The Toyota Production System: Roots, Origin, Concepts, and Core Practices in the Automotive Manufacturing Industry – Part II

Automotive Jul 4, 2023 Hardik Bhatt 7 Min Read



Welcome to Part II of our exploration into the Toyota Production System (TPS), a revolutionary approach that has transformed the automotive manufacturing industry. In Part I, we delved into the roots and origins of the TPS, as well as its fundamental concepts such as Just In Time (JIT) production, Jidoka, Poka-Yoke, Kaizen, and Heijunka.

Now, in Part II, we will continue our journey by diving deeper into one critical aspect: Sequential Part Delivery. Excited? Let’s go…!


Sequential Part Delivery: Enhancing Efficiency and Workflow


Within the Toyota Production System, sequential part delivery is crucial in optimizing production processes. It involves delivering parts and components to the assembly line in a specific sequence, synchronized with the production schedule and the precise timing of their usage. a procedure wherein a supplier sends parts to an OEM assembly plant in the precise sequence that the OEM specifies. In-line vehicle sequencing (ILVS), sequential parts delivery (SPD), and just in sequence (JIS) are other names for this procedure. Lean manufacturing uses this tactic to lessen the demand for standing inventory.

The first step in the sequencing of automotive parts is for the assembly line or OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to send a part request to their suppliers specifying the precise sequence in which the parts will be used to construct vehicles on the assembly line. Before the parts are shipped to the assembly facility, suppliers use this information to sequence or build the parts. Just in time for installation on that particular car, the parts arrive in the precise order that they are required.

By receiving parts in sequence, OEMs no longer have to store all of the variants for each commodity. The same applies to manufacturers shipping in sequence. A single part can have numerous variations depending on what options are available on a vehicle (color, trim level, electronics, etc.). Storing these commodities can take up substantial floor space or we can say smart factory (we will learn more about the smart factory in our upcoming blogs!).

Additionally, sequencing promotes lean manufacturing which focuses on reducing waste generated from production. With this process, manufacturers know exactly what needs to be produced, thus reducing wasted material.

Let’s explore how sequential part delivery contributes to enhanced efficiency and workflow


Minimizing Inventory and Waste

One of the primary advantages of sequential part delivery is the reduction of inventory levels. Delivering parts in the exact order and timing required for assembly can minimize excess inventory. This eliminates the need for large storage spaces, reduces holding costs, and prevents overproduction, reducing waste throughout the production system.


Streamlining Assembly Line Operations

Sequential part delivery enables a smooth and efficient workflow on the assembly line. With parts arriving in the correct sequence, workers can seamlessly integrate them into the production process without delays or disruptions. This synchronization helps to minimize downtime and optimize the overall assembly line operations, leading to increased productivity and reduced lead times.


Improved Quality Control

By ensuring that parts are delivered in the precise sequence required, sequential part delivery enhances quality control in the manufacturing process. It enables closer inspection and verification of each component before assembly, reducing the likelihood of errors or defects. With a focus on delivering the right parts at the right time, the system allows for rigorous quality checks and promotes a culture of continuous improvement.


Flexibility and Adaptability

Sequential part delivery provides flexibility in adapting to changes in customer demand or production requirements. As the delivery of parts is synchronized with the production schedule, adjustments can be made quickly, enabling the assembly line to respond swiftly to variations in customer orders or unforeseen circumstances. This adaptability enhances the agility of the manufacturing process and allows for efficient production planning.


Collaborative Supplier Relationships

Implementing sequential part delivery necessitates close collaboration and coordination with suppliers. It requires a strong partnership between the manufacturer and suppliers to ensure that parts are delivered on time and in the correct sequence. By fostering solid relationships and communication channels with suppliers, the automotive industry can achieve seamless integration of the supply chain, resulting in smoother operations and improved overall performance.


What are the risks?


Automotive sequencing and sequential parts delivery come with inherent risks that can have significant consequences for assembly plants if not properly managed. One of the critical risks is the potential for parts to get out of sequence or experience delays in shipment. Such occurrences can disrupt the entire production process, leading to costly shutdowns, lost production time, and potential penalties from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). To mitigate these risks and ensure seamless sequential part delivery, reliable sequencing software plays a crucial role.

In the world of automotive manufacturing, reliable sequencing software is a critical component for successful sequential part delivery. It minimizes the risks associated with parts getting out of sequence or experiencing delays, ensuring the smooth operation of assembly plants. By providing accurate sequencing, real-time visibility, demand forecasting, and risk mitigation capabilities, sequencing software empowers manufacturers to optimize production processes, avoid costly disruptions, and maintain strong relationships with OEMs and suppliers.

Sequencing software generally includes multiple functions, but the exact operations are dependent on the solution provider. However, most include OEM demand processing, rack loading and validation, label printing, and shipping. Each of these tasks is critical to ensuring smooth and accurate sequential part delivery.


Wrapping Up!


Sequential part delivery is a vital component of the Toyota Production System, enabling manufacturers to optimize efficiency, streamline operations, improve quality control, and enhance flexibility in the automotive manufacturing industry. By synchronizing the delivery of parts with the assembly process, the TPS maximizes productivity while minimizing waste and inventory levels. In the next blogs of our series, we will explore additional core practices and methodologies that continue to make the Toyota Production System a benchmark for excellence in the automotive industry. Stay tuned for more insightful revelations!

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