Indian Process Industry: Using TPM Methodology for Sustainable Profit Growth

20 Jul 2021

Introduced in the year 1969 in Nippon Denso, Japan, the primary focus of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is to establish the concept of Zero Failure of Equipment extending to Production Efficiency Enhancement.

Adopted in 1991 by the Cement Industry in India, CII in collaboration with Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM) created a focused CII TPM Club in the CII Institute of Quality to propagate and support the Indian Industry.

The Industries are classified in to 4 types:

  • Continuous Process Industry – Cement, Paper, Chemical and Petroleum products
  • Engineering Industry –All auto sector
  • Batch Process Industry – Sugar, Abrasive, Food and Agri
  • Job Shop Industry – Tool manufacturing

Of these types, both the Batch process and the Continuous process industries are unique, in the sense that, the business challenges of raw material availability, Raw material price, raw material yield, the operating style, Losses inside the plant, people knowledge, power consumption. In process industry, types of defects are totally different from the other type of industries. Also, in the scope for improvement in profitability i.e. the possibility of achieving exponential growth is very high.

The Process Industry by nature has following features wherein,

  • Production is continuous.
  • Process is more important than the individual equipment.
  • Property of the material being handled is complex.
  • Large amount of energy is used.
  • The operators need to control a wide range of parameters and equipment.


The entire plant has so many varieties of process like evaporation, crystallization, distillation, refining and furnaces which has both the static and rotary equipment. The Breakdown Maintenance of such equipment is almost 7 to 10 % of the overall down time, Preventive maintenance which again contributes to another 10 to 12 % of the down time and Shut down maintenance is another very big challenge.

The automated controls or manual, potential for accidents in the plant, transfer of materials, are critical issues. Above all, maintaining the standby equipment is a major area of challenge, due to unexpected failures, the process industries are forced to have the ratio of almost 1:1 in the standby equipment, because of which the maintenance cost also is very high.

The loss due to not operating the process to the recommended speed due to various reasons starting from the variation in the skill level of people, raw material availability is again a major challenge.

There are industries, where the reprocessing of defective products is possible. But the loss to the company incurred because of any reprocess is 7 times higher than the normal production cost.

Almost in every process industry, there is a loss in profit of almost .25 – .3 % loss in the profit is faced.


The common abnormalities like, Leakage, spillage, flying, blockage, clogging, rapture, cracking, corrosion, wear, distortion, burning, short circuiting, faulty insulation, mis-operation and overheating are to be given top most priority, because the amount of time, energy and the cost required to resume the operation is very huge.

Focus – As Way Forward

With all these difficulties, the process industries need to focus and achieve the objectives of:

  • More Number of Operating Days
  • Least Cost Manufacturing

For achieving this, the focus should be on the people working in the plant, Plant machinery, Material being used, and the Method of operation to name a few focus areas. Both the Raw material related issues and the machine maintenance put together, has the huge potential of almost 25 – 27 % of improvement.

Current Status

To face the challenges and make profit in business, some of the industries are changing the business module of refining the Top down approach, where, they are focusing on various strategies like

  • Raw Material Strategy
  • HR Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • New Product Development Strategy
  • Manufacturing Strategy

Many of the Large industries have also started focusing parallelly on the entire supply chain for exponential benefits.

Apart from the consultancy services and the tools usage, the input given by the assessors from CII IQ TPM Club of India and JIPM has also been adding good amount of improvement in the business results.

With respect to the measurables in TPM, the indicative results achieved by the Process Industries adopting TPM is as follows. The following graphs have been prepared collating data of the CII IQ TPM Club Client companies over the 4-5 years of their TPM journey. Most of these companies have also won the prestigious JIPM Awards and are constantly expanding their markets not only domestically but also overseas.

Opportunities –Potential for Indian Companies:

Out of the total number of Process Industries including Chemical Industry in India, approximately 1% of the industry is actively adopting and benefitting from TPM. The scope for business improvement for India is huge if even 10% of the industries start this practice year on year. This can only happen if the Top Management drives this initiative wholeheartedly with a definite strategic plan for 3-4 years for driving it internally and externally with supply chain partners.

This blog has been contributed by Mr P M Janangiraman, Principal Counsellor – TPM, CII Institute of Quality.

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