Topics: Toyota Production System, Toyota Camry, Toyota Pages: 8 (1505 words) Published: July 13, 2013

Where’s my seat of Heiwa?[1]

An Operational management case study

Team: Envision

Key people:

Doug Friesen, Manager of assembly for toyota georgetown, kentucky plant.

Mike daprile, General manager of assembly plant

Fujio Cho, President of TMM and TPS

Rodger Lewis ,Assistant manager of QC(Quality Control)

Kevin smith, Manager of Purchasing


Doug Friesen of Toyota Motors Manufacturing (TMM) faces increasing problems with its seat supply.  TMM’s single seat supplier, Kentucky Framed Seat (KFS), is responsible for the majority of the problems with material flaws and missing parts as the major encountered defects.  These problems are increasingly occurring with an increase in varieties of and demand for the seats.  Toyota currently addresses these problems offline; however, this is a deviation from the policies and procedures under the Toyota Production System (TPS).  Now, as TMM ramps up for the production of the Camry Wagon, it must address the seat issue before seriously impacting production performance. 


1980 : Japanese makers building cars in north america.

1985 : TMC unveiled its plan to open $800 million plant in kentucky.

1986 : Construction at georgetown, Kentucky

: TMC chose KFS as its seat supplier

1987 : Announcement of $300 million power train plant.

1988 : TMM (USA) began producton in georgetown.

1990 : Japan trip to preview 1992 camry

: Announcement of $90 million second assembly line

1991 : Model change in fall, sales were up 20%

:1992 camry introduction

1992 : TMM expected to supply 240,000 of all new camrys.

: Starting producing wagon versions of new cambry.

1992 : Employed 2000 employees in georgetown.

:23 sedan and wagon models,11 exterior colors, 29 interior variations and 30 other options like moonroof.

:Announcement of $90 million power train plant expansion

: Ramp up of camry wagons.

Data and facts:

• TPS aimed at cost reduction by eliminating waste.

• Identifying waste they provided two principles: JIT production (Produce only what needed) and Jidoka

(stop producing when problem detected).

• Chain of 5 why's until the root cause was identified.

• Assembly operations were performed along 353 stations on a conveyer line.

• Line operated cycle time was 57 seconds from 60 seconds at start up.

• Assembly and part handling required 769 team members.

• Team usually had 1 team leader and 4 members.

• To supervise these leaders and members there were 10 assistant managers and 46 group leaders.

• Average rate 17$ an hour, 50% premium for overtime.

• Regular shift 525 mins.( including 45 mins unpaid lunch time and 2 paid 15mins break.

• Every station on assembly line embodied jidoka and kaizen tools.

• PC ( production control) was to feed necessary parts into TMM operations.

• JIT principle reflected the use of hijunka and kanban cards.

• JD power quality survey, cambry .72 defects in 1990 and .79 in 1991.

• Seat set of cars was the most expensive of all the purchased parts($740)

• TMM sole supplier was KFS(Kentucky framed seat).

• Truck maximum load of car seats was 58 seats and time taken 30 mins from KFS to TMM.

• Seat set was lowered to the side of final 1 line every 57 seconds. • Introducing new model they had only 10 days and 10 weeks to build up full capacity for new model.


Ideally, Toyota corrects defects on the production line. However, vehicles with seat problems are managed offline after the assembly is completed, This is caused by three factors; 1) Seats need to match each particular car, therefore stock parts cannot be used; 2) The supplier process operates under Just In Time (JIT);

3) KFS cannot readily...
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