Toyota Production System

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The Toyota Production System (TPS) is the framework and philosophy organizing the manufacturing facilities at Toyota and the interaction of these facilities with the suppliers and customers. It was largely created by three men: the founder of Toyota, Sakichi Toyoda, his son Kiichiro Toyoda, and engineer Taiichi Ohno. The main goal of the TPS is to eliminate waste (無駄, Muda). There are 7 kinds of waste targeted in the TPS.

  1. Defects
  2. Overproduction
  3. Transportation
  4. Waiting
  5. Inventory
  6. Motion
  7. Processing itself

Toyota was able to greatly reduce cost and inventory using the TPS, enabling it to become one of the ten largest companies in the world. The TPS is a classic example of the Kaizen approach to productivity improvement. Due to this stellar success of the production philosophy many of these methods have been copied by other manufacturing companies. TPS is known more generically as Lean manufacturing.