The Secrets Behind Toyota's Bullet-Proof Reliability

The following article about Toyota is interesting:

Some quotes:

Compared to traditional manufacturing paradigms, Toyota empowers employees to halt production to address possible improvements or existing issues.

As we distill the essence of Toyota’s philosophy, we find wisdom that applies to our daily lives.

  • The principles of Kaizen teach us the value of continuous improvement, reminding us to seek and implement beneficial changes, however small, into our daily routines
  • Jidoka highlights the importance of recognizing problems at their earliest stages and addressing them immediately rather than escalating them
  • Focusing on practicality reminds us to prioritize sustainability and long-term benefits over short-term gains.
  • Finally, the pursuit of innovation, as showcased by the Woven City project, encourages us to explore and embrace new technologies such as the use of solid-state batteries in EVs for a better tomorrow

The story of Toyota is a roadmap to progress and sustainability - not just in the automotive world but in our daily lives as well. As we navigate our paths, it’s worth keeping these principles close to heart.

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More from this article. The part about introducing automation late is interesting. Reminds me of Paul Graham’s advice to “do things that don’t scale.”

Central to the Toyota Production System (TPS) is the concept of Jidoka, a philosophy blending automation with a deep human understanding and control. Consider how Jidoka unravels within the Toyota assembly line.

Each design element, process, and component commences with careful human craftsmanship. Envision Toyota engineers meticulously sculpting and refining each piece by hand until they reach perfection.

Here’s how it plays out:

  • Handcrafted Precision: Every new part starts with human engineering to ensure optimal design and functioning
  • Introducing Automation: Gradual automation is incorporated only when the part reaches its design and operation perfection
  • Full Automation: The engineers phase out their involvement, leading to full automation of that part within the assembly line

Contrary to typical manufacturing processes that rely heavily on automation from inception, Toyota’s slower, human-led approach ensures functionality, fit, and complete understanding of every component.