Toyota Motor Manufacturing Case Study
Main problem: Toyota Motor Manufacturing, U.S.A. (TMM) is deviating from the standard assembly line principle of jidoka in an attempt to avoid expenses incurred from stopping the production line for seat quality defects. This deviation has contributed to the inability to identify the root cause of the problem, which has led to decreased run ratios on the line and an excess of defective automobiles in the overflow lot for multiple days. If this problem isn’t fixed quickly, an increased amount of waste will continue to be incurred and customer value will be threatened.
Friesen is truly struggling to find a way to “have his cake and eat it too”. Friesen is passionate about TPS ways of achieving lean manufacturing by staying
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In the short term run ratios will still be low (and even potentially lower), and defective cars will continue to sit on the overflow lot. However, in the long term the benefits are many, as by sticking by these tried and true jidoka processes, the root cause of the problem may have a better chance of being uncovered. The third solution may sound like a compromise between the first two alternatives, and therefore potentially enticing to consider. However, in the end the reality is that most likely the plant doesn’t have the capacity to take on the type of buffer inventory it would need to handle all of the product lines (assuming they follow the Heijunka system) and it would just add to the current waste problem by having excess inventory, violating key Just In Time (JIT) principles.
Implement alternative number two: Immediately cease the deviation to production process and go back to jidoka and the andon pull standards, which would mean stopping production when defective seats are encountered. Although it might seem like a drastic and potentially costly solution, the benefits outweigh the downsides. The TPS philosophy is a proven system, and to deviate from it can prove disastrous. The Toyota Way is implemented through a solid foundation of key principles (see Appendix A). At the base