Continued Evolution of the Toyota Assembly Line | Christoph Roser | AllAboutLean

“Toyota is one of the most visionary car makers with respect to its manufacturing. They continuously and radically evolve and update their production system. Recently I learned about their new “flexible assembly line.” Now, you’ve probably heard about Toyota’s flexible assembly lines producing multiple products on the same line. That is old hat; they’ve done that for thirty years. Their new flexible assembly line involves a completely different aspect of flexibility, with which Toyota surprised me (again). Let me show you …”

Sourced from AllAboutLean

Michel Baudin‘s comments: A must-read post by Christoph Roser for anyone who wants to keep up with new developments in the Toyota Production System.

One comment on “Continued Evolution of the Toyota Assembly Line | Christoph Roser | AllAboutLean

  1. Toyota may be creating a new ‘simple and slim’ style of factory, but I think it is just an expansion and more aggressive application of the basic principles that have always guided and driven their activities.
    To understand this comment we must understand the main goals and activity goals of TPS. The 4R’s. Results, Resources, Resourcefulness and Respect.
    The first ‘R’ is for Results. The main performance Results for TPS are to give the customer;
    What they want. (The best P, S, and E available in your industry. Product, service and experience). — In the quantity and with the quality – zero defects, they want. (One piece flow with. Jidoka and Poka-Yoke devises will give this capability ). — Delivered when they want it. (Just in time to suit their needs. Takt time is the driver). These values must also be improving faster than those of any existing or future competitor. —
    There are three main activity goal areas in TPS to achieve this. Only the first one is used as a central theme in Lean Thinking.
    The second ‘R’ is Resources. The goal in this area is to achieve the three performance goals using the minimum ‘Resources’ (i.e. materials – machinery – methods – movement – minutes – manpower – money). Anything above the minimum resources required to produce the product, service and experience that will delight the customer is defined as waste, and is a target for removal. This is one the main areas of focus for TPS and lean activities – Waste elimination. What cannot be removed should then be seen as a target to be continuously improved. The first rule in this area is; ‘can we remove it before you try to improve it. —
    (The new Toyota ‘simple & slim’ factory design takes waste elimination to a new level. They will be 25% smaller, cost less to build, use much less energy & reduce emissions. Other features are listed below.) –
    The third ‘R’ is Resourcefulness. The goal in this area is to release the ‘Resourcefulness’ (talent, creativity and enthusiasm) of all our people to achieve the first three goals. This ability must also drive the waste elimination and continuous improvement process throughout your organisation and down through your supply chain. The key rule in this area is; ‘sustain the gains, maintain the change.’—
    (The new ‘Toyota New Global Architecture’ is a wonderful example of the resourcefulness of their people. It will enable designs to be customised to specifically suit local market needs. 75% of the investment saving from TNGA will be invested into ‘making even better cars’. TNGA will achieve significant reductions in new model introduction times. The new factories can adjust output to suit a 50% change in demand within a single shift. The new smaller style of factory with their no ‘hanging no digging’ features & surface mounted conveyors. To new paint plants that are smaller, 40% cheaper to build and use 40% less energy. Equipment that reduces pre-heat times on sheet metal parts from 5 mins to 15 seconds & now can preheat one piece, to Laser Screw Welding that can halve welding times.) –
    The fourth ‘R’ is ‘Respect’. We must see ‘RESPECT’ as the password that gives access to the file that contains our people’s total ability (talent, creativity & enthusiasm). Without the correct password, access will not be possible. We need the ability of all our people to achieve the maximum effectiveness of the first 3R’s. This is one of the key bonding elements between managers & their people. The key rule in this area is; Star managers must make their people shine. –
    Anyone who understands TPS will tell you the third and fourth R’s are central to its success. They are missing from too many lean programmes and this is the reason for many of their failures.
    When you apply this thinking not only to your external and internal customer contact areas, but also down your supply chain, you will start to understand where and how Toyota’s amazing performance and competitive advantage are created. —
    When trying to understand lean and TPS, or anything else, we should always remember Pavlov’s words. “Don’t be a collector of facts. Try to penetrate to the secrets of their occurrence, persistently search for the laws that govern them”.

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