in time
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The Toyota Production System
Toyota Motor Corporation @EJ
Tnlernational R.hlic Alfairs Division OperaGons Mamgemetd Consultillg Division


The Toyota Production System
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..,...,............. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .vii Introduction: Productivity, Quality. .. And Destiny



Taking Our- Destiny into Our Own Hands ............................................................................. .2 For Suppliers: I3cncfit or Bu rdcn? ......................................................................................... 3 A Historical Perspective on the Toyota Production System ................................... . .............. .4 For Employees: Stimulating or Stressful?
. .............................................................................7


Part 1: Jidoka . Building Quality into the Production Processes ...................................................................

10 What’s in a Name--&Ma.. ..................................................................................................16

Part 2: Just-in-lime Production l Drafting and implementing Production Plalls...................................................................... 18 l Distributing Work Intelligently and El’ficiently: fLziju&a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20












Quality and produclivity. Those themes al-e central issues for companies in every manufacturing industry. And lhe key 10 maximizing quality and produclivily lies in tapping the innate judgment and cr’calivity of employees in the workplace. That is why we at Toyota have devoted oursclvcs to developing systems and equipment that encourage employees lo take lhe irlilialive in identif@ng and implementing bcttcr ways of doing things. This book describes the production s,yslern lhat has I’esullccl Irwu our elr’o1-1s. Our hope is thal anyone with an interest in manufacturing will find somelhing of inter-est to them on these pages. Readers should bear in mind a couple of important considerations. One is the book’s narrow focus on mauulacluring. The Toyota PI-oduction Syslem actually extends bar beyond the lact0rj4t shapes and streamlines activity in distribulion, marketing, and administration. as well as in rrranufaclul-iog. In the interests of clarity, however, we have opled to concentl-ate on the role of the system in and between nianufaclut-ing racililics.

Producrion Syskm is a conlinuously cvolvillg syslcn~.

The methods and practices described on the rollwing pages arc rcprcscnlalive d he SYS~III at hc Lillrc VI this wl-iling. But we continue to modil~ them in response to changes in circumstnnccs. while remaining faithltil lo the lilndan~ental principles or the Toyola Production System. Today, the production system that WC have worked so hatcl to build at Toyota has bccomc the subject ul attention in induslries besides automobiles and in nations besides Japan. We and many of OUI suppliers have implemented the system successlully wound the world; pkmls produce Toyota vehicles al some 30 sites in more 11~1 20 nations besides Japan. The Toyota I’!-oduclion System, wc belicvc, has a contribution lo make to indusll-ial vitality in evq country, if companies make the effort. lo adapt il lo local cil-cumslanccs and values. Al lhc same tillw, lllc syslem itself benefits from crealivc interaction with a growing range of participants. Renders, lhct-&l-e, should legal-d this book as an inicvim repo~‘l--a progl-css 1cp0tt, iryou ~ill--o~l IIIC ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ()r olll pl~orluclioll syslcnl. Apt-i1 lYY2

. Quality. And Destiny l l l Taking Our Destiny into Our Own Hands For Suppliers: Benefit or Burden? A Historical Perspective on the Toyota Production System For Employees: Stimulating or Stressful? l ..Introduction Productivity.

since the short leutl times of the Toyola ProducLion Syslcm cnahlc lhwi lo respond immctlialely lo market ~tends and IO tl-anslale demand CW~W~IlC quickly inlo revenues. Employees.ways 10 do Il. maintaining viability in difficult limes. meanwhile. destiny rhc system minimizes lhc effect of 11wt persorwl slumping demand on prolitahility. At the same time. Employees that participate in the system discover the satisfaction ofdesiguing their own jobs and ma. Job satisfaclion is a matter 01 having opporlunilies 10 exercise creaGty.yccs IO 1ry 10 rind IXllCl. since it fd/illnterz~ provitlcs IOr holding 170 more inventol~ at any time than the companies need to hll cxisling orders. In sluggish markets. People enjoy [heir work when il involves tlying ou( .lo. harbor creativity and immense polential For ideas--&en much more than even rhey !hemselves realize. Co~poratc vitality improves when companies use the Toyota I’wcluction System. That is because the system cl~anncls clIol7 and material efficiently into salisfying real customer tlcmand and because il molivales un~(. maintaining prufitahility in good and average business environmenls.naging their own work. The cornpanics thrive in vigorous markeks.uir. the system Lnslers a versntility in the workplace Ihal enhances manufaclurers’ responsiveness LO the growing diversity in demand.Taking Our Destiny into Our Own Hands Companies that irnplenzent the Toyota Production System become better able to cope with changing business conditions.jol~s.

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He propagated that system at Toyota and throilgh0ut the r~~an~llact~~ring sector. we end /he /iNrlA!r 11. Japanese manui~ctlIrers-including the nation’s llctlgling :~~~~(~m:lltcrs~-~-wcr-c quick IO huiltl their own convcyo~~-hascd nsscmhly lines. Sakiclri invented a loom in 1902 that would stop automatically if any or the threads snapped. Rut economic and industrial circtrmstances obliged Toyota to develop original ways of implementing M I: Ford> ideas.y lint. nthenuise. Snkichi Toyoda instilled in Toyota the concept that wc must invest machines with a humanlike intelligence. Kiichiro nurtured the ideas that became the other main pillar of the Toyota Production System: the jut-in-time formal. The conveyor system that Hcnty Ford established in the Unilcd States inaugurated the era or mass production. But Japancsc demand l’or automobiles in the 1930s. Management at Toyota rccngnixd that they would have to fincl ways to achicvc tllosc ccononiies with small volm~ies ol the tw6 main pillars oTthe Toyota Production System as jihkn. . Ford’s assembl. no company could expect IO sulvivc long in modern industry without salting advantage 01‘1hc new production i.jidoka and IIIC . That was the beginning ofjidoka. Taiichi Ohno was the Toyota engineer.could handle dozens of looms. Kiichiro Toyoda. Only il: machines have inttilligcnt A lrrslirlfi limctions-jidoka--can we I-eally get them CoiI~ri~Lllioll l?Y to do ijsehll work for us.echnologies-as upiiomizerl by MI-. as in the United States. was hardly enough lo support tllc scale economics 01‘ mass pl-oductinn. hecamc Toyota Motor Colpor‘ation.s. established tlx company that. when Toyota started malting c:t~. His son.who incorpoatcrl . His invention opened the way for automated loomworks whcrc a single operatot.just-in-time rormat in automobile production as tlx Toyota Production System.A Historical Perspective on the Toyota Production System Henry Ford? assembly line became the basis for modem uutomobile manufucturin~g in Japan. A[Ic~ that.’ serving tllc ni.lclrincs.

Tllc rollowing line would come and choose lhe items it needed and only Ll~osc ilctns. I’roduclion and Lmr~spot-1 1ook place sinrLtl1ancoLtsly and synchronously throughout 1he produc1ion sequence-in all the processes and between 1hem. and hc gels credit l’ot- coining that mtne “jusl iti lime. This Ibrtnat. I( conltxlctl with conventional push systems.y scqt. TIE principle orjitloka is cvitlen1 loday on evety production line and in nearly every tnachine 1hat we use in the Toyota Production Syslem.Ilrtones that the following line Ilad selwled. each process produced only the kinds and quantities oI‘ items that ihe nex1 pt-ocess in the sequence needed and only when it ncctlcd them.~c~n~cnl itvllls lot. Ohno admit-cd (hc way ~hc supct-mal-kcts suppliccl tncrchandisc in a simple. but people and itlcluslty nccdcd v&i&s dcspct~atcly. was the supermat-ket.srr/Je1-?71n&/ . Japan did not leave nrany scll~sct~~icc stores ye1.tssctul)l. since a loom would no1 go on pt-educing impel-fcc1 I’ahric and using up Lhtxxcl allcr a problem occurred. His mosl impot-tall1 discovery in LhnL nation. But that was a luxury that manufactu~-eln in Japan could hardly T/w origin of actorcl. Ho had cnch line art-ay its diverse oulput Ibr lhe lollowing lint 10 choose I’rom. Kiichiro 1hus laid 1he groundwol-k lix just-irl-titne produclion managcmcnt.Slalcs iulcl l5tropc. automaket-s maintained XII-plus invcniurics along their production lines.1llatt c\‘ct‘ I’IXIIII real mass production or automobiles. litneiy mannct-. and Ohno was impt-essecl. pt-ovidhg the clirl’el-en1 processes in 1lle .II [he way customers chose exactly wlra~ ~hcy wanted and in Lhe quanlilies lha1 thq \vanlcd. Ohno often described his producrion system in 1ctms oI lhc American supermarket. In his system. bu1 automakers faced demand tha1 was bccomitlg increasingly diverse. and .sl1el/’ In later years. dt-iven by the needs of 1he lollowing lines. which wcrc driven by 111~ output pt-eceding lines. When 1he Toyota Group set up an automobilcmanufac1uring opcrarion in 1he 193Os. Kiichiro Toyoda inherited the challenge of adapting Plenty Ford’s conveyor syslcm lo 1he modest realities 01 lhc Japancsc market. Olm0 dc~cl~pcd it nutttbcr of h d . howcvcr.cd \villt autontobile oulpul in Lhc Unilctl .hcm. as well as slreamlining operations. He n~atvcIcd . c~)mpat. Kiichit-0 conceived an idea ht. Mass produclion rcquircd manulacturet-s to keep the sleps in the production sequence sitpplicd with a jwl-ill-time protlLrcliurt diversity olpatls. Ovctxll pt-otlttclion voluttlc was slill tiny.I vcs. An entire line would grind Lo a halt if cmployccs ran out of nccdcd patIs al any slcp in lhe sequence.tctm will1 only llic kinds and quanlilics 01 itetns iltat 1hey necdcd and only when 1hcy needed I. Taiiclii Ohno was in chat-gc n Ittncltining shop :II ToyoLa. And cxh line bccamc a supct-mat-kct lot. then. el’licienl.eeded ilenls in it limclv m:lntlcI. Me raised pt-oduclivily in his shop I>y buildittg on the pl-inciples orjidoka.Jidoka reduced clclec1s and raised yicltls.” Al’1cr Wot-Id Wat. Japan was IUt~ltct. Ille . And hc sc( up each line in his shop 10 pt-educe n.411 itletr ofl. To prevent shortages and avoid wet-k stoppages.tndisc on supct~~n:tt-<cl 5I IC. So.the Iollowitlg litlc. ICaclt littc became the cust0mer the prccctling lint. given their tiny volumes ol: production. was a pull system. like ~n1ct~cl1. And 111~ pt’cccrling litlc would protlucc only Ihc rcpI.II. Olmo traveled 10 1hc‘ Unilcd Slalcs in I956 and lout-ed automobile plants thcrc.

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The Toyola Protl~lclion Syslcm. 100. is a conlinuing slory. lhcrc~orc.of independenl suppliers. are theircountcrparls al a growing number. Employees al Toyola operalions in Japan pl-oposed nearly Iwo million improvcmcnLs in IWO. So. Employees at Toyota operations outside J~apan are equally aclivc in finding ways IO imptemen~ ~hc Tnyo~a Protluclion Syswm more el’licienlly.And lhe progress continues. It remains a sloty OF employees designing their own jobs. it is a stoly of companics and individuals taking their deslinies into their own hands. and lhc employees implcmcn~ed 97% or their proposals. And more than ever. II is slit1 a sloly of advances in produclivily and quality. .

. l .

is ihe way it changes the nalure olline A lrr~rtrrrrrirfic m3nagcment: it eliminates the need Tar an n~‘~‘rOo”ll lo lll.2 llLIulc1ltoperalol~ “1‘ opwa1ors lo wa1ch ““CI’ CXll imclrirzc Imachine continuoLlsly-since the irzlerfirce machines stop automatically when abnormalities occu-and thel-eforc opens the way to major gains in pl-oductivity. though. Th. lxenkdowns.atlvantage ofjidoka is that it illuminates the causes of pl-oblems by stopping the equipment exactly as it is when a problem i%st occurs and by calling aI tcnlion to Ihc problem immcdiaicl. Anotl~e~. since the equipment stops beli)~-e problems become serious.y with a signal lamp or some other kind ol indicator. . and they do not feed defective items to the following processes.Building Quality into the Production Processes Production machines at Toyota stop automatically when an abnormality occurs. I’el-Ilaps the most funrlamcntal effect ol:jidoka.ey do not waste material on a series of defective items.

That is because all the job sites on the line process their work in synchrony with eactl other. In most cases. the supervisor pulls Ihe rope to prevent the line from stoppirly-if iI has not already reached the fixed positiorl--or to put it back in motion We have two important reasons for keeping the line moving until the next fixed position after a worker pulls on the rope overhead to indicate a problem. If they do need more time to resolve the problem.0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 The “fixed-position stop system” is a classic example of jidoka. In that system. I I . and the line stops when it reaches the next “fixed position”-the point at the end of one complete job. stopping the line at the fixed position minimizes the disruption for the joh sites along the line. Pulling on the rope or pushing the button lights a nutnbered lamp on a large andon siynboard immediately to call (he supervisor’s attention to the problem. a worker anywhere on the assembly line who notices an abnormality can stop the production flow by pulling on a rope overhead or by pushing a button. and the fixed position is a point where workers at each job site are between steps in their work. The supervisor rushes to the station indicated on the signboard and helps correct the problem When the problerrl has been resolved. that leaves enough time for the supervisor and workers to resolve the problem before the line comes to a halt. We thus avoid the errors and quality problelns that happen all too easily when interruptions occur in the midst of work.

A numbered lamp on Ihis andon Itghts when an employee at the machining shop. . In this case.Examples of Andon Signboards This andon is for a chassis line where people use semiautomatic machinery to handle most ! ol the assembly work. the numbered lamps on the andon go on when automatic L_~r~~~~~~~in the equipment detect a problem.

~~~~ ~~_.~_. j Andon typify the principle of “visual control. It displ”y in Illis photo--at many Toyota suppliers to remind employees of the proper procedures for handling each kind of work. Every vehicle on the assembly line carries sheets that display prominently all the relevant information about that vehicle’s specifications. They also must have immediate and easy access to all the information about the proper procedures for all the work that takes place at each site. People working on any part of the vehicle can see and reconlirm easily what procedures and .. Employees and supervisors should be able to grasp at a glance the state of production in and around their worksite..” which is crucial to jidoka and to every aspect of the Toyota Production System.Visual Control ..

Fail-safe lealures are essential to jidoka. - h . Before Kaizen After Kaizen Jidoka improvement Machine ~1 Jidoka Improvement tor preventmg employees from mounting a spindle backwards. U’Spindle 14 . Some of those features consist of devices that set off warning lights or buzzers to indicate a defective ittm Others are design fcailrrcs to I)r(!v(:III (IIIIIII~~~W from ~~ssr!ml~ling 1oo1s or workpieces incorrectly...

This die and its mirror-image mate. Ji oka improvement tor preventing workpieces with a missing nut from progressmg further in the production sequence. which together weigh 22 tons. would crack easily if the stamping press were to slam them together when the workpiece was missing or positioned improperly. The sensors prevent the press from operating when a body panel is not properly in place and thus prevent costly refinishing or even replacement.Sensors (circled) for detecting whether a body panel is positioned properly on the lower member of a pair of stamping dies. .

A is the kanji for person.” Note the additional element on the left side.” But look again.” it means “work. By itself. So. it suggests a human presence. They believe strongly in using machines in ways that make life easier for employees at the worksite. the machines must have a built-in capacity for detecting abnormal events and responding accordingly. differs in an important way. That’s why they put the j in $ BfK. with the addition of the ideograph for person. As part of another kanji. But the middle kanji. f. : Look up the word “jidoka” casually in a Japanese-English dictionary. the kanji for motion takes on the meaning “work. :f. Though also pronounced “do.. QII. for self or auto: yl (dii). Management and employees at Toyota share a very strong opinion about the roles of machines and people in their production system. That’s not the way they write jidoka-or think’about it-at Toyota. and fL (ka). which corresponds to the “-ation” suffix. . The kanji ideographs for thatjidoka are Q (ii). for movement or motion. The first and third kanji in thejidoka of the Toyota Production System are the same as in the generic Japanese word for automation. and you’ll likely find a definition like “automation..” Toyota’sjidoka means investing machines with humanlike intelligence. For that to happen.

Part 2 Justmin-Time Production l Drafting and Implemenling Production Plans Distributing Work Intelligently and Efficiently: Heijunka Pulling Work through the Production Sequence: Kunban An Unlikely Candidate for Fame l l l l Ensuring Orderly Transportation: Mixed-Load Pickup and Delivery Continuous-Flow Processing l .

where invenlor’ics 241-e an unviable means of serving demand. For domeslic shipments. The ncxl Icvcl or produclion planning is IO-day planning.?thl_y monthly planning need bc only as specilic prodttclion plrrnnirzg as models and body types. Monlhly planning cnablrs 11s 10 ~respontl 10 ol-ders quickly while maintaining a scaly level OF pl-oduclion lh~~oughoul [he month. For overseas shipmenls. where we are geographically closer 10 dislribulor-s XXI can thel. the Mo. WC divide Ihe month inlo tlmx periods 01 rol . finished quality vehicle a. complele wilh delailcd specilicalions.s quickly a.erore ~-e~ipond mm quickly to order specilications. We can handle detailed specilications on a IO-day basis domeslic shipmenls. the monNy planning is based on dclinile 0&1-s for models and hotly lypcs.nd efliciently as possible.e production is to trunslate each order into a delivery of a. IL is especially uselul with lowvolume distribulors and low-volume models.Drafting and Implementing Production Plans The primary goal in just-in-tirn. We even can handle some modilicalions in specilications on a daily basis.

The domestic orders cover only models and body types. In preparing the monthly production plan for October. we prepare preliminary plans for November and December.aboul 10 days each and put logelher a pl-oduclion plan Ibl. This is the monthly [Jbn that we cornmunicale to our assembly and par15 planls . And il Ii.~nti !o our suppliers. The I O-day plans enable ““I. materials. At the same time. we give careful consideration to the production capacity available. Example of Monthly Production Planning Based on orders received by September 20 l Domestic orders for models and body types l Overseas orders for detailed specifications Oct. ~ i / ~ 1 . . It enables them lo allocate personnel. Monthly Production Plan (Volume and specs leveled for daily production) ‘-LI Vehicle assembly plants1 The production plan for October is based on orders received from distributors around September 20. And key reduce lhc need for OUT distributors and dealers to rn~inlain large invenlorics.planls 10 I~espund almos1 weekly to wends in domestic demand.each pwiod. The plan includes projections of all the kinds and quantities of parts that will be needed from the different parts plants. The overseas orders include detailed specifications. and capacity for the coming month. And it provides for distributing volume and specifications evenly over all the production days of the month.ewJuy unrl cwelx lhe detailed domestic ordct-s lhal we d& pWdUcli0n have received up lo five days berum the /&ilr~ifz~ beginning of lhe period. Each I O-day plan covers the detailed cwe~xas orders that we already have allotted to that period under the monlhly plan.

And that helps us get by with a minimum of manpower 3nd equipment in lhose processes and also in the preceding processes and in the transpol-t that takes place between processes. . we distribute production evenly plnimitlg throughout the day in the assembly processes. all afternoon producing another. Oul .Distributing Work Intelligently and Efficiently: Heijzmka For just-in-time production planning to work properly.1 planning. The output or our plants thus corrcsponds hourly and even hy the minute lo the diverse mix of model val-ialions 1ha1 o. But rhat would differ. Also. managers at our plants dccidc the exact sequence of items to product a~ their plants in one day. serperhl So.tlcalers mal-kc1 each day. and all evening on a third. WC will show you lhow we &vise pt-otluclioll scqucnccs in line with lhoso plans 10 help keep costs under contl-ol. we must distribute the production of different items evenly over the course o/‘u duy. employees. And it would pmducc chronic invcntorics of finished goods awaiting customers. production equipment. In this section.. For example. Based on the daily production plan.junka means distributing volume and specilioations evenly over the span oT production.the day. we could spend all morning producing one item. Of course. We do that to make cilicicnt use OF the basic factors o[: production: our people and our equipment. WC slagger the production 01‘ lhc differcnl hody types evenly over the course oi. u week. When yore visit a ‘Toyola plant. You saw on the preceding pages how we preparc production plans at Toyota IO dilrcl operalions al our planis. That day is LIE [hiI-d working day after they receive the plan. And that would be an inefficient nclvarltnges way to employ our people and 0”~ o/lteijrrnka equipment. fur hcijunka to work properly. you see a variety of hotly lypcs moving along lhc samu asscmhl.grcally from lhe conlinuing cliversily or model variations rhac 0uI dealers sell. This is what WC call hcijunka sequential planning..y lint 31 lhe sanlc linlc. und a month. Hei. That even distribution is whnt we call heijunka sequentia. Some teams would be idle while others were busy. and transport capacity must be capable of handling diverse tasks and items.. hunching production would produce peaks that would impose a disproportionate share of production on one team al a time in the preceding processes.

d&g presents during the day.y. ?I . A~KI rlznirzluirhlg il that is the only place whel-e we need 10 input info]-mation on 111~ hcijunka scquunce. since lhc vehicles p~occcd 1noI’c 01‘ Ices in llral si~nc scywnce 1h1-ough the produclio~~ pi-occss-r~~rn body welding to painting. Unleveled Production Leveled Production Following process $j A “ B C Storage y p:. through assembl.plants lhel-erore train Iheir pel-sonnel and dcploy lheilequipnicnl and lranspor1 capacily to Ix able to I~mtllc the dill’ering kinds oC work tha1 heijunka E.junkn sequential planning goes into seyl~lellce ar1d ellecl at ~hc slat-t of bocly production.shdA. rile lteijttrtka tlei.’ R Followiny process \c. Storage Preceding process Preceding process Heijunka distributes work evenly among the step: in the production sequence at all times. and 10 final shipmen1. We have developed produclion and inspection cquipmenl lhnl can accommodate diverse Conventional production systems concentrate work on different processes at different times.

We maintain that sequence in transporting the axles between plants on the wagon you see here.The parts plant makes these axles for different kinds of vehicles in the same sequence that the assembly plant will make the vehicles that they will go into. .

They @ditate an even {low of‘productior. .l utrd an even distribution of’wovlc amorlg the di/rererlt stages of processing and transport.Pulling Work through the Production Sequence: Kunban Kadxm are indispenmble tools fbr operating the just-htime system.

where an automatic sorter places the snban in separate boxes for the different d An employee removes the kanban from a new stock of items when he or she uses the first item from that stock (Photo a) and deposits it in a kanban mailbox nearby(h). 2-l . The kanban postman picks the kanban up from the collection boxes(c) and takes them to a sorting (d).Kanban Flow Example I Withdrawal Kanban Team leaders gather the contents of the mailboxes at prescribed times-several times a day-and place them in collection boxes.

the location in the plant where we will use the item. It indicates the name of the supplier. This kanban also has a bar code label to permit automatic invoicing. The drivers that bring parts from the suppliers stop in at the sorting room (e) after unloading their trucks and pick up kanban to take back to their plants. the part number. which comes off and goes back into the plant as a produclion order for a like quanlily of the same part @). and the quantity.A withdrawal kanban that we use with an outside supplier. where they deposit them in collection boxes for subsequent sorting (0. the receiving area at Toyota. The supplier then delivers the new box of parts to the plant indicated on its kanban (/I). the part name. f 2s . I A withdrawal kanbarl goes onto a new box of parts in place of the production instructiorl kanban.

~-~ .~. T-hey indicate which boxes to pick up first when there is more than one box of the same kind of part awaiting delivery. Note the brightcolored markers. Boxes of finished parts at this Toyota supplier go onto a rack to await pickup and delivery. . first-out system avoids the collection of dust and other problems that ran occrrr when items are left sittina. Those kanban go onto the boxes in place of the production instruction kanban.. . This first-in. _-. are in the form of withdrawal kanban. Shier nent orders.Kanban Flow Example 2 Production Instruction Kanban Production at the supplier (below) proceeds in accordance with the production instruction kanban (circled) that flow back to the manufacturing line in correspondence with the pace that trucks have carried away shipments for delivery to Toyota plants.~~ ~~~~~~ of course. and the production instruction ksnban go back to the manufacturing line as production orders..

They can be triangular metal plates and color-coded metal washers like those in these photos.Kanban cycles echo each other throughout the production sequence. They even can be colored balls. The materials that the employees use at this supplier each carry their own withdrawal kanban for ordering additional materials from the supplier’s suppliers. Kanban do not need to be printed cards. 27 . like some processes at Toyota use.

.Nearly every part and assembly that moves through the Toyota Production System carries a kanban.

Every large assembly shop at Toyota has two or more kanban stations. That employee is shouldering an important part of the “management function” of ordering parts and managing inventory. The efficiency is maximal. The paperwork is minimal. Supplier‘s affix identifying kanban to the items they deliver. they push the button correspondiny to that kind of panel on the eleclric console (arrow). The employee sends the kanban back to the preceding process as orders for additional components to replace the ones he or she has used. Yet these nondescript items have become the best-known clement of the Toyota Production System. And they receive orders via kanban that they remove from boxes at the stations on their way out. Kanban at Toyota are usually no more than printed pieces of cardboard sandwiched between clear plastic covers. That lights a lamp on a signboard on the other side of the plant. the kanban is no marquee. the kanban is a tool that enables employees to operate the Toyota Production System by taking responsibility for managing their own jobs. each of which processes about 10.We u:c tools brsides karlban 10 oper. I 2‘) . Some people even think that the kanban system is the Toyota Production System Actually. The employees thus manage the flow of their own work in accordance with the established work procedures for that work. Though its name means “signboard” in Japanese.000 kanban per shift. where a lorklifl operalor (Mow) then picks up and delivers a new \lock of body panels. And the employees themselves are completely in charge. Employees use kanban to monitor continuously-by sight-the material that they withdraw from preceding processes and the finished items that they pass on to the next process. The homely kanban is an unlikely candidate for fame.llc OIH produtlio~~ tormal as a pull system When employet!s at ~hc wol~ksile at the left have used the 7th body panel in their stock. Envision an employee who removes kanban from components before mounting them on vehicles. And it is the employees themselves who establish the work procedures.

~__~ Now.. so.equent transportation. L. and they make deliveries and receive kanban orders three times a day. Sometimes. a single truck picks up parts at multiple parts plants on the way to the assembly plant. inventories are smaller at the parts plants and at the assembly plant.~. WC accommodate the need for diverse items in relatively small quantities by using a format called scheduled-time. That meant keeping a full day’s or a halfday’s inventory at each parts plant and also at the assembly plant.~_ ____. Most transport between Toyota plants and suppliers takes plncc in a lixcd-volume Format-a shipment moves when enough ol-ders accumulate Lo result in a fu11 tmck. Trucks each carry a variety of parts. Formerly. mixed-load. But its efficiency depends on transporting parts in an orderly and timely manner.. each parts plant would carry parts directly to an assembly plant once or twice a day.Ensuring Orderly Transportation: Mixed-Load Pickup and Delivery The pull system is an excellent way to minimize inventories and prevent waste. The diagrams on t~his page illustrate how that format works. h. . however.


which results in.Advantages of Handling items One at a The In the figures on these two pages.._~ _. B. _.~ ._. the employees rnust remove all the parts for the previous assembly from the shelves to avoid mixing them with the parts for the new assembly ..~~ . Employees A.~~ ~.exiremely long lead times.~~ . since it occurred during the processrng of 100 items.__~ . The large amount of items per employee means extra handling on the workbench employees spend a lot of time picking up parts that fall onto the floor.. Separately Positioned Processing This approach entails the following inefficiencies: Each employee has 100 items at a time. she cannot determine immediately where the problem occurred. Work begins for each employee in the example below with receiving a box of 100 semifinished assemblies from the previous process._ .~.. They perform additional work on each of the assemblies and then take their 100 assemblies to the next employee on the f~roductiori line. and C perform successive steps in an assembly sequence.~_..~~ ~. they must take time to stack the items carefully. When production shifts to a different kind of assembly. It is impossible to balance the distribution of work between employees. with delicate items._. If Ernployee B discovers that a workpiece from Employee A is not assembled properly..

yields the following improvements: I. and we often can find ways to reduce our manpower needs. The number of items on the line-from raw 5. perform their work on an assembly and hand it over 3. she and Employee A can determine the cause of the other in a continuous flow and by having each problem immediately. Differences in work loads between employees are number of employees for the same span of work. -~ - the number of employees on the line. I . This change. We can switch production to different items material to finished product-becomes the same as without interrupting the production flow. since it is the item that employee handle one assembly at a time. Continuous-Flow Processing 7 Materials Finished products l-he real difference in lead time between one-at-a-time production and conventional lot production Processing Parts One at a Time lWV<. readily apparent. We can avoid the problems that occur in the example at the left by deploying the employees next to each 2. workpiece. They Employee A has just handled._~ __~. When Employee B discovers a defective item. Employees needn’t arrange and convey large to the next employee before reaching for the next numbers of parts on the workbench. which requires no increase in the 4.

That is too long for a machine to be idle. :I’: The photo shows a bench for dies that a Toyota supplier installed beside a stamping machine. The machine operators must position the cushion pin and die carefully before locking the die in place. . Without the bench.- ::. employees can bring the new die up and set it on the bench while the machine is still running. . 50 we fitted machines with guides to allow for mountina and oositionina die< . Positioning is a key step in replacing dies. Now.. :I : Here is another example of shortening set-up time. die set-up meant spending 20 minutes carrying the old die back to storage and bringing out the new die. 8’ i. ..‘.

To draw on our pl-evious example. Multi-Machine Handling ‘: . continuous flow. hrrrrtllirzg the employee might use a lathe. a milling machine.” In multi-pt-ocess handling.” however. The tl-ick is to begin by clarifying the different steps and reviewing the work involved in each one. ‘I‘hr item that the lathe operator processes on the lirs( lathe. sits idle until the operator has finished processing the other items on the other. To produce items one piece at a time in an efficient. the el’lliciencics IVC roster lhrough just-in-lime p~utluclion clcpcllrl 011 using multi-process handling. and in dctennining oui equipmenl specilicnlions. In llre Toyota Production System. We must nccon~nwdn~c that paltel-n in posilioning oul. and then a tapping machine on each item in sequence. That is. A much better way to pl-ocess work is “multi-process handling. [or example. We need to integl-ate subassembly flows into main assembly lines.” Unfinished parts A Type B of Part Multi-Process Handling D Unfinished parts Machine (lathing) 1 Machine (milling) 2 Type of Part C I t Finished products Machine (lathing) 1 m Machine(milling) Machine(drilling) Machine 2 3 @ a 4 @ m A @ H @ 81 A gP. and feedback on quality problems is dilficult to obtain. we must deploy our personnel accordingly.li)ur lathes.I’ ’ . The items then might move on to drilling and to tapping in the same manner. a dl-ill. and pl-eparing tools.equipmcnl.Set-up work entails changing dies.. in deploying our jigs and Jixtures. This “multi-machine handling. an employee opemtes diKerent kinds of machines to move items through a processing sequence. Every kind of process must become part ol a production Row that favors the smooth progress oC work. even in the smallest and simplest processes. Ovelpl-oduction OCCUIS G-equently in various processes. entails extremely long lead times and excess handling. one piece al Mrrlli-pr-otxss a time. Just-in-time manufacturing calls for pl-educing ilems one piece at a time in every process. a lathe open-alor might pl-ocess five items on five lolhcs and then pass them on to a milling machine operator. 63 I3 C D (tapping) A A A I Finished products I Machine (drilling) 3 IF’1 one perron handles four machines . Manulacturers tra&tionally sought Lo raise efficiency by assigning individual ernployccs to multiple machines of the same kind. That work is not diflicult to streamline. changing pallets. who would process them on five milling machines. preparing material.

We also make im~~~~ovcments in the production cquipmenl and slondartlizc its operation to make precision machirting as simple as attaching a tool and pushing a bn~on.just the personnel assignments to meet S/xxiril consideru(iom changing produclion requirements wilhoul iu mrctticompromising productivity.s We rcvicw each phase of production /l~lI1dliHg continually Lo identify ways to implcmcnt multi-pmcess handling more completely. As purl 0U that cflorl.” On a flexible manpower line. we can ad. . Even after WC have deployed processes and equipment in accordance with the production flow. WC train employees Lo provide ~hcm with 11x skills IO handle diNerent kinds 01 pmcesses and equipment.Multi-process handling permits great flexibility in Ihe lorm 01’ what we call “llexiblc manpower lines. we try to arrange the equipment and processes in layouts thal help each line Imxlion in lllc tlx~c sense oCa llexihle manpower-line. we make sure that their physical positioning favors maximal cl’liciency. In every way possible. and we must try lo avoid having isolatedjob sites in our equipment amngement. Machines should be as close together as possible to minimize the conveyance time between them. we pursue continuing progress in jidoka features that eliminate the need for monitoring machines continuously. pr0~xs. To enable individual employees to handle multiple machines more easily.

Part 3 Standardized Work and Kaizen l Dual Dynamics of the Toyota Production System Worksite Management Promoting Improvements on a Continuing Basis: Kuizen Kaizen-Never Too Much l l l .

will1 t111c considcmtion lor qualily. Mcmbe~-s 01: the team responsible ror the process wol-k wilh their team leader to figure 0111 how to achieve the new takt time. the new takt time lor a pn~jcess is shorter than the old “cycle time”-the time it lakes for work to move through all the steps in ~lhe process.y try to lind ways to modify their proccdurcs to streamline the llow or wol-k. WC 38 . II improvements in work procedures are insufficient to achieve the new takt time.” Sometimes. Told time determine the most el’ficient work flow. That work llow is whai we call “standardized work. All of the activity that drives that system takes place in the form of standardized work and contirxuing improvement. or Once we have determined the takt time. saI‘ety. The new takt time then becomes nn occasion for rcdo~~l~letl cllorls lo streamline Ihc Ilow d cvol-k in that p~cess. the team members consider ways to streamline their work hy motlirying ilic cql~ipmcnt.Dual Dynamics of the Toyota Production System Jidoka and just-in-time management furnish the framework for the Toyota Production System. quantity. Firsl. 1he. and cost.

when a new takt Lime Iresults in excess capacity in a process.. we move one 01. When the takt time becomes shorter.. we add a member to the team and reduce the ~znge of work that each member handles.. ~~~~~~ Standard in-process stock: the minimum amount oi rnalerial that we need to have on hand in the process lo maintain a smooth work flow.ieseilhcr on another learn or in special pi-ojecls.ccor~rmodule clzarfges if1 lnltl times by making subs~nnrial change. 70 .. .. When the takt time lor a process becomes lunger.When a team is unable to streamline wet-k suClicien~ly Lo meet a new takt time. A spirit of close camaraderie underlies team efforts to achieve continuing gains in quality and productivity. The goal is to maintain an optimal work load lo1 each employee: We uever a. we assign Uewer employees lo Ihe process. since they have the greatest flexibility in assuming new l.. we streamline the llow of work and add employees as necessary. 11 is usually Inorc-cxpct-icnced en~ployccs that we remove rl-om a team.7 irz the work lands /tir individual ew~ployees. Conversely. such as specialized wol-k on process improvements. tnorr of’ the team members to other wol-k.esponsibilil.

This sheet is especially Tar new employees and for employees who have kransferred recently to a new wol-ksite and are unfamiliar with the procedures and materials in use there. An especially important aspect of standardized work at Toyota is that the employees who implemenl its guidelines are the same people who establish those ~~~~~~~~~~~ Standardized Work Combination Table . Employees and team IL’~~cI. This inrormalion is invaluable in illuminating production bottlenecks. it also shows figut-es [or the ohx I. The Standardized Work Chart is a diagram that illustralcs the work sequence. The Operation Standards Sheet carries step-bystep descriptions of every stage in the work sequence. 1~ specilies lhc exact lime I-equiremenl for each slep.WO clemcnts standa~dizcd work: takt time 2nd star&ml in-process slack. and malerial handling. The Standardized Work Combination Table indicates the llow of human work in a pl-ocess. of We supplement the main three kinds of work sheels with the Operation Standards Sheet. equipment maintenance.cqu~~ly in connection with worksite management. which is usclul inFormation in allocating manpower. It also describes safety precautions.process.s r&r LO the Standardized Work Chart II.

~vety employee must know at least how IO pe&rm the jobs in 111~ p-ocesses immediately beLot-e and after his or her own process in the production sequence. .- . He or she assigns work in accordance with the monthly production schedule and with the team’s capacity. The standardized work changes in reflection ol the monthly changes in pl-oduction.en-are so vcty essential to standanlized work. and employees must be able to respond flexibly.. Team leaders and the member-s 01 their teams are li-ee IO adjust working sequences as necessary.making impt-ovements. ~ Irn n.guidelines. They do that to resolve p~~oblrrns that occut and also lo implement ideas they have lot. Operation Standards Sheet . Just as employees need to be versatile in the Toyota Production System. That is why the continuing improvements-kaiT. the standardized work itsell is llexiblc and subject to continuing modification attd improvement. The team leader at each worksite is in charge of standardized work Car his or her team.

dealers-to check on the progress of work with their own eyes. A commitment to the workplace is a tradition at Toyota. Kanban are a prominent example.. Top executives make frequent visits to the workplace-plants. Performance analysis boards show the status of production in relation to goals. as well as for line employees. where most of them begin their careers. Numbered lamps on large display panels indicate at a glance if and where any employee in the plant has indicated a problem by using a line-stop button or rope. Members of management remain true to their roots in production and marketing. Worksite management is for executives at Toyota. Numerous features of the Toyota Production System are tools for enabling employees to manage as many functions as possible right at their worksites. . Kiichiro Toyoda. suppliers. Visual control is vital to worksite management. It was the founder of Toyota’s automobile operations. Everyone must be able to see easily and immediately if work is proceeding smoothly and on schedule. Line-stop clocks indicate to the second the aggregate down time for the day. So are the standardized work charts that outline each job clearly. the workplace remains the seat of management authority for production operations at Toyota. And they act on what they see. Today. who often said that any engineer who didn’t get his hands dirty at least three times a day was no engineer at all.The biggest difference between the Toyota Production System and conventional mass-production formats is the large amount of responsibility and authority that the former assigns to employees at each worksite.

ocedurcs and measures for improving equipment. faster. Equipment kaizen includes such measures as installing new equipment to automate work. That can be excess inventory. II includes Work kaizen rrtzcl equiptrrent measures like revising work methods. Work kaizen usually is easier. Kaizen activities consist mainly of measures for imps-oving \Nol.venzents must happerz continually in the production processes.” we mean everything that increases lhc cosl 4 pt~oduction wilhoul malting 21 UCI‘L. That kaizen should cer~~ler (III effbrts to eliminate waste of’all kinds. or redundant personnel. So kaizen activilics olrlinarily start with work kairen. Work kaizcn is based on standardized work. and I.is waste. The most common target for kaizcn by fat. kuizen reorganizing and I-edistributing work. II’ work kaizcn is not sulIicicn1 lo resolve the problem.k pr. added) .Promoting Improvements on a Continuing Basis: Ka&wz For a manufacturer to minimize costs and to respond flexibly and promptly to ever-changing clemancl.~ . By “waste. They also depless worksite morale. extra equipment. since cmployces cl’l’orts do not translate into quality oulpul as efficiently as they can and should. ivnpro. and less expensive than equipment kaizcn. NJ tllose kinds of waste low~~~pl-od~lc~ivi~)‘.II conLd~utiolr lo our production activities. we look at ways lo solve it through equipment kaizen.cal-l-anging layouts.

. pl. Knizen exnr~zpl~: A process consisted of three semiautomatic machines. W C eliminalcd Ihc idle time by assigning all lhrec mxhincs IO a single cmploycc.. . she mounts a workpicce in machine A. and walks to machine B while machine A is operating..--- Time + I (-\/ 1 i I.their. mount il in Ids or her muchinc. Now.“d~lclion prom~~tc aclhcrance to the rules that govet-n 111e llow of p~OdllCliOll. Excessive processing is as wasteful as insukient pmcessing. he 01. is wasting any time that he or she spends achieving a tolerance +O.*: -. and mnlcrinl should progress dir-eclly from one machine lo the next wilhoul slopping al any lemporaty slorage place.otlllction is ~hc worst kind of waste because it ohscures ncecls for irnprovcmcnt~ and leads to olhelr kill& ~IW:ISIC. Wuiliq Just as processes can involve unnecessary movement by people and machines. L. +r ._i ~_. ::. Example of Eliminating Unnecessary Waiting Before improvement After improvement (y$ --_ ___ @ I::i: ____-. pushes the start button.cvcnting ovcl’l.! “I ~.j+ A @ ----- .. Processing ~. for example. The employee repeats the same scqucnce at machine B and lhcn at machine C what he or she pcr~omxxl initially al machine A and then walks back LO machine A to begin a new cycle.OOlmm iffO.pl. they also can keep employees waiting idle when they could be doing useful work.-- -. Machines and prorluciion lines should be as close together as possible. At each machine was an employee. The employees would perform Lhcir work simultaneously and wail in Imison for.Olmm is entirely d .__ o. Kaizcn 1’01. A milling machine operator. who would receive a workpiece from the previous machine. next wovkpieces to an-ive from LIE previous machine.l.‘i :... Ineflicienl layouls result in conveying parts and materials mom-e than should bc ncccssary. :wl shrt the machine by pushing a button.----.Over/?rOduclion Ovcl.

ys(cu~. Pmvcnling Ihc occut~cnce excess invcnl0l-j is l’u~rclnn~~~lal lo Ihc’l’oyoL.adequate.. [he kaizcn will con& OF measures IU acllievc an even smoother llow ol wol-k..~.. Processes often involve more n~oven~enl hy people and by mxhinc’s Lhan is I-tally ncccssa~y In accomplish Ihc walk at hand._....~~~ .~ I’~r~du~li~~~~ S. Ihal should triggel.. l-_~~. .... But iC unnecessary inventory does appear to be accumulating in or bclween any pr’occsses..irnmediatc kaizcn acCvilies to idenUy and rectil’y tile prohlcm.~ -.. Llsually.___.. ‘1‘11~ smooth llow ol’work that we attempt to achieve throughout the syslem is an effective way Lo prevcnl Examples of Eliminating Unnecessary Motion _~~_~___~ _. I- Before improvement (a) of any process Iron1 making any more ol any i(cm than the next process actually needs. Employees must learn to perfom~ the npp-opt-iule amuunt or processing on workpieccs withoul spending any more time or cft’ort on that prucessing ~hnn is actually useM and necessary. ~~.~__ 1 After improvement (b) .

Correction Jidoka and standardized work are designed to ensure press was Irising much higher artcr each cycle than neccssaty IO clear the workpiece. The Toyota Production System is a framework for raising quality and productivity and for invigorating employee morale. The revolutionaries sentence them to a firing squad and give each of them a last wish.2 seconds. --. We&o discovered ~1~11 rhe nir-culling steady. But the continuing improvements of kaizen are what actually make those good things happen. which rechlced ~hc waste movement and waste time by 3. You’ve probably heard the joke.replacing Lhc tll-ill bil easily. But no company can have too much kaizen. Three businessmen-French. WC avoid the need for wasting time and malcrial on con-ecting them aherwards. The exlt‘a height allowed lirl. We devised a way LO rcplxe 11x drill hit with a pull-wire in ortlinal7y cycles without raising it to an excessive height.-_. And they receive the authority to modify and shape their work in ways that raise quality and productivity and that improve working conditions. “Then please. and Japanese-get caught up in a revolution.~rtl on a relcasc al she bottom of the dispenser. Ry avoiding defects in the first place. reliable quality. For kaizen is the real dynamic of quality and productivity. Krrizen example: We discovered thal the drill on a drill &lance was very long. Problems with quality indicate a need to enhance those lcatures or ensuring implement additional ones.number ol screws into an employee’s hand when he or she pulls upw. lxl( il waslcd the lime that rhe machine spent moving 11x drill up and down above the wol-kpiece. That proves too much for the American. The Japanese asks to give a final lecture on kaizen. Ultimately.- _! . so. It means giving employees full responsibility and authority for their jobs.4 scconcls. They take responsibility for turning out products that will earn the satisfaction of customers.” You may sometimes feel that you’ve heard more than enough talk about kaizen. kaizen is aboutjob ownership. The equipment and work procedures include numerous features for the quality of their output. The Frenchman asks that he be allowed to sing a final chorus of La Marseillaise. who breaks down and pleads. we shortened that distance by 13mm and thereby reduced the waste time by 2. please shoot me first1 I couldn’t stand to hear another lecture on kaizen. American.

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s T ‘-.. In Europe.or Toyota passenger cars begins in late 1992 at a plant in lhe United Kingdom. as in North America.IVC contraclcd lo supply parts and materials to our new passenger car plant in England and to a Toyota engine plant in Wales.1990s and rise later to 200.000. ‘. I.. logistics are especially challenging in Europe.~t:cs d operations. European pt-otluction Europe _ +w&+ cr. In fact. W C are wol-king with many of those companies and with other prospcctivc suppliers to devclup and implement European versions of the Toy~a I’lrd~~o~ion Syslcm.. logistics are a central issue in implementing the Toyota Production System..&@ . Annual oulput at that plant will reach 100. Screws ~~Isuppliws 1111~~1gli~~~~t LGw~qx II.r-.. since we have committed ourselves to relying Iwavily on locally purchasecl pal-ts and materials rrom 11~: wrlicsl sl.-~ ._. ..000 vehicles in the mid.

._~._..._._.... _ . ~_. .~~~ Other regions The Toyota Production System at work in South Africa._. ..~ _.

Producing seats for locally manufactured Toyotas in Taiwan Making Toyota passenger cars in Australia .

The most conspicuous issue for the Toyota Production System is the growing role of overseas operations in our business. I1-om the initial processing of raw materials through the production and Irnnspol-tation ol pal-Is to lhc assembly and delivery ol linislled vehicles.I” Afterword The Toyota Production System. The increasingly global scope of Toyotak operations will occasion further evolution in the system in the 1990s. logistics. This challenge relalcs to the entire pl-ocess OF pt-educing and transporting vehicles. and technology. including &sign work. That global scope mandates a global perspective on production. as noted elsewhere in this book. We will need to create a Ial-ger role lor overseas employees in our organizations. We also will need to invest out overseas operations wit11 integraled capabilities in producliotl and in tccfmological rlovclopn~ent. We need to shorten lead times ancl reduce costs at ev&ly stage. One key lo mceling lhat challcngc will hc 10 upgl~adc . W C need to rethink tile traditional division of labor between domestic and overseas operations. continues to evolve in response to changing needs and circumstances.

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