Toyota Production System

Flickr ©mrhayata
Flickr ©mrhayata

In the automobile manufacturing industry, the Toyota Production System (TPS) is considered to be a major breakthrough after the mass production system of Henry Ford. Withholding the philosophy of “the complete elimination of all waste”, the TPS embodies all aspects of production in pursuit of the most efficient methods. TPS has immerged after many years of devotion to continuous improvement with an aim to shortening product lead-times and implant uniformity of the final product. The objective of TPS is to “make quality vehicles ordered by customers in the quickest and the most efficient way, in order to deliver vehicles as quickly as possible”.

TPS is founded on two major concepts. The first one is “Jidoka”, which is automation with a human touch to highlight or visualize problem. Jidoka is an automated process that inspects each item after producing it. If no quality problem/defect is detected, the machine safely stops when the normal processing is completed. However, should quality/equipment problem arise, the machine detects the problem by itself and stops, preventing flawed products from being produced. Hence, only those products that satisfy quality standards will be passed on to the following processes on the production line. During initial phase of Toyota back in the 1930’s, when Sakichi Toyoda developed the automatic loom, it was designed to stop if the thread broke.

So it was there in the beginning of TPS and is considered one of the pillars of the TPS house. The second one is “Just-in-time”, making only “what is needed, when it is needed, and in the amount needed!” Just in time provides a disciplined approach to improving overall productivity and eliminating waste. It provides for the cost-effective production and delivery of only the necessary quantity of parts at the right quality, at the right time and place, while using the minimum amount of facilities, equipment, materials and human resources. JIT is dependent on the balance between the supplier’s and the user’s flexibility. It is accomplished through the application of elements that require total employee involvement and teamwork. A key philosophy of JIT is simplification.

Asprova is complementary to the TPS philosophy, both combine ideally to improve quality, increase productivity and reduce overall manufacturing costs of a company’s production line. It generates schedule which fully integrates sales orders to manufacturing orders, and manufacturing orders to purchasing orders to enable true lead-time reduction and trim down inventory levels. Hence, Asprova supports to implement JIT which has its roots in the Toyota Production System.



Source: Prof C. A Voss , Just-in-Time Manufacture, IFS (Publications), Dec 31, 1987
Photo Credit: Flickr ©mrhayata

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