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The first pillar of the TPM, the Kobetsu Kaizen aims to support a culture of improvement within the teams.


The term Kobetsu Kaizen means targeted continuous improvement. Like Kaizen, Kaizen Kobetsu are events that focus on improving in relation to TPM1.

The first pillar of the TPM to implement, the primary objective of Kobetsu Kaizen is to implement a culture of progress through a simple and pragmatic approach to all teams2.

« The challenge is to focus on simple problems to avoid the accumulation of problems and the synergies of flaws. The multitude of small problems can combine or create problems chain reactions. »3

The Kaizen Kobetsu has the goal of4 :

  • Improve the OEE machine
  • Reduction of releases and retouching
  • Increased reliability of machinery and tools

The stages of a Kaizen Kobetsu project

With the team leader TPM and piloted by the TPM Facilitator, the Kobetsu Kaizen project will take place in 4 stages:

1. Calculate the OEE and deduct the Pareto from the losses.

2. Prioritize problems. In the case of Kobetsu Kaizen, on prioritize5 :

  • Among the 6 Sources of loss, the one related to the machines.
  • Problems whose causes are unique and simple.
  • Depending on their frequency and impact.

3. Follow the process PDCA Problem solving.

4. Value gains and report to the TPM Committee.

The tools of the Kaizen Kobetsu

It focuses on the obvious losses of waste that will not require the implementation of complex tools. We are here rather on the use of simple tools of quality6 :

The role of operators in the Kaizen Kobetsu

They are at the heart of this pillar and must:

  1. Participate actively in all stages of the project
  2. Share experience and remarks
  3. Apply and maintain new standards


1 – A. Sutoova, S. Markulik, M. Solc (2012) – Kobetsu Kaizen – Its value and application

2 – J. Leflar (2001)-Practical TPM

3 – K. Shirose (1996)-TPM-Total Productive Maintenance: New implementation Program in Fabrication and assembly Industries

4 – T. Suzuki (1994)-TPM in Process Industries

5 – K. Suehiro (1987)-Eliminating Minor stops on automated lines

6 – P.M. Charantimah (2011) – Total Quality Management

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