1. About Us
  2. Toyota vision & philosophy
  3. Toyota Production System

Toyota Production System

Our world-famous lean manufacturing system 
The way we make vehicles is defined by the Toyota Production System (TPS). It is an original manufacturing philosophy that aims to eliminate waste and achieve the best possible efficiency – what is often called a “lean” or “Just-In-Time” system. 

 

Lean manufacturing system 

The Toyota Production System has long been recognised as a way to eliminate waste and achieve high efficiency. However, its essence is to make work easier and less burdensome for workers, with a focus on creating meaningful work. At the heart of TPS are the concepts of Jidoka and Just-In-Time. By applying these concepts, we are able to produce our products efficiently and at the pace of customer demand. It means that every vehicle meets our high-quality standards and our customers’ individual requirements. 

Our two key concepts

Jidoka, a Japanese term that can be translated as “automation with a human touch” or “intelligent automation”, is a method to quickly identify and correct any issues that could lead to faulty products. At any time or step of the manufacturing process our members can ‘pull the andon‘; literally stopping the production line to avoid generating problems that others would find in the future. At the same time it alerts all team members of the defect or problem found in the assembly line and the entire production stops to get it fixed. 

Just-In-Time is about refining and co-ordinating each production process so that we only produce what is required by the next process in a timely manner. 

TPS: adopted worldwide

The first concepts of TPS came from the founding father of Toyota, Sakichi Toyoda. His weaving loom inventions were driven by his desire to make his mother’s work easier and to build quality into the product. As Toyota developed into an automobile manufacturer, TPS evolved to use the identification of waste as a driver for Kaizen, or continuous improvement, from a quality, efficiency and Just-In-Time point of view.  The TPS system has been studied, adapted and put to use worldwide, not just by manufacturers, but by all types of businesses that want to make their performance more efficient.  

Jidoka

Jidoka is a way of spotting problems and taking prompt action to correct faults at any stage in the production process. Shopfloor workers are empowered to stop the line if there is a problem and transmit information to the “andon” display board to support quick problem-solving. Through the application of this way of thinking, automated processes and machinery are set up to automatically detect an issue and safely stop. This enables an inspection and any necessary adjustments to be made. In this way the system helps prevent problems from occurring again, thus maintaining quality and high productivity. 

Just-In-Time

Just-In-Time means making only what is needed, when it is needed, and in the quantity needed, at every stage of production. That means we strive for consistent quality, an even production flow and streamlined parts handling. It requires the production line to be stocked with all the right parts. As parts are used, new stock is delivered at the right time and in the right quantity, avoiding interruptions or slow-downs in the production process. The Kanban system is central to the Just-In-Time process. It provides an automatic, real-time method to replenish parts at the line side and keep minimal stock.  

TPS in the office

TPS is also applied to our office work. Here, Jidoka is fully embraced to clarify and ensure that each task meets the needs of our internal customers. It means that less time is spent on re-work or other non-value-added activities. Within the office we are finding smart ways of ensuring quality is built into our processes by applying intelligent automation to our streamlined workflows. In addition, the concept of Just-In-Time is exhibited by our continuous pursuit to reduce the lead-time of our tasks. Being quicker to respond to changes in the market allows us to further optimise our resources.