Over the history of automobiles in the world many companies have worked to move from a small shop that can produce a few cars a month to large factories that are capable of producing hundreds of thousands of cars each year. At every turn these companies are looking for ways to build cars faster than ever before and be able to enjoy the success and technological advancements that are being made. Here are five ways that Toyota, one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers, is embracing technology and saving time during the production of the vehicles they make:
Rapid Prototyping – It used to take a long time, weeks or months, to make the parts needed for new vehicles. This meant the cost in time and design was greater in some cases than what the car would have been which killed off some of the best ideas over the years. With the used of 3-D printers and other computerized systems, Toyota can now produce parts in a few days or hours rather than several weeks, which makes it easier to allow ideas to be tested and tried before deciding whether to move forward to production or not.
Flexible Production Lines – This is a feature that many companies are embracing to make it easier to produce more vehicles in multiple locations. In the past, a production line could only produce one type of vehicle at a time but now some lines can make more than one and share most of the parts from different cars. In fact, the Toyota plant in Georgetown, KY is able to switch between the Camry and Avalon which helps to increase the production capacity of both vehicles. This is one of the most important advancements in the industry and helps companies be flexible in their production.
Turning to Technology – The use of advanced robotics and automation helps to move the world of vehicle assembly forward. There was a time when many automotive workers felt these machines were going to replace their jobs but today man and machine work side by side with the robotics offering the precision and safety of their programming to ensure the proper calculations are used to assemble vehicles. This symbiotic relationship has become a way for vehicles to come to customers with fewer defects than ever while being made with more precision that in the past as well.
Saving Money While Cutting Pollution – It’s important for every company to be environmentally friendly and producing vehicles needs to be as clean and green as possible. Toyota is working to create eco-friendly vehicles and use plant features that make a huge difference in their pollution. This includes using solar panels, wastewater recycling processes, photo-catalytic paint which soaks up pollutants, zero landfill contributions and several different recycling programs. Toyota has become such a green company that it has received and Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award from the US EPA because of the steps taken to cut down on pollution as a whole.
Kaizen – This is a business philosophy that everyone can understand and something that Toyota has embraced in order to stay in constant search for ways to improve the methods of work and increase the standards to make things better for all. This is a philosophy that Toyota has pioneered at every level of their process in order to make the world and the process better than it’s been in the past. With the innovation that’s been happening throughout the industry, Toyota continues to work toward being the leader in the world while making better and safer cars for all of us to drive.