Toyota Motor Manufacturing Case Study Essay

1288 Words Apr 9th, 2008 6 Pages
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.
Analysis:
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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2. 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.
3. Go back to the traditional production process, but have in stock a small ‘buffer’ of seat inventory to call on when defective seats are encountered on the line. So let’s evaluate these alternatives. By implementing the first solution, to continue the attempt to solve the problem off the line, the benefits are no stoppage to the production process, and therefore, a potential cost savings. However, this benefit is short term. The downsides are numerous and most likely more costly in the long run. Until the problem is solved run ratios will continue to be low, defects will be high, and the overflow lot will continue to grow – excessive waste will continue to happen. In addition, customer value will continue to be threatened. Also, by stopping the production line time and time again to deal with the defective seat, the flow of the production line will still be disrupted. And, since this alternative might not utilize those employees that are closest to the production line, there is a large risk that the root cause of the problem will never be uncovered. TPS philosophy stands by the fact that the employees are their greatest asset, as they have been trained to get the root of the problem. By

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