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The origin of the Toyota Production System
Roots of the Toyota Production System
The Toyota Production System (TPS), which is steeped in the philosophy of "the complete elimination of all waste" imbues all aspects of production in pursuit of the most efficient methods, tracing back its roots to Sakichi Toyoda's automatic loom. The TPS has evolved through many years of trial and error to improve efficiency based on the Just-in-Time concept developed by Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder (and second president) of Toyota Motor Corporation.
Waste can manifest as excess inventory in some cases, extraneous processing steps in other cases, and defective products in yet other cases. All these "waste" elements
Intertwine with each other to create more waste, eventually impacting the management of the corporation itself.
The automatic loom invented by Sakichi Toyoda not only automated work which used to be performed manually but also built the capability to make judgments into the machine itself. By eliminating both defective products and the associated wasteful practices, Sakichi succeeded in tremendously improving both productivity and work efficiency.
Kiichiro Toyoda, who inherited this philosophy, set out to realize his belief that "the ideal conditions for making things are created when machines, facilities, and people work together to add value without generating any waste." He conceived methodologies and techniques for eliminating waste between operations, between both lines and processes. The result was the Just-in-Time method.
By practicing the philosophies of "Daily Improvements" and "Good Thinking, Good Products," the TPS has evolved into a world-renowned production system. Furthermore, all Toyota production divisions are making improvements to the TPS day and night to ensure its continued evolution.
Recently, the "Toyota spirit of making things" is referred to as the "Toyota Way." It has been adopted not only by companies inside Japan and within the automotive industry, but in production activities worldwide, and continues to evolve globally.Executive Summary of the 14 Toyota Way Principles