The Toyota Production System Journey : The Continuously Changing Features of TPS and Lean Thinking book cover
1st Edition

The Toyota Production System Journey
The Continuously Changing Features of TPS and Lean Thinking

ISBN 9781032346779
Published October 17, 2022 by Productivity Press
388 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Toyota Production System (TPS) is regarded as a sophisticated concept that helps us understand the world of manufacturing. It evolved from the system of mass-producing cars, established by Ford, and the Japanese have since endeavored to make their own universal production system. Though much has been accomplished, TPS’ progress is a continuous process. The theme of this book is how to understand and learn TPS.

There is a TPS concept that seems to elude many, and that is that manufacturers should be able to make a product available at the moment a customer comes and asks for it. There are various ways and various tools that can be used to pursue the ideal state, and therefore we need to focus on the basic principles of TPS. This book tries to explain those Toyota Production System concepts that may otherwise be elusive.

This book focuses on the factory to help readers understand the fundamental ideology of TPS. The main character started his career as a technical expert in the R&D division of an automotive Company and eventually becomes an Instructor of TPS. His broad career in companies is used to vividly describe the form of the Toyota Production System. To explain the growth of apprentices of various titles and positions, this story is woven with several short stories presented from the perspective of the main character, who grows from being a group leader to section leader to manager to general manager.

Essentially, this book describes the Toyota Production System as based on the philosophy: “Always sketching out and pursuing the ideal state of manufacturing.”

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables

Preface to the English Edition


About the Author

About the Translator

The Characters


Journey One: Growth Journey

Part 1: The Team Leader grows as a production supervisor

01. Team Leader Julie looks back at her notes

-Keeping everything in order, Seiri-Seiton

-Kaizen in operation

-Manufacturing the amount that has been sold

-As a Production Supervisor

Part 2: Overview of the purpose of the Toyota Production System

02. Trigger

03. Purpose

04. Consideration


Journey Two: Meditation Journey

Part 3: Encountering the Toyota Production System

05. Prologue

06. Encountering the Toyota Production System

-The term "TPS"

-Commitment to the terms

07. Getting through the R&D

08. Setting up a production line

-Firstly, a review of the mass production process

-If seen from "THE GOAL," this is "The Push"

-From the perspective of TPS, this is "The Pull"

09. Transfer to the production workplace. How should the factory be managed?

-Developing oneself through personnel training; the Toyota Production System is personnel training

10. Encountering Kanban at the start of mass production

-What is the meaning of Kanban? Being able to use Kanban as a tool of Kaizen

-What is the basic knowledge necessary to use Kanban?

-Which book should we start with to study the Toyota Production System?

Part 4: Production by way of Kanban

11. Machine-based: The machine-based workplace managed via Kanban

-Why is the term "Frequent-Stop" appropriate? PM of keeping the machinery functioning properly is one prerequisite in TPS.

12. Manual-based: Working on the assembly line

13. An"Anti-TPS" force?

-Genba (Production Workplace) oriented policy; Go and see for yourself

14. Kanban as part of the daily management routine

-The term "see": being able to do a Standing Observation by following Genba (Production Workplace) oriented policy

-Investigating the root cause using "Visual Control" and the "Five Whys"

Part 5: Standing still and observing the jobsite by means of Genchi-Gembutsu

15. Observing the Production Workplace closely using Standing Observation; How worthless management that exists only on paper is!

-Kanban written in hiragana, and how to make choices regarding Muda using katakana and hiragana

16. Is it easy to manage in the Kanban world!? ; What is the role of the manager?

-Drawing the schematic diagram of the basic concept of the Toyota Production System

-The Two-Pillars of Just-In-Time and Jidoka

17. The role of the Assistant Manager in the Toyota Production System

-As a technical expert of R&D and Production Engineering

Part 6: Learning the Toyota Production System as a technical expert in mid-position

18. Learning the Toyota Production System together with young technical experts

-What is the knowledge the staff should learn in TPS?

19. Learning the role of the Toyota Production System

-Encountering the Toyota production System

-The Manufacturing workplace for the Just-for-You-Product

-Striving for the ideal features

-Continuing to learn

20. The never-ending pursuit



Journey Three. Implementation Journey

Part 7: Entering the Kaizen Promotion Organization

21. New departure

-Respect for People; The term "worker"

22. Transfer to the managing division of TPS activities

23. The way to advance the activity: Organization for promoting TPS

24. What is the company-wide function of OMCD?

-The role of OMCD from the viewpoint of company function

25. TPS activity is mainly implemented in the Production Division under the support of the TPS Promotion Department

Part 8: Implementation in Jishuken

26. The Institute for the Study of the Toyota Production System: Jishuken

27. Organization, themes and attendees of Jishuken

-What is the level of TPS in the company? The level of the changing features of TPS evaluated on a scale of one to five

28. The activity teams in Jishuken divided into Production and Logistics

-Just-In-Time and Jidoka

29. Learning the ideology and the techniques, implementing Kaizen in Jishuken inside the company

Part 9: Becoming a Kaizen practitioner

30. Productivity: Apparent Efficiency and True Efficiency, Rate of Operation and Operational Availability

31. Improvement of work in the production line 1: The Muda of work, the ideology of Flexible Manpower Line

32. Improvement of work in the production line 2: Standardized Work

-Let’s establish Standardized Work in the case of the barbershop!

-The importance of Standardized Work

-The difference between two terms: Standardized Work and Work Standards

33. Improvement of machine in the production line

34. Improvement of process in the production line

35. As a Kaizen practitioner

Part 10: President of supplier remembers the Kaizen activities

36. President of supplier looks back

37. President had a bad time with poor instruction

38. Reviewing the Kaizen activity

39. Restarting the TPS activity

40. Establishing the continuous TPS Kaizen activity


Journey Four. Deepening Journey

Part 11: Learning the true procedure for Kaizen

41. When absentminded

- 5S (Five S’s)

42. Visualizing the workplace by initially doing 2S, especially in the TPS level grade A company

43. Proceeding initally to sketch out the ideal state

- Individual TPS Instructor explains the different schedules or methods for improving the level of TPS

- Kaizen Activity Procedure: Sketching out the ideal state

- Kaizen Activity Procedure: Kaizen or Kaikaku (innovation)?

Part 12: Advancing toward the high-level features of TPS

44. Learning the high-level features of TPS, implementing Kaizen Production in Jishuken inside the company

-The inventory is the outcome; Once-in-a-lifetime Inventory Reduction

-If having inventory is the worst TPS situation, should the target be to be inventory-less?

45. Learning the high-level features of TPS, implementing Kaizen of Logistics in Jishuken outside the company

-Why should we practice the production of small lot sizes or the conveyance of small lot sizes?

-Is it correct that the Fill-Up System of Production is a fundamental principle in the Toyota Production System?

46. Implementing the activities in a different culture where a practitioner develops the ability to find out the problem

-Manpower Saving and Human Resources; May layoffs happen after improvement?

47. Changing features of the Toyota Production System

Part 13: The Features of TPS

48. The Features of TPS (Global TPS: Schematic Diagram of the Toyota Production System)

-The meaning of "The Features of TPS": The narrowly interpreted TPS and the broadly interpreted TPS

49. Overview of the Toyota Production System (TPS): "Three Keys," "Four Behaviors" and "The Features of Monodzukuri (Manufacturing)"

-The never-ending Journey as a TPS specialist



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Noboru Takeuchi is an executive consultant in a Japanese consulting firm for manufacturing called Process Design Co., Ltd. Japan, where he shares his knowledge and experiences of the Toyota Production System, known as TPS. He was Ex-Adjunct Professor at Aichi Gakuin University Graduate School, the former Chief Adviser of the Production Engineering Management Meeting held by the Japan Management Association (JMA). He worked at an automotive company of the Toyota Group for Genba innovation based on the Toyota Production System, researching and developing the production process technology for the automotive elemental components, and leading the business administration flow process based on the concept of TPS. He has worked on cost reduction, the 5S, Kaizen of operations and logistics, the Kanban system, productivity enhancement, lead time shortening, and quality in the production workplace. He has a Bachelor of Engineering from the Nagoya Institute of Technology and a Master of Chemical Engineering from Osaka Prefecture University in Japan.