Summary of Toyota Production System

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Taiichi Ohno wrote this seminal book in 1978. As one of Toyota Motor Company’s first mechanical engineers, he was inspired by the principles developed by Toyota’s founder Toyoda Kiichirō. Part manual and part philosophical treatise on efficiency, Ohno’s guide honors the Japanese automotive pioneer’s innovations in manufacturing. This 1988 edition translates the original Japanese version into English. Its overview of the Toyota manufacturing process will appeal to historians and to all those interested in the “just-in-time” ethos that now dominates the globalized economy. 

About the Author

Taiichi Ohno joined the Toyota Motor Company in 1943. He worked as a shop-floor supervisor in the engine manufacturing department and rose to become executive vice president in 1975. 

 

Summary

The Toyota Motor Company changed Ford’s assembly-line concept to include “just-in-time” production.

The automotive industry uses many different production systems, but they all began with Henry Ford’s 1910 invention of the assembly line. Ford realized that it was far more efficient to bring the car to the parts than to bring the parts to the car. His first chassis traveled along a trolley. He and his partners fitted the parts into the chassis along its path. Workers built the engine separately and then put it in place.

Later, Ford made the parts using dies or molds that could punch out pieces in large quantities. The cost per unit dropped when Ford manufactured cars in large quantities, but in giving birth to mass production, the company had to store, label and catalog each part.

Toyoda Kiichirō created “Toyotaism” in the 1930s, setting the standard for Japanese automobile manufacturing.

Toyoda Kiichirō adopted Ford’s manufacturing process when he founded the Toyota Motor Company in 1933. Kiichirō, who had already automated his textile...


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