TOYOTA PRODUCTION SYSTEM
Lean manufacturing or lean production, often simply "lean", is a systemic method for the elimination of waste ("Muda") within a manufacturing process. Lean also takes into account waste created through overburden ("Muri") and waste created through unevenness in workloads ("Mura"). Working from the perspective of the client who consumes a product or service, "value" is any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for. This Lean manufacturing is derived from Toyota Production System (TPS) which is based on 2 concepts. First is Jidhoka meaning automation with human touch and second is Just-in-time (JIT) meaning each process produces only what is needed by the next process in a continuous flow.
Sakichi Toyoda founded the Toyoda Spinning and Weaving Company in 1918. He developed the first steam-powered loom that could detect a broken thread and stop itself automatically. This innovation led to the wider principle of jidoka, or automation with a human touch – later to become one of the two pillars of TPS.
Some years later in 1937, Sakichi’s son Kiichiro founded the Toyota Motor Corporation. Kiichiro took his father’s concept of jidoka and developed his own complementary philosophy – just-in-time – which would become the other pillar of TPS. He visited Ford’s mass production plants in Michigan to study their use of assembly lines.
After World War II, the need to be able to manufacture vehicles efficiently was greater than ever. Kiichiro’s younger cousin, Eiji – later to become president and chairman of Toyota Motor Manufacturing – tasked one of Toyota’s young engineers, Taiichi Ohno, with the job of increasing productivity.
Ohno’s achievement was to marry the just-in-time concept with the principle of jidoka. In 1953, Ohno also visited the USA to study Ford’s production methods, but he was much more inspired by American supermarkets. He noticed how customers would take from the shelves only what...
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