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Sample essay topic, essay writing: The Toyota Production System - 1112 words
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.. key to the Toyota production system include Flexible work force ('Shojinka' in Japanese) which means varying the number of workers to demand changes, and Creative thinking or inventive ideas ('soikufu'), or capitalising on workers suggestions. To realise these four concepts, Toyota has established the following systems and methods: 1. Kanban system to maintain Just-in-time production 2. Production smoothing method to adapt to demand changes 3.
Shortening of set-up time for reducing the production lead time 4. Standardisation of operations to attain line balancing 5. Machine layout and the multi-function worker for flexible work force 6. Improvement activities by small groups and the suggestion system to reduce the work force and increase the worker's morale. 7. Visual control system to achieve the Autonamation concept 8
Functional Management system to promote company-wide quality control. Just-in-time production The idea of producing the necessary units in the necessary quantities at the necessary time is described by the short term Just-in-time. Just-in-time means, for example, that in the process of assembling the parts to build a car, the necessary kind of sub-assemblies of the preceding processes should arrive at the product line at the time needed in the necessary quantities. If Just-in-time is realised in the entire firm, then unnecessary inventories in the factory will be completely eliminated, making stores or warehouses unnecessary. The inventory carrying costs will be diminished, and the ratio of capital turnover will be increased.
However, to rely solely on the central planning approach which instructs the production schedules to all processes simultaneously, it is very difficult to realise Just-in-time in all the processes for a product like an automobile, which consists of thousands of parts. Therefore, in Toyota system, it is necessary to look at the production flow conversely; in other words, the people of a certain process go to the preceding process to withdraw the necessary units in the necessary quantities at the necessary time. Then what the preceding process has to do is produce only enough quantities of units to replace those that have been withdrawn. Kanban system Many people think the Toyota production system a Kanban system: this is incorrect. The Toyota production system is a way to make products, whereas the Kanban system is the way to manage the Just-in-time production method.
In short, the kanban system is an information system to harmoniously control the production quantities in every process. It is a tool to achieve just-in-time production. In this system what kind of units and how many units needed are written on a tag-like card called Kanban. The Kanban is sent to the people of the preceding process from the subsequent process. As a result, many processes in a plant are connected with each other.
This connecting of processes in a factory allows for better control of necessary quantities for various products. The Kanban system is supported by the following: Smoothing of production Reduction of set-up time design of machine layout Standardisation of jobs Improvement activities Autonamation A kanban is usually a card put in a rectangular vinyl envelope. Two kinds are mainly used: Withdrawal Kanban and Production-ordering Kanban. A Withdrawal Kanban details the kind and quantity of product which the subsequent process should withdraw from the preceding process, while a Production-ordering Kanban specifies the kind and quantity of the product which the preceding process must produce. The Withdrawal kanban in fig.2 shows that the preceding process which makes this part is forging, and the carrier of the subsequent part must go to position B-2 of the forging department to withdraw drive pinions. The subsequent process is machining.
The Kanban in fig.3 shows that the machining process SB-8 must produce the crank shaft for the car type. The crank shaft produced should be placed at store F26-18. These cards circulate within Toyota factories, between Toyota and its many co-operative companies, and within the factories of co-operative companies. In this manner, the Kanban can contribute information on withdrawal and production quantities in order to achieve Just-in-time production. Suppose we are making products A, B, and C in an assembly line. The parts necessary to produce these products are a and b which are produced by the preceding machining line(fig.4).
Parts a and b produced by the machining line are stored behind this line, and the production-ordering Kanbans of the line are attached to these parts. The carrier from the assembly line making product A will go to the machining line to withdraw the necessary part a with a withdrawal kanban. Then, at store, he picks up as many boxes of this part as his withdrawal kanbans and he detaches the production-ordering kanban attached to these boxes. He then brings these boxes back to his assembly line, again with withdrawal kanbans. At this time, the production-ordering Kanbans are left at store a of the machining line showing the number of units withdrawn.
These Kanbans will be the dispatching information to the machining line. Part a is then produced in the quantity directed by that number of Kanbans. In this machining line, actually, parts a and b are both withdrawn, but these parts are produced according to the detached order of the production-ordering Kanbans. AutonamationIn order to realise Just-in-time perfectly, 100 per cent good units must flow to the prior process, and this flow must be rhythmic without interruption. Therefore, quality control is so important that it must coexist with the Just-in-time operation throughout the Kanban system.
Autonamation means to build in a mechanism a means to prevent mass-production of defective work in machines or product lines. Autonamation is not automation, but the autonomous check of abnormality in the process. The autonomous machine is a machine to which an automatic stopping device is attached. In Toyota factories, almost all the machines are autonomous, so that mass-production of defects can be prevented and machine breakdowns are automatically checked. The idea of Autonamation is also expanded to the product lines of manual work.
If something abnormal happens in a product line, the worker pushes stop button, thereby stopping his whole line. For the purpose of detecting troubles in each process, an electric light board, called Andon, indicating a line stop, is hung so high in a factory that it can easily be seen by everyone. The Andon in the Toyota system has an important role in helping this autonomous check, and is a typical example of Toyota's 'Visual Control System.' CONCLUSIONGlobal adaptation Since Toyota production system has been created from actual practices in the factories of Toyota, it has a strong feature of emphasising practical effects, and actual practice and implication over theoretical analysis. This system can play a great role in the task of improving the constitutions of the companies world-wide(especially those of the automobile industry.
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