Weather warms and bees buzz, a sure sign they’re getting down to business … pollinating the plant populace. And as the top population handling this serious undertaking, they’re getting a hand from Toyota.
PRINCETON, Ind. (May 9, 2014)
Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota Mitsuru Kawai is overseeing a return to the old ways at Toyota factories throughout Japan. Having spent 50 years at the Japanese automaker, Kawai remembers when manual skills were prized at the company and “experienced masters used to be called gods, and they could make anything.” Company CEO Akio Toyoda personally chose Kawai to develop programs to teach workers metalcraft such as how to forge a crankshaft from scratch, and 100 workstations that formerly housed machines have been set aside for human training. The idea is that when employees personally understand the fabrication of components, they will understand how to make better machines. Said Kawai, “To be the master of the machine, you have to have the knowledge and the skills to teach the machine.” Lessons learned by the newly skilled workers have led to shorter production lines – in one case, 96percent shorter – improved parts production and less scrap. Taking time to give workers the knowledge to solve problems instead of merely having them “feed parts into a machine and call somebody for help when it breaks down,” Kawai’s initiative is akin to that of Toyota’s Operations Management Consulting Division, where new managers are given a length of time to finish a project but not given any help – they have to learn on their own. It’s not a step back from Toyota’s quest to build more than ten million cars a year; it’s an effort to make sure that this time they don’t sacrifice quality while making the effort. Said Kawai, “We need to become more solid and get back to basics.” Toyota retires robots in favor of humans to improve automaking process originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 12 Apr 2014 15:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Budget , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , UAW/Unions , India The Detroit News reported today that Toyota will restart production at two Indian plants, following a shutdown on Monday. Factory labor, management and police in Asia engage in the kind of violent altercations that we’re not used to, having almost entirely walked away from the overtly brutal relations epitomized by the Pinkerton Detective Agency and the Flint Sit-Down Strike . In India, a plant owned by a Ford transmission supplier plant was shut down in 2009 after incidents between workers and armed men around the same time as Ssangyong workers occupied a factory in South Korea , in 2012 Suzuki Maruti workers rioted over wages around the same time upset employees beat a ceramics factory president to death in retaliation for a labor leader’s killing. Toyota is the latest to company trying to avoid that road. The Detroit Free Press reported earlier this week that it shut down two plants in India after 11 months of acrimonious wage negotiations and arbitration have gone nowhere. Toyota said the plant workers in Bidadi, near Bangalore, had deliberately stopped production at times over the past 45 days and threatened management. The workers said they wanted their wages raised by an amount already agreed to by management, but that management had reneged; news reports weren’t clear on the amount, some saying nearly 10,000 rupees ($165 US) more per month, another saying 4,000 rupees ($65 US), but reports agree that Toyota has said it will only go as high as 3,050 rupees ($50 US). Terms of today’s resolution have not been released, but we do know that production will begin again on Monday, March 24. Toyota temporarily idles pair of Indian plants due to labor unrest originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Mar 2014 18:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
PRINCETON, Ind. (Dec. 5, 2013) – Hoosier pride was felt deep and wide on the plant floor of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana this morning as the company celebrated the start of production of the all-new 2014 Highlander.
SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 17, 2013) – Everyone has a lucky number.
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota Over the past two years, Toyota has invested more than $2 billion at its North American production facilities, and it apparently doesn’t plan on stopping there. To keep up with recent strong sales, Toyota is investing an additional $200 million at its engine plants in the Southern US to increase production capacity of its V6 engines. The bulk of this money ($150 million) will go to expand Toyota’s engine plant in Huntsville, AL, which is currently responsible for supplying engines – four-cylinder, V6 and V8 – to eight of Toyota’s 12 domestically produced vehicles. That includes the best-selling Toyota Camry (shown above). Toyota didn’t say exactly what improvements are being made to the plant, but this follows last year’s $80 million investment in the plant that is set to be completed by next year raising the engine capacity to 750,000 annual units including 362,000 V6s. The remaining $50 million will go to the casting plants of Toyota-owned Bodine Aluminum in Missouri and Tennessee, which supply engine blocks and cylinder heads to the Huntsville engine plant as well as others in Kentucky and West Virginia. Scroll down below for the official press release. Continue reading Toyota investing $200M in Southern manufacturing Toyota investing $200M in Southern manufacturing originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 23 Jun 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
A Billion Horsepower and Growing – Toyota’s West Virginia Plant Celebrates Production of Its 10 Millionth Unit
BUFFALO, W. Va. (May 1, 2013) –
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Crossover , Lexus , Toyota , Canada , Luxury In an effort to reduce the Yen’s impact on its bottom line, Toyota says it will invest $100 million in its Cambridge, Ontario plant to increase output of the Lexus RX CUV. The Ontario factory is Toyota’s only Lexus producer outside of Japan. “This is a big and ambitious project with new technology, exacting standards and tight timelines,” Brian Krinock, president of Toyota’s Canada manufacturing unit, said in a press release. “Our team members have demonstrated time and time again that they thrive on these kinds of challenges.” The expansion will take the plant’s Lexus capacity from 74,000 units a year to 104,000, including 15,000 RX 450h hybrids. By the time production begins in early 2014, the plant is expected to have added about 400 new jobs and take overall employment to 6,900 workers. Continue reading Toyota looking to shift some Lexus RX production from Japan to Canada Toyota looking to shift some Lexus RX production from Japan to Canada originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 Jul 2012 09:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Crossover , Toyota Sales of the RAV4 are down five percent so far in 2012, but that won’t stop Toyota from increasing North American production. Automotive News reports that Toyota will spend $80 million to retool its Woodstock, Ontario plant to increase production from 150,000 crossovers per year to 200,000. The increased production will also lead to the hiring of an additional 400 workers at the plant. Some speculate that Toyota is ramping up North American production to combat the high Japanese yen. Only 13 percent of the RAV4s sold in North America in 2012 have been Japanese imports. Toyota has steadily decreased its reliance on Japanese plants in general; it’s only building 35 percent of its vehicles in Japan this year, compared to 53 percent in 2006. Toyota spokeswoman Carly Schaffner tells AN that there are currently no plans to build the RAV4 exclusively in North America. Schaffner says that the reason for the production increase is that Toyota is finally able to get enough supplies to the plants after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan a year ago. That said, Toyota has already moved all Highlander production to North America and could do likewise for the RAV4 if localized demand for it warrants a similar move. It’s also important to remember that the RAV4, basically unchanged for several years, is due for a makeover, so the plant upgrade might coincide with a model refresh.