A factory that can make cars fast should be the goal of every automaker. The higher the throughput, the lower the cost. Japanese companies had for long been on the leading edge of efficient and flexible production. Now, Toyota has made a big step forward, reports Reuters.
Introduced in a new factory of Toyota subsidiary Central Motor Co, the production line is shaped like the letter “U”. It allows for more than one task to take place at once on a vehicle. The engine can be installed in the front while underbody parts are added in the back. In a way, Toyota introduced multithreading to car manufacturing that had been sequential since Henry Ford.
The new technique has shortened the assembly line length into one-third of what it would have been. Toyota also saved 40 percent on capital expenditure. When you are faced with a strong currency like the Japanese are, you can either move production abroad, or make production at home more efficient.
Toyota had said a few weeks ago that it wants to lower the break-even point of its Japanese operations by improving manufacturing processes.