Toyota Production System (TPS) is a manufacturing philosophy that has been developed and honed by the Toyota Motor Corporation over many decades. It is also known as Lean Manufacturing or simply Lean. The goal of TPS is to eliminate waste and increase efficiency in the manufacturing process.
The key principles of TPS include the following:
- Just-in-time (JIT) production: This principle emphasizes the need for production to occur at the exact time it is needed rather than producing large quantities of products in advance. This helps to reduce inventory costs and the risk of stock becoming obsolete.
- Kaizen: This principle is all about continuous improvement. It encourages all employees to constantly look for ways to improve the efficiency of the manufacturing process and make suggestions for change.
- Jidoka: This principle is about building quality into the process rather than inspecting it afterwards. It encourages using automation and technology to detect and address problems as they occur rather than relying on human inspection.
- Heijunka: This principle is about levelling the production process. It aims to achieve a smooth and consistent flow of products through the manufacturing process rather than having sporadic peaks and troughs in production.
- Muda, Mura, Muri: These Japanese terms refer to the three types of waste that TPS aims to eliminate. Muda is a waste of any kind, Mura is unevenness, and Muri is overburdened or overworked.
TPS has been extremely successful for Toyota, and many other companies have adopted its principles. The system is known for its ability to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the quality of products. It is important to note that TPS is not a one-time solution; it’s a journey of continuous improvement.
In conclusion, TPS is a comprehensive manufacturing philosophy focused on eliminating waste, increasing efficiency, and building quality into the production process. It is a proven method that many companies in various industries have successfully adopted. It is a continuous improvement journey, always looking for ways to improve and optimize the process.