A Quick Have a look at the Toyota Production System — TPS

Toyota is presently the worlds main automobile producer, producing consistent better performing and less expensive automobiles than any of the key American brands. How do they achieve this remarkable feat? Is there some secret sauce to their formula?

Properly, yes, there may be some secret sauce. However it is not so secret — it is actually fairly well documented. It’s called the Toyota Manufacturing System, and I’d like to clarify slightly about it today.

TPS is a completely built-in socio-technical system comprising of it’s management ideas, company philosophy, and manufacturing practices. Originally known as «just in time» (or JIT), it attracts upon the work of the founders of Toyota, his son, and an engineer — which in flip drew their inspiration from Henry Ford. The Toyota staff came to America to watch the Ford production methods, but have been decidedly unimpressed with the whole operation. From that experience, and observations of an automatic drink resupply system within the supermarket, they shaped the ideas 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 easily — without inconsistencies; while being as versatile as needed with out overburdening the employees, which might result in waste.

What’s waste as addressed by TPS? 7 varieties have been recognized:


Movement (of man or machine)

Ready (of man or machine)


Processing itself

Stock (raw materials)

Correction (rework and scrap)

The bodily price of correcting faulty merchandise or disposing of them is obvious, but the remaining may need explaining. Movement waste could seek advice from extra actions required on the part of the meeting line employee who must physically carry gadgets from one machine to another — which could possibly be reduced by connecting the machines. Ready waste refers to the time when one machine lies unused, because it is nonetheless «ready» for another process within the production planning and control line to complete — you can’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 form — with correct designing, these might combined into 1 bigger sheet with less waste cut.


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