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Toyota Production System Essay

1901 words - 8 pages

Idea behind the theory

Muda is the Japanese term for waste and is a key concept in the Toyota Production System. The definition of waste is basically anything that does not add value. “Value and waste are opposites. "Value" is what the customer is actually willing to pay for the product or service. Economists define value as the ratio of the usefulness of a product or service to its costs. This includes the product's functions and features and it relates to the whole product, service or both. Costs include the price paid and also the cost in time and hassle in obtaining and using the product or service” (Sowards, 2005). “It is common to find that in a factory less that 5 per cent of ...view middle of the document...

Inefficiently processing due to poor tool and product design, causing unnecessary motion and producing defects. Waste is generated when providing higher-quality products than is necessary.
5. Excess inventory. Excess raw material, WIP, or finished goods causing longer lead times, obsolescence, damaged goods, transportation and storage costs, and delay. Also, extra inventory hides problems such as production imbalances, late deliveries from suppliers, defects, equipment downtime, and long setup times.
6. Unnecessary Movement. Any wasted motion employees have to perform during the course of their work, such as looking for, reaching for, or stacking parts, tools, etc. Also, walking is waste.
7. Defects. Production of defective parts or correction. Repair or rework, scrap, replacement production, and inspection mean wasteful handling, time, and effort.
8. Unused employee creativity (This waste was identified by Jeffrey Liker, author of The Toyota Way.) Losing time, ideas, skills, improvements, and learning opportunities by not engaging or listening to your employees. (Liker, 2004)
There are many tools and ideas that will help you eliminate waste from 5s to spaghetti diagrams. “The real success comes from an improvement process for identifying waste – understanding the root cause and putting in true counter measures to this cause” (Liker & Meier, 2006, pg 34). Once waste is eliminated it will create a fast, flexible process that you and your customer will benefit from.

Application of the theory
The idea of eliminating waste has been applied to many industries. Our company tries to eliminate waste in every aspect of our business. Each site conducts a value stream map every six months to identify where the value is added and where we can eliminate waste. Once completed, we create a continuous improvement roadmap that keeps us on task to eliminate waste at our site and creates more value for us and our customer. We have been practicing this for about seven years at our warehousing cites but now have applied to all facets of Menlo Worldwide with great success.
Eliminating muda can be applied to pretty much all industries. It has turned around the timber industry in Missouri. The timber industry contributes significantly to Missouri's economy. Missouri has roughly 13 million acres of timberland that covers 30 percent of the state. The timber industry is one of Missouri's 10 largest manufacturing sectors, employing some 30,000 people with an annual payroll of $681 million.
Although the numbers are impressive the contribution to the state's economy should be much higher. Unfortunately the timber producers are not operating at full efficiency and some are producing only lower grade forest products, from high grade raw materials.
With that being said the Missouri Enterprise Business Assistance Center recognized the inefficiencies and partnered with the Missouri Department of Agriculture to submit an application for a U. S. Department of Agriculture Federal...

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