CNC Machining and CNC Machine Tools, Mechanical Manufacturing Technologies

Single piece flow: Toyota’s recessive Power

Over Ford in ruins? Is Toyota’s success just a TPS? This is all wrong. The reason is that many people regard the tools and techniques used by Toyota as the secret to the success of corporate change, without a deep understanding of the hidden power that supports Toyota’s evergreen. China prototype machining services Manufacturer

Many people think of TPS as using Kanban, lights, automation systems, single-piece streams, or U-shaped teams, so they start to invest money to retrofit production lines to install Kanban. But the result always ends in failure.

The reason is that these enterprises regard TPS tools and skills as the secret of the success of corporate change.

Admittedly, these tools, methods and techniques have given birth to the revolution of lean production in the world, but this is definitely not the essence of Toyota production management.

In order to better understand the essence of Japanese enterprise TPS, we first put forward three questions, in fact, these three issues is the essence of TPS, understand the three issues. It is not difficult to understand why Chinese enterprises always draw tigers from Japan.

1. What is the essence of Toyota’s success with TPS?

2. What is the core of the implementation of lean production operations?

3. What is the 3M of lean production?

In fact, these three questions follow the logic from the core to the form, and the way we understand the affairs is from the appearance to the essence, so we might as well start with the second question. Looking for the logic and inner spirit of TPS from Toyota’s development.

TPS is at the core of the production operation level

Let’s analyze the background of the birth of TPS first:

After World War II, Japan’s ongoing post-war reconstruction, its auto industry is like a babbling baby, is facing a huge dilemma today, it is hard to imagine.

In 1950, TOYOTA’s boss, Toyoda Eiji from the United States back to Japan to study automobile factory, at the time of the general manager of TOYOTA Ono Chi called his office, very natural and very calmly handed Ono Ichii a new job, is to try to improve the manufacturing process of TOYOTA, with Ford’s productivity as the goal, to enhance TOYOTA’s productivity level.

Compared with Ford, TOYOTA faces a lot of difficulties:

The market demand of Ford T car is very large, so Ford is implementing mass production in order to meet the needs of the market. However, the market faced by TOYOTA is different, so it must use a assembly line to make many cars with low output, so as to maintain the attraction of the market.

Ford Motor Co has enough funds to ensure that they carry out mass production. TOYOTA was poor at the bottom of the pot. In order to ensure that the capital chain did not suffer a tragic breakdown, TOYOTA must be able to make quick turnover of funds.

Ford Motor Co can set up their own deep pockets, large warehouses and workshops, and TOYOTA could not invest a lot of money for the construction of warehouse and workshop.

This is an almost unimaginable task is almost nothing, presumptuous.

But that is not the case, Toyoda Eiji before making this decision is probably already have ready plans to meet a situation, strategizing. China prototype machining services Manufacturer

After the field trip to the United States, Toyoda Eiji was surprised to find that the large-scale production mode of the United States had not changed much from 30s to 50s, and this way itself had many shortcomings.

Toyoda Eiji saw a large number of production equipment manufacturing process, and stacked together, until after a batch filled and then sent to another department; then for a while and then sent to the next stack, led to the mass production process. Each continuous process, greatly delayed delivery and occupy a lot of space.

And the only way to reduce the average unit cost is that expensive equipment does not stop production staff, non-stop work. Enterprise rewards those who produce more products, the machine and the staff kept busy with production department manager, in mass production out of something hidden into batches of defective products are within a few weeks it can not be perceived.

Toyoda Eiji sees all this in his eyes, and also sees the opportunity for them to catch up and surpass.

After Ono Chi Toyoda Eiji received instructions, again visited the United States at the same time, reading the works of Henry Ford “now and in the future”, Ford is a concept and idea of continuous uninterrupted process that Ono Chi found a magic weapon for defeating the enemy, but also deepen the Daye high Ford thought:

1, the flow not only needs continuous continuous, but also the flow should be the smallest possible batch, and the best is the single piece flow (single piece flow).

2. must make the staff good at continuous improvement of the process to make it more fluent, time-saving and less productive, and less quality problems.

Insummaryofthesetwopoints, Ono Chi finally succeeded in design can according to customer needs and the flexibility to change, and also can improve the efficiency of the single piece flow production mode, and perfect and put into practice, namely one-piece flow. So as to lay a foundation for TOYOTA to become the new overlord of the automotive industry, has created a model of manufacturing to change the world.

So, TPS’s original nature and the essence of the most part of it is to establish a continuous uninterrupted flow, at the operational level, the single piece flow undoubtedly become the core principle. Other tools of lean production, such as fast switching, standardization, pull production mode are developed in order to create a continuous the operation process and its services.

Single piece flow and 3M

Understanding the core principles of the TPS operation level, we will learn the 3M of TOYOTA lean production again, that is, the third questions you have received.

It’s easy for you to understand that single piece flow is a good way to satisfy lean production. Every step in the process can produce products needed for next step with minimum batches in one beat time, so that continuous and continuous production process can be established. China prototype machining services Manufacturer

It requires smooth, rhythmic, smooth and efficient production. Every step should be so fast and slow. Just like heartbeat, we must keep our own rules.

The reality is often not as simple and beautiful as we think. In such a specific way of implementation and implementation, we will encounter many unexpected difficulties and situations.

With the TOYOTA model is a large area of promotion, make to order production mode has swept the world, all enterprises hope the customer demand and order make customers want products, although this is the ultimate goal of lean production mode, but also the production and characteristics of industrial conflict. For example, the change of market demand, changes in the production of varieties, changes, and even parts of the supply of personnel, technology changes will lead to a single piece flow fluctuation.

How do we avoid and deal with these difficulties? In fact, many tools and methods of TOYOTA are to guarantee and improve the single piece flow, and the Toyota Corporation’s 3M is also born.

The 3M here is not the 3M company in the United States, but three of the three kinds of production that need to be eliminated and avoided in the “TOYOTA model”.

The first M is muda, also a waste of meaning in Japanese, the earth people know that it is very important to eliminate waste, not to say much.

The second M is Muri, which means overloading of employees or equipment.

In a sense, Muri is just the opposite of muda. Muri is pushing personnel or machines beyond the limit. Overload production will lead to safety and quality problems, so Muri is also a phenomenon we must put an end to.

The third M is called mura, which means unbalanced and uneven. Literally, mura is actually the integration of Muri and muda. In fact, the generation of mura is also the result of the co existence of Muri and muda.

Because the market is hard to predict, and at the same time, there will often be “small things” like shutdowns, parts missing or quality problems in your factory, which will cause your production to fluctuate frequently.

There is no steady progress in production. The process of no interruption has also become a castle in the air. How to achieve stable and stable production? TOYOTA has started a hard exploration, and Muri and mura have also been born.

On the whole, the customer demand is not expected to be able to, in a changing environment to achieve their own production smoothly, the only way is to rely on a small amount of buffer or parts warehouse to ensure the smooth one-piece flow. This is Ono Chi observed the supermarket replenishment system inspiration.

With such a cushioned inventory of finished products, you can ensure that you produce a daily quantity of products at a given pace and time: when orders are high. Buffer inventory ensures that you don’t work overtime to meet your production schedule. When orders are small, all you have to do is replenish the buffer inventory you consume. “tolerate this small waste and avoid more waste in your entire production process and supply chain.”

In fact, the imbalance is not just the result of overall quantitative changes. There is also an imbalance in supply relationships between processes within production that needs to be eliminated. When the total quantity is constant, the types of products are different and the number of products varies. Each product will also produce uneven production in the production process.

Toyota’s solution is to equalize production plans.

Although a small amount of buffer inventory Kanban system to solve the problem of imbalance, but this buffer inventory must not be very large, its buffering capacity is also limited, in order to completely solve the problem of imbalance. Toyota has been thinking about how to plan production from the beginning, which introduces the equalization of production planning, that is, how to set the output of each product according to the rhythm of different parts.

Here’s a picture of how Toyota’s approach can be intuitively understood:

The product per unit time of the production line of components A is 3 / unit B = 2 / C, which should satisfy the smooth operation of the upper and lower processes on the mixed loading line. In fact, Toyota is doing just that, which is why every four crowns in Toyota’s factory in Tianjin have to be driven by one out of every four crowns. Is to ensure that the forward process to take the material smoothly.

This is now a lot of enterprises engaged in lean production when a mistake, only to see the elimination of muda this one aspect. But the more important thing to achieve smooth production and keep the process balanced was thrown into the trash can as a useless rag.

The essence of TPS’s success

Looking back on the development of Toyota TPS, it is not difficult to see that many methods of lean production are gradually enriched and perfected in practice. However, why TPS was born in Toyota. Why have so many working methods been summed up to ensure TPS production? In fact, the answer to this question is precisely our first question: the essence of Toyota’s success in promoting TPS!

The Toyota model can be summarily summed up as two pillars: continuous improvement and respect for employees.

Continuous improvement is the basic way for Toyota Motor Company to run a business. It challenges everything and, more importantly, creates a spirit of continuous learning, accepts and maintains an environment of change.

In order to create this environment, we must respect our employees. It is by encouraging employees to participate actively in the improvement of their work that Toyota achieves teamwork and exerts the creativity of everyone.

We illustrate the essence of the Toyota model by the development of single-piece flow in lean production.

Some TPS gurus evaluate single-piece flows as follows:

1. A single piece flow is a very demanding process that can be quickly detected and needs to be resolved quickly. Otherwise production will stop. This forces companies and employees to feel the urgency they need to respond to business problems (Lean thinking).

2. In the case of a single piece flow manufacturing method, the entire production line will be suspended if there is a problem, which would appear to be a poor production system. However, when production stops. Everyone was forced to solve the problem at once. So everyone was forced to think about the solution, through thorough thinking. As a result, team members grew and became more competent. In other words, we created confusion. This forces us to find a solution to this problem.

3. Inventory makes it a bad habit for people not to face and deal with problems immediately. If you don’t deal with problems immediately, you can’t improve your process. Single piece flow and continuous improvement are like conjoined babies (Toyota Road).

The language of the masters can help us understand the single-piece flow.

In short, the meaning of a single piece flow is not only that it shortens the delivery cycle, reduces the in-process inventory, and improves the quality, but more importantly, when the problem arises. The one-piece flow forces all members to participate in the solution of the problem, and at the same time requires the problem to be solved quickly and thoroughly, which is the inherent manifestation of the continuous improvement of the Toyota model and the participation of the whole staff.

In fact, single-piece teams require a strong sense of discipline and awareness to maintain their operations, and many companies do not have the ability to do so at first. Forming this ability requires a painful Nirvana process.

This painful Nirvana process is the result of the cooperation of Toyota employees in a team atmosphere that respects human nature and creativity, and many tools to ensure the smooth operation of the production process are born. Therefore, we should understand that respect for employees, encourage employees to actively participate in the improvement of the building of learning enterprises is the key to the cultural level of TPS. Single-piece flow is the core principle at the operational level of TPS. Toyota’s success is rooted in its ability to cultivate leadership. Team and culture as well as building and maintaining a learning enterprise. Toyota’s sustainable use of TPS tools and methods must be attributed to Toyota’s business philosophy based on understanding and motivating employees.

And many Chinese companies can’t digest the flow because they don’t understand the challenges and the pain of continuous improvement, and the result is that once they discover the price they have to pay. They immediately gave up and backed back. Unfortunately, many Chinese companies don’t understand the essence of one-piece flow. They think it’s a good idea to show the benefits of uninterrupted flow as a toy. But that’s not the case when the concept actually causes some short-term cost increases and longer delivery times.

For a long time, humanitarians have criticized on-site assembly work in manufacturing companies as the most tedious, depressing and humblest work in the enterprise, depriving grass-roots workers of their ability to think, while at Toyota. Not only are management, finance, human resources and sales focused on improving their processes, but grass-roots employees are given the same rights and obligations, and they also seek to improve the way they work. Identify valuable processes to meet customer requirements and innovate.

In this sense, Toyota is a true learning company that has been learning and evolving for nearly a century. So we do lean production in the enterprise, and most importantly, we build a respect for our employees. Let all the employees participate, exert the creativity of all employees, build the culture of learning organization. Only in this way can the improvement be sustained and the pursuit of perfection and excellence be integrated into the blood and bone marrow of the enterprise.

This is not a flamboyant rhetoric, but a way for Toyota to move up to top executives and down to factories to actually implement a principle that grass-roots workers who create value follow in their work. It is this double helix structure that makes Toyota the banner and leader of the rest of the world on the road to improvement and change.

Such a company, no matter what mode of production, even without Kanban can be successful.

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