All Suiker Unie’s production sites work with the Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) improvement programme. This way of working prevents losses and promotes efficiency and collaboration. Operators, engineers and their managers work together to share know-how and best practices within and among the sites.
TPM increases involvement and team spirit. Problems are solved not from the top but by the people who are directly involved. Local teams set their own goals, and they cannot achieve them if they don’t work together. TPM also encourages our people to come up with ideas for improvements. By ‘owning’ their machines and production lines, the staff get more satisfaction from their work.
All the factories have seen their efforts crowned with a TPM Excellence Award, Category A. Steps are now being taken to integrate TPM into the central processes and activities.
'TPM is a fast track towards self-development’
Hans Rens, team leader Technical Support and TPM coordinator at Specialiteiten Roosendaal
'For me, TPM means developing employees or groups of them so that they gain more insight in their work. This means that relative to their work, they view it in a different way, understand it better, and enjoy it more. Ultimately, this results in increased efficiency and a factory that runs more smoothly.'
'You can see the difference between an ordinary employee and a TPM employee straight away. The former does whatever he or she is told. But a TPM employee thinks about why things have to be done in a particular way and proposes improvements.'
'TPM is one of the fastest ways to change your mindset and embrace entrepreneurship and self-development. That’s because it’s done hands-on with the people in the workplace and not on the computer.'
'I like to explain the comprehensive improvement programme with a small example. Suppose there are three workplaces located twenty metres from each other. They need one 17mm and one 19mm open-end wrench. If you can standardize that to one size and you offer this open-end wrench to each location, the employees won’t have to search and walk so much. That’s me looking at the world from a TPM viewpoint, which has become second nature to me.'
'I supervise people in TPM and help Management to coach employees or groups of employees. For example, I organize days on which groups are given the chance to improve their work situation. It’s very rewarding work when you see how people change for the better. It gives you a really good feeling.'