Toyota is currently the worlds main car producer, producing consistent higher performing and less expensive cars than any of the main American brands. How do they obtain this commentable feat? Is there some secret sauce to their formulation?

Nicely, yes, there is some secret sauce. However it is not so secret - it's actually pretty nicely documented. It is called the Toyota Manufacturing System, and I would like to explain a bit about it today.

TPS is a fully built-in socio-technical system comprising of it's management principles, firm philosophy, and manufacturing practices. Initially often called "just in time" (or JIT), it draws upon the work of the founders of Toyota, his son, and an engineer - which in turn drew their inspiration from Henry Ford. The Toyota workers came to America to watch the Ford manufacturing strategies, but had been decidedly unimpressed with the whole operation. From that experience, and observations of an automatic drink resupply system within the supermarket, they formed the principles of TPS.

The target of TPS is to reduce waste, inconsistency, and overburden. These are embodies in the Japanese terms muda, mura, and muri. The process should deliver the required results smoothly - with out inconsistencies; while being as flexible as crucial with out overburdening the employees, which would result in waste.

What is waste as addressed by TPS? 7 sorts have been identified:

Overproduction
Motion (of man or machine)
Ready (of man or machine)
Conveyance
Processing itself
Inventory (uncooked materials)
Correction (rework and scrap)

The bodily cost of correcting defective merchandise or disposing of them is obvious, but the remaining might have explaining. Movement waste might seek advice from additional actions required on the part of the assembly line employee who must physically carry items from one machine to a different - which could possibly be reduced by connecting the machines. Ready waste refers back to the time when one machine lies unused, because it is nonetheless "waiting" for one more process in the manufacturing line to finish - you may't put the lights on the automotive until the paint has dried, for instance. Wastage of uncooked materials can happen because the design of the machine is such that it requires 1m squared of metal to chop a single 50cm squared shape - with correct designing, these could mixed into 1 larger sheet with less waste cut.

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