loss

               ➛ 13. Measurement & Adjustment Loss

               ➛ 14. Energy Loss

               ➛ 15. Consumable Loss

               ➛ 16. Yield Loss

16 Losses of Production


     ⇢ (1) 8 Lean Manufacturing Wastes

               ➛ 1. Transportation

               ➛ 2. Inventory

               ➛ 3. Motion

               ➛ 4. Waiting

               ➛ 5. Overproduction

               ➛ 6. Over-processing

               ➛ 7. Defects

               ➛ 8. Skills sets (non-utilized talent)

8 Lean Manufacturing Wastes


7 Steps Process of Kobetsu Kaizen Pillar

→ The 7 Steps Process for Focused Improvement is explained below.

  • Step 0: Select Improvement Topic
  • Step 1: Understand Situation
  • Step 2: Expose and Eliminate Abnormalities
  • Step 3: Analyze Causes
  • Step 4: Plan Improvements
  • Step 5: Implement Improvements
  • Step 6: Check results
  • Step 7: Consolidate gains

7 Steps of Focused Improvement TPM Pillar

Step_0: Select Improvement Topic

→ Step_0 is the very initial steps of Kobetsu Kaizen activities.

→ A senior person is nominated as the chairman of the pillar.

→ The below activities are included in this step.

     ⇢ (1) Select and note down the topic

     ⇢ (2) Formation of CFT team - This team includes different members from different departments like MD/CEO, Production, Maintenance, System Engineering, Quality Assurance, NPD, Operators, etc.

     ⇢ (3) Activities Planning


Step_1: Understand Situation

→ In Step_1, We need to understand the situation of the detailed process and production floor area.

→ Also for better understanding, we can use various data collection and analysis methods for understanding the ongoing process and its performance.

We can use various methods for process analysis that are mentioned below

     ⇢ VSM Study (Value Stream Mapping Study),

     ⇢ Capacity and Line Balancing Studies

     ⇢ Time and Motion Studies

     ⇢ SMED Analysis


→ The below three key activities are related to this step.

     ⇢ (1) Identify Bottleneck Process

     ⇢ (2) Measurement of Different Losses that are mentioned below

               ➛ 8 Lean Manufacturing Wastes

               ➛ 3M Wastes

               ➛ 6 Big Losses of OEE

               ➛ 16 Major Losses of Production

     ⇢ (3) Setting of Target basis on the Base Line data - Use SMART Goals Method for setting the target.


Step_2: Expose and Eliminate Abnormalities

→ We will identify and eliminate the abnormalities in Step_2.

→ The below key activities are included in this step.

     ⇢ (1) Identification of 7 Types of Abnormalities

     ⇢ (2) Restore Deterioration and Correct the Minor flaws

     ⇢ (3) Establish Basic Equipment Condition


Step_3: Analyze Causes

→ In Step_3, we will analyze the causes that are responsible for the various losses and abnormalities.

→ Below three sub-activities are a very important part of this step.

     ⇢ (1) Stratify and Analyse Causes

     ⇢ (2) Apply analytical techniques for analysis some of the methods are mentioned below

               ➛ Why-Why Analysis,

               ➛ 7 QC Tools,

               ➛ New 7 QC Tools, etc.)

     ⇢ (3) Conduct Various Experiments for solution


Step_4: Plan Improvements

→ Step_4 is related to planning various improvement_activities.

→ We can further divide this improvement activity into below three sub-activities.

     ⇢ (1) Make Improvement_Proposals and Prepare Drawings

     ⇢ (2) Compare Cost Effectiveness and Identify the Optimum Solution

     ⇢ (3) Check for Possible Adverse Effects and Disadvantages


Step_5: Implement Improvements

→ In Step_5, We will implement the various_improvements that are already finalized by the team.

→ We can process this Improvement Implementation Step with the help of the below three sub-tasks.

     ⇢ (1) Implementation of Improvement Plan

     ⇢ (2) Perform various tests and trial runs

     ⇢ (3) Provide training on improved equipment, process, and operating conditions.


Step_6: Check results

→ After implementing the 5 Steps of Focused Improvement (Kobetsu Kaizen) TPM Pillar, now finally we need to check the result of the implemented improvements in Step_6.

→ We need to follow below two sub-activities as a part of result checking

     ⇢ (1) Evaluate results as per the timeline

     ⇢ (2) Check whether targets have been achieved, if not start from Step_3 again


Step_7: Consolidate gains

→ The final step is to consolidate the gains.

→ The below key activities are very important for sustaining the improved condition.

     ⇢ (1) Prepare inspection and work standards

     ⇢ (2) Make drawings and feed information to Development Management Pillar (Early Management of New Equipment)

     ⇢ (3) Train operators and or fitters to sustain the results

Implementation of Focused Improvement Pillars in TPM
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