The origin of the Toyota Production System

A production system that has been fine-tuned over generations

Roots of the Toyota Production System
The Toyota Production System (TPS), which is steeped in the philosophy of "the complete elimination of all waste" imbues all aspects of production in pursuit of the most efficient methods, tracing back its roots to Sakichi Toyoda's automatic loom. The TPS has evolved through many years of trial and error to improve efficiency based on the Just-in-Time concept developed by Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder (and second president) of Toyota Motor Corporation. Waste can manifest as excess inventory in some cases, extraneous processing steps in other cases, and defective products in yet other cases. All these "waste" elements intertwine with each other to create more waste, eventually impacting the management of the corporation itself. The automatic loom invented by Sakichi Toyoda not only automated work which used to be performed manually but also built the capability to make judgments into the machine itself. By eliminating both defective products and the associated wasteful practices, Sakichi succeeded in tremendously improving both productivity and work efficiency. Kiichiro Toyoda, who inherited this philosophy, set out to realize his belief that "the ideal conditions for making things are created when machines, facilities, and people work together to add value without generating any waste." He conceived methodologies and techniques for eliminating waste between operatio ns, between both lines and processes. The result was the Just-in-Time method. By practicing the philosophies of "Daily Improvements" and "Good Thinking, Good Products, " the TPS has evolved into a world -renowned production system. Furthermore, all Toyota production divisions are making improvements to the TPS day and night to ensure its continued evolution. Recently, the "Toyota spirit of making things" is referred to as the "Toyota Way." It has been adopted not only by companies inside Japan and within the automotive industry, but in production activities worldwide, and continues to evolve globally.

Ltd.. Type-G Automatic Loom assembly line Toyota Standard Sedan Model AA announced in 1936 Eiji Toyoda (1913-) By ensuring thorough implementation of jidoka and the Just -in-Time method. the Type-G Toyoda Automatic Loom (developed in 1924) Kiichiro Toyoda (1894-1952) Drawing on his experience of introducing a flow production method using a chain conveyor into the assembly line of a textile plant (completed in 1927) with a monthly production capacity of 300 units. Kiichiro Toyoda also introduced this method into the body production line at Toyota Motor Co.S.'s Koromo Plant (present day Honsha Plant). which enabled Toyota to compete head-on with companies in Europe and the U.Sakichi Toyoda (1867-1930) Toyoda Power Loom equipped with a new weft-breakage automatic stopping device (developed in 1896) World's first automatic loom with a non-stop shuttle-change motion. Eiji Toyoda increased workers' productivity by adding value and realized the Toyota Production System. . completed in 1938.

that fully satisfy customer requirements." The Toyota Production System (TPS) was established based on two concepts: The first is called "jidoka" (which can be loosely translated as "automation with a human touch") which means that when a problem occurs. in order to deliver the vehicles as quickly as possible. TPS Concept Jidoka ² Highlighting/visualization of problems ² -Quality must be built in during the manufacturing process!- Just-in-Time ² Productivity improvement ² . and built the foundation for the Toyota spirit of "making things" by. and in the amount needed!" .Taiichi Ohno (1912-1990) With strong backing from Eiji Toyoda. preventing defective products from being produced." and has come to be well known and studied worldwide. creating the basic framework for the Just-in-Time method. with the objective of "making the vehicles ordered by customers in the quickest and most efficient way. The second is the concept of "Just -in-Time." in which each process produces only what is needed by the next process in a continuous flow. when it is needed. Toyota Motor Corporation's vehicle production system is a way of "making things" that is sometimes referred to as a "lean manufacturing system" or a "Just-in-Time (JIT) system. for example. This production control system has been established based on many years of continuous improvements. Toyota Production System A production system which is steeped in the philosophy of "the complete elimination of all waste" imbuing all aspects of production in pursuit of the most efficient methods.Making only "what is needed. Taiichi Ohno helped establish the Toyota Production System. one at a time. Based on the basic philosophies of jidoka and Just -in-Time. the equipment stops immediately. the TPS can efficiently and quickly produce vehicles of sound quality.

When a vehicle order is received. Since a machine automatically stops when processing is completed or when a problem arises and is communicated via the "andon" (problem display board). should a quality / equipment problem arise. a production instruction must be issued to the beginning of the vehicle production line as soon as possible. Producing quality products efficiently through the complete elimination of waste. resulting in higher productivity. This is achieved through jidoka. 2. Jidoka means that a machine safely stops when the normal processing is completed.If equipment malfunction or a defective part is discovered. when it is needed. This means that each operator can be in charge of many machines. while continuous improvements lead to greater processing capacity. 1. 3. The preceding process must be stocked with small numbers of all types of parts and produce only the numbers of parts that were retrieved by an operator from the next process. which can consist of around 30. and unreasonable requirements on the production line. The assembly line must be stocked with required number of all needed parts so that any type of ordered vehicle can be assembled. 2. In order to deliver a vehicle ordered by a customer as quickly as possible. The assembly line must replace the parts used by retrieving the same number of parts from the partsproducing process (the preceding process). It also means that. and operators cease production and correct the problem." For example. the vehicle is efficiently built within the shortest possible period of time by adhering to the following: 1. it is necessary to create a deta iled production .000 parts. For the Just-in-Time system to function. preventing defective products from being produced. inconsistencies. to efficiently produce a large number of automobiles. only products satisfying quality standards will be passed on to the following processes on the production line. the machine detects the problem on its own and stops. 4. the affected machine automatically stops. operators can confidently continue performing work at another machine. all of the parts that are made and supplied must meet predetermined quality standards. and in the amount needed. As a result. Just-in-Time ² Philosophy of complete elimination of waste Just-in-Time "Just-in-Time" means making "only what is needed. as well as easily identify the problem's cause to prevent its recurrence.

wh o promoted the idea of Just-in-Time. respectively. code and storage location. equating the supermarket and the customer with the preceding process and the next process. . resulting in improved produ ctivity. the kanban system has evolved into the "e-kanban. it was possible to improve upon the existing inefficient production system. it uses a kanban to communicate which parts have been used. inconsistencies. and has all of these items available for sale at any given time. a unique production control method called the "kanban system" plays an integral role." which is managed using IT methodologies and has increased productivity even further. . the method came to be called the "kanban system. and unreasonable requirements. Evolution of the kanban through daily improvements Through continuous technological improvements. applied this concept. Taiichi Ohno (a former Toyota vice president). Because Toyota employed kanban signs for use in their production processes. Supplying "what is needed. and in the amount needed" according to this production plan can eliminate waste. No longer were the preceding processes making excess parts and delivering them to the next process. The kanban system has also been called the "Supermarket method" because the idea behind it was borrowed from supermarkets. Kanban System In the TPS (Toyota Production System).plan that includes parts procurement. By having the next process (the customer) go to the preceding process (the supermarket) to retrieve the necessary parts when they are needed and in the amount needed. such as a product's name.Why use a supermarket concept? A supermarket stocks the items needed by its customers when they are needed in the quantity needed. when it is needed. Such mass merchandizing stores use product control cards upon which product -related information. when a process refers to a preceding process to retrieve parts." At Toyota. are entered.

Two kinds of kanban (the production instruction kanban and the parts retrieval kanban) are used for managing parts. and high-warp looms were used to manually weave cloth. the warp supply device and the automatic shuttle changer. called the "Type-G Toyoda Automatic Loom (with non -stop shuttle-change motion)" which could change shuttles without stopping operation. ground looms. including the weft breakage automatic stopping device (which automatically stopped the loom when a thread breakage was detected). The automatic loom is a machine that spins thread for cloth and weaves textiles automatically. he incorporated numerous revolutionary inventions into his looms. Jidoka refers to "automation with a human touch. Then." as opposed to a machine that simply moves under the monitoring and supervision of an operator. Founder of the Toyota Group." Subsequently. back-strap looms. in 1924. . Sakichi Toyoda invented Japan's first self-powered loom called the "Toyoda Power Loom. Sakichi invented the world's first automatic loom. The Toyota term "jido" is applied to a machine with a built -in device for making judgments. Before automated devices were commonplace. In 1896." The word jidoka traces its roots to the invention of the automatic loom by Sakichi Toyoda. whereas the regular Japanese term "jido" (automation) is simply applied to a machine that moves on its own. Jidoka ² Manufacturing high-quality products Automation with a human touch The term jidoka used in the TPS (Toyota Production System) can be defined as "automation with a human touch.

Concept of jidoka Jidoka and Visual Control Since equipment stops when a problem arises. was invented by Sakichi Toyoda in 1924. This meant that a single operator could be put in charge of numerous looms. As an important tool for this "visual control" or "problem visualization. Visual Control using Andon ." Toyota plants use a problem display board system called "andon" that allows operators to identify problems in the production line with only a glance. the world's first automatic loom with a non-stop shuttle-change motion. Type-G Toyoda Automatic Loom.Since the loom stopped when a problem arose. no defective products were produced. a single operator can visually monitor and efficiently control many machines. the origin of jidoka The Type-G Toyoda Automatic Loom. This loom automatically stopped when it detected a problem such as thread breakage. resulting in a tremendous improvement in productivity.

An operator communicating an abnormality An andon problem display board that communicates abnormalities .

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