1. Write a global profile for Toyata.
  2. Define just-in-time, TPS, and lean operations.
  3. Define the seven wastes and the 5 Ss.
  4. Explain JIT partnerships.
  5. Determine optimal setup time.
  6. Define
  7. Compute the required number of kanbans.
  8. Explain the principles of the Toyota Production System.


Q1. Global Profile Toyota

The foundations of Toyota were laid down when its founder Sakichi Toyoda invented the Toyoda Handloom. After that, it was a long journey from the invention of automatic looms to gas powered engines. Finally, it was in 1937 that Toyota Motor CO. Ltd. was established.

Currently, the company goes by the name of Toyota Motor Corporation and is headed by President Akio Toyoda. The company is involved in the production of various vehicles from cars to trucks to buses etc.  Besides, the automotive business the company is also engaged in certain non-automotive businesses such providing financial and advisory services. Toyota Homes has been established to develop luxury and modern houses in Japan by utilizing the technologies available to the company. The current capital of Toyota Motors is more than 350 billion yen.

(Toyota Annual Report, 2014)

Q2. Just in time: 

Just in Time is an operations concept which means that the firm should produce only the amount that is needed at the time and not excess. This process consists of determining what amount of input will be needed to produce a specific amount of output and use only that to produce the demanded output to save resources, avoid problems and to prevent production beyond the demand.

Toyota Production System (TPS):  This is a system that is based on two concepts adopted by Toyota, these two are

  1. Jidoka: Stop production when a malfunction occurs to prevent problems down the line in the later production process
  2. Just in Time: Produce only what is needed at the time not more than that.

Lean Manufacturing: It involves the use of such methods in the manufacturing process that will eliminate a different kind of wastes such as manufacturing of defective goods, use of excess motions making the process long, an excess production that remains unutilized, waste of resources, etc.

Q3. The Seven Wastes:

In the lean manufacturing concept given by Toyota there are seven wastes (termed as Mudas) that any manufacturing firm should work on eliminating:

  1. Transport: It is considered waste because the money spent on it does not contribute to the final product. It adds no value to goods produced.
  2. Inventory: The inventory costs the company until it is finally sold bringing in many. Inventory can be wasteful as it needs storage space that adds no value to the product. Moreover, there are hidden wasted when inventory is damaged or becomes obsolete.
  3. Motion: These are the movements that quickly tire out the humans or wear out the machines increasing the time for the process.
  4. Excess Production: Producing more than required results in increased inventory increasing storage cost and chances of damage.
  5. Excess Processes: Using processes that are not needed unnecessarily increasing the time and cost for production
  6. Defects: Good manufactured are not up to the par.
  7. Wait: This is a type of waste that occurs when the workflow is disturbed because the information or material takes the time to move from one department to another.

The Five S: These are the phases used in the lean manufacturing system for organization or workplace and its practices. There Japanese terms with English meaning are:

  1. Seiri: It means Sorting needed item from the unneeded ones
  2. Seiton: It means Arranging the needed items it the sequence of their use.
  3. Seiso: It means Cleaning the work area regularly to identify to take inventory.
  4. Seiketsu: It means Standardizing the process and procedures.
  5. Shitsuke: It means Maintaining and sustaining the standards over an extended period of time of time.

Q4. JIT Partnerships

These are the partnerships formed by the company to achieve the goals of JIT. This partnership is aimed at reducing the wastes and decreasing the inventory of the firm at all level, and forming partnerships with better suppliers. For example, a partnership formed between a company and its suppliers that allow the company to keep its inventory with the supplier until it is needed will save the company from using its storage space.

Q5.  Optimal Setup Time

It is the best time period in which production can be completed if wasteful activities from the setup are removed. The setup times can be reduced by 90 minutes by doing the following:

  1. Divide the setup into two parts- the preparation stage and the stage in which machine operates. Doing preparation for the next stage when the machinery is operating in the previous process can save up to thirty minutes.
  2. Material that is placed within the reach at every stage will save up to twenty minutes.
  3. Standardizing the tools so that they can be used by any worker on the site can reduce time up to fifteen minutes.
  4. Using touch system technologies instead of traditional lever and button ones can save more than ten minutes.
  5. Repeating the setup system until the speed is increased can save up to ten minutes or more
  6. Training the employees and standardizing operations can save five minutes.

(Faccio, 2013)

Q6. Kanban

Kanban is a Japanese word which means Billboards or cards; it is a system that was developed by Taiichi Ohna, at the Toyota Corporations. It is a card system used to streamline the production process by proper scheduling. Every department completes its portion of the work and sends the containers (Kanban) forward to the next department in line so that they can start their work.  This is a pull process where the containers contain only the material needed by the following departments. (Kniberg & Skarin, 2010)

Q7.  Number of Kanbans

The no. of Kanban needed in a production for a smooth flow and to avoid excesses is calculated using the following formula, as given in work of (Naufal, Jaffar, Noriah, & Halim, 2013)

Where, Lead time: the time taken for the completion of a process

Kanban Size: the number of items that the final container can hold


Demand for chocolate bars in a day: 200

Lead time: 3 days

Safety stock: 1 day

Kanban Size: 200

= 3

Q8.  Principles of the Toyota Production System

The seven principle of Toyota Production system are:

  1. Improved Quality: The workers are given the responsibility to check the quality of product at their levels do that the final product is of better quality and defect free.
  2. Employee Empowerment: This principle adopted by Toyota involves arranging workers in the team and assigning them responsibilities for specialized task along with training for that particular task.
  3. Limited Production: Producing goods in small batches to reduce the cost of production and increase the speed of the process. This also reduces the chance of defects in a production affecting the larger quantity of goods.
  4. Maintenance of Equipment: Workers are trained to handle the basic equipment maintenance, specialists are called for only complex situations.
  5. Kanban Production: Containers are passed from one process step to another, containing only the specific amount of material needed for next step in the process.
  6. Suppliers: Partnerships are formed with suppliers that involve the exchange of training to achieve JIT objectives.
  7. Setup Time: This principle involves reducing the time it takes to setup the equipment to start the production processes. Toyota has been able to reduce the setup time by making changes such as the use of automotive parts, training of workers for faster setups