Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Toyota Production System - a Brief History

Based in Cleveland, Tennessee, Carolyn Seale has worked at Denso Manufacturing for the past 17 years. In her management position, Carolyn Seale leverages the Toyota Production System (TPS) to boost efficiency in her team. 

An amalgamation of Toyota’s management processes and a philosophy of waste reduction, TPS is a foundation from which automobile manufacturers can improve their logistics and production operations. The history of TPS dates back more than 100 years when Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford developed what was known as “flow production.” This revolutionary process allowed the Ford company to expedite its production time by using “special-purpose” equipment for vehicle component manufacturing.

As other manufacturers began to lag behind Ford, the team at Toyota sought to build upon the concept of flow production with their own system. Kiichiro Toyoda and Taiichi Ohno sought to improve the manufacturing process by using basic concepts to move products through the system more quickly. They called the early version of their process “Just-in-Time.”

Over the course of nearly three decades, Toyoda and Ohno worked on their process, making numerous changes to boost its efficiency. The finalized TPS system involved the use of self-monitoring machinery that compensated for precise volumes of product and utilized the most efficient production sequence. As a result, TPS reduced the cost of production while greatly improving the quality of the manufactured parts.

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