Streamlining Operations

Quality and Productivity Improvement through TPM

Tokyo Electron(TEL) has been implementing company-wide Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) for over 10 years. The purpose of TPM is to eliminate inefficiencies, waste, and loss, and thereby improve productivity. At the same time, it aims to change employees thinking and behavior. The TPM approach plays a role in employee development and has been successfully integrated into our production lines. Promoted in cooperation with design and administration divisions, the synergistic effects improve both quality and productivity. TPM is also being used to improve business process quality between indirect divisions. TPM activities that have produced outstanding results are shared company-wide at the annual TPM presentation, with a Grand Prize and other awards to help motivate employees in their activities. From fiscal year 2016, participants included not only teams from Japanese manufacturing sites, but from our overseas site Tokyo Electron (Kunshan) Limited (established in 2012) as well.

* TPM: Total Productive Maintenance or Total Productive Management

Production Division Initiatives

At Tokyo Electron Miyagi, the standard practice was to hold shipment of the equipment until all component modules were available. Because of this, many of the finished modules had to be kept in the clean room for an extended period, taking up precious production space. Accordingly, the team in Miyagi revised the process management practices during the production planning phase. They adopted a module-based rather than product-based logistics approach, ensuring no deterioration in the quality level. The change allowed the modules to be packaged and shipped as they were finished. At the same time, improvements were made in the loading area layout as well as in shipping list preparation and cargo packaging. This freed up even more production space and improved productivity while reducing lead time. Additionally, the new approaches have made it easier to respond to any changes in specifications that customers might require.

Administrative Division Initiatives

TEL is pursuing TPM not only at its production sites but also in its factory administration and sales departments. As a manufacturer of production equipment, we need to communicate our customers’ technological needs for improving productivity (including system modifications and enhancements) to the Development & Production Division as quickly as possible. This allows us to share the information and respond with actual products. Accordingly, we have established a system capable of processing customer requests within 24 hours of receipt. We have also standardized the system modification formats and request forms in an efforts to remove ambiguity in the requests. This has enabled the departments concerned to share highly specific information and respond more quickly to customer requests. To manage requests for substantial modifications to our equipment, we have also improved the ordering system for products with long lead times to achieve faster delivery.