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Transforming the future of cars and car manufacturing

Toyota’s transformative approach to leverage its human-centred approach to manufacturing
Toyota’s human-centred monozukuri evolution and innovative technologies have led the company to reduce equipment investment and production preparation lead time by 50% and increase productivity by 20%.
  • Human-centred approach to manufacturing

    As a company, we inherited our human-centred approach to manufacturing from our founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, ‘we make things for the benefit of others’. The Toyota Production System (TPS) was born from this approach, maximising the use of human resources to shorten lead-times and constantly refine jidoka (‘automation with a human touch’) - making it easier to identify issues and stimulate kaizen (‘continuous improvement’). To deliver the ‘future of car manufacturing’ we believe our monozukuri philosophy must blend ever-evolving human-centred best practices with digital tools and innovative technologies.

  • An environment to thrive

    Toyota’s production line employees have always been encouraged to gather on the shop floor to share their skills, ingenuity, and wisdom to help create and mass-produce new products. This process continues today and is further supported by the establishment of a ‘start up studio’ at the plant where members can share learning to respond quickly to the challenge of new manufacturing processes, generating ideas that can be quickly materialised towards prototype development and mass production technology.

“I want to change the future of car-making through Toyota’s skill. To achieve this, we need to evolve the monozukuri strengths that only Toyota possesses through the fusion of human skills, technology and digital techniques”.
said Chief Production Officer Kazuaki Shingo
  • The ongoing importance of Takumi skill base

    Toyota employs highly skilled manufacturing professionals called Takumi. Capable of achieving high-quality product finishing, Takumi skills are based on tacit hands-on knowledge, and passing this knowledge to future generations poses a problem. Digital technology is being used to visualise the practical skills of craftspeople in an easy-to-understand way for next generations and to automate these skills in the future. Takumi engineers are now able to use advanced processing technologies to make unique designs previously considered too difficult to produce. 

  • Digital tools to improve car manufacturing

    At the Motomachi Plant, multiple production requires a unique level of agility - combining different body types with multiple powertrains. Identification of kaizen techniques has led to the development of multi-skilled workers whose experience make it possible to tackle future manufacturing challenges. Digital tools are used to improve the productivity of existing facilities and shorten the lead time. For example, 3D models enable to identify unanticipated defects that could lead to re-manufacturing. Whereas digital twins, allow, among others, to localise possible process defects.

  • Decreasing costs and increasing efficiency

    Improving efficiency, increasing productivity, and shortening lead times are what TPS does best. That’s why our goal is to halve the number of processes and plant investment through the new modular giga casting technology and self-propelling production line. Gigacast features aluminium die-casting, eliminating many parts and processes. Its three-part modular structure allows manufacturing and assembly work in an opened environment. Moreover, we have managed to reduce the changeover time of the moulds from 24h to 20 minutes and reduce the number of defective moulds through proprietary analysis technology.

  • Leveraging our production line

    To reduce plant investment and lead time self-propelling line concepts have been implemented on certain welding lines at the Motomachi Plant. Self-propelled part-ensembled vehicles operate safely at a mass production appropriate speed thanks to sensors able to recognise people and objects. All processes insourced using the knowledge and experience we have accumulated though autonomous driving technology development. Towards our next generation batteries, we are leveraging our years of experience to create high speed a precision processes to stack batteries without damage, maximising their performance. 

“What we hope to achieve with BEV Factory is to change the future of battery electric vehicles through the transformation of cars, manufacturing and the way we work“
said BEV Factory President, Takero Kato