TOYOTA Production System (TPS)

The production system developed by Toyota Motor Corporation to provide best quality, lowest cost, and shortest lead time through the elimination of waste. It empowers team members to optimize quality by constantly improving processes and eliminating unnecessary waste in natural, human and corporate resources. Toyota Production System influences every aspect of Toyota’s organization and includes a common set of values, knowledge and procedures. It entrusts employees with well-defined responsibilities in each production step and encourages every team member to strive for overall improvement.

As a result, Toyota Production System delivers the following key benefits:

  • Quality inherent in Toyota’s products
  • Costs are kept to a minimum thanks to a good return on investment
  • Delivery  is on time, and to the expected standard, allowing Toyota’s customers to plan and maintain their operations successfully
  • Environmental concerns are shared by Toyota and its customers, from manufacturing through to recycling at end-of-life
  • Safety is Toyota’s constant concern – both for its employees and for those of its customers

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The Toyota Production System fulfils customer demand efficiently and promptly by linking all production activity to real marketplace demand. Just-in-time production relies on finely tuned processes in the assembly sequence using only the quantities of items required, only when they are needed


There is no room for compromise in the Toyota Production System when it comes to quality. Jidoka incorporates quality checks into every step of the production process. By ensuring that all processes are visible, Jidoka helps ensure that any abnormalities can be addressed immediately.

Lean 6S – 5S + Safety

Toyota Production System goes beyond the areas that are purely related to production processes. It also extends to the whole organisation – sales and marketing, administration, product development and management.
Every employee, regardless of position is treated equally. Toyota takes care to nurture a sense of pride and efficiency in the workplace. This is supported by The 5S :

  • SEIRI – Sifting
  • SEITON – Sorting
  • SEISO – Sweeping and cleaning
  • SEIKETSU – Spick-and-span
  • SHITSUKE – Sustain


The philosophy of kaizen is one of Toyota’s core values. It means ‘continuous improvement’. No process can ever be declared perfect but it can always be improved. Kaizen in practice means that all team members in all parts of the organization are continuously looking for ways to improve operations, and people at every level in the company support this process of improvement.

Kaizen also requires the setting of clear objectives and targets. It is very much a matter of positive attitude, with the focus on what should be done rather than what can be done.


Standardization is also essential to quality assurance. Developing and relying upon standardized work tasks not only ensures consistently high levels of quality, but also maintains production pace and provides a benchmark for implementing a strategy of continuous improvement.


Time management is central to the Toyota Production System. Takt is the rate of customer demand. Takt time is the term given to a work-cycle that fulfills each customer’s demand.

The key is that the work-cycle should be synchronized with demand to avoid either underproduction or overproduction. Takt time determines the flow-rate and enables the calculation of how much work can be done. Optimization of takt time reduces waste and inefficiency by eliminating the risk of time delays or excess production.


In order to have this flexibility it is necessary to have the right things in the right place at the right time. The kanban card is a simple, highly visible device that the Toyota Production System uses to call-up components as they are required, meaning only a minimal stock of components is held in the assembly area. Before stocks need replenishing a kanban card instruction from the operator ensures a just-in-time delivery.


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