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Six Sigma at Toyota?

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  • #35752

    Dasare
    Participant

    With Toyota making rapid progress in terms of revenue improvement Year over year, what kind of tool r they using to improve this. I believe they are not using any Six-Sigma tools. They may be definately using some of the Six-Sigma tools, but not DMAIC methodology.
    Can any expert on Six-Sigma clarify this? very soon Toyota might overtake Ford & GM in volumes also ? Anybody there !!

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    #101233

    Praveen Gupta
    Participant

    Hello Paresh:
    Application of Six Sigma or DMAIC is not required to be a successful company.  Toyota has already mastered its production and design systems, optimized the business model, and use many of the tools identified in Six Sigma methodology.
    If you can build a perfect quality product profitably (i.e. customer is happy), there is no need for Six Sigma. 
    In any case, Toyota has enquired and have assigned some people to look into  Six Sigma methodology.  I believe they have appointed a VP of Six Sigma last year.
    Regards,
    Praveen

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    #101236

    EdG
    Participant

    When I visited Toyota (Georgetown, KY ) last fall I asked them about Six Sigma.  The answer I revieved then was that they do use the “classical statistics tools” found within Six Sigma, they just don’t refer to them by the name Six Sigma.  They just refer to the tools by their given names; Hypothesis Testing, Design of Experiments, etc…
    It wasn’t the answer I expected, but considering their track record I figured they know what they are doing.
    EdG
     

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    #101243

    Gabriel
    Participant

    As they say in their website, the Toyota system has two pillars: Respect for the people and Continous improvement.
    Some of the tools they use: 5S, Kaizen, SMED, just-in-time, lean.
    A Toyota employee (who has been working there for 7 years) told me recently that “a job in Toyota is a life-time job”. I had heard stories about this before, but not directly from a person who works there and thinks that. “They won’t fire you (unless you did something bad intentionally) because they belive it is allways a system failure, and not a person failure. The employee is not guilty if we don’t know how to motivate him, how to train him, if we don’t give him the right tools or the right enviroment, or the needed support, or even if we failed in our recruiting system”.
    He also told me that, as everything in Toyota, the carreer growth is slow but continous and steady. One must note that Toyota get where they got mor due to a long evolution that took many decades than due to breakthrough.
    Also this week I’ve been talking with a Toyota supplier. He told me that Toyota works with the suppliers in a very different way from what the western car manufacturers do. For example, they don’t requier the supplier to have a certified QMS, and they do work very close with the supllier during the development stage and when there are problems (not the ususal “submit the PPAP” and “fill the 8D in the following 5 days”).
    Many organizations say that their success is the success of the employees, the shareholders, the suppliers, the customers, and the community in general. Maybe in Toyota they not only say that, but they also think that.

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    #101246

    PB
    Participant

    Gabriel,
    I agree with you. I worked for a global company who lives this ‘treating people right’ philosophy. However, they started Six Sigma and the success at first did not translate (at least in the four walls where I worked) into a continuous improvement as resources got stretched too thin, wrong people got the training for BB, etc.
    I feel that using the Statistical Tools as Edg is mentioning, may be more than enough to get the results (where you can use the methodical approach as SS specifies but you are not hell bent on using every tool in all projects). Eventually, if you are making money, and are making good product, and are successful, and you do not have SS, so what?
    PB

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    #101247

    EdG
    Participant

    In addition, Toyota isn’t ISO certified.  They don’t need it…and I couldn’t argue with them on that.
    EdG

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    #101248

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Paresh,
    If you look at the Toyota Production System the third step in the process is called Continuous Improvement. In their vernacular it is comprised of a imcrimental improvement strategy and a break through strategy (similar to Six Sigma). There is some discussion around this in the front of “Lean Thinking.”
    Good Luck.

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    #101249

    Praveen Gupta
    Participant

    Gabriel:
    Toyota may not require the standard QMS system as we know.  However, they have their own quite extensive quality system documentation that they use in working with their suppliers.  It is more thorough that a typical quality system I see at many companies. 
    Regards,
    praveen

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    #101259

    Dog Sxxx
    Participant

    Do you need Six Sigma if you already operating at 5.5 sigma level? Toyota was using their own Toyota Production System (TPS), a production system based on lean enterprise concept. Lean is an idea copied from the US supermarket. PDCA cycle (DMAIC’s grandfather!) is widely used in TPS 
    The trend I see now is more and more American companies are looking at lean enterprise while only few Japanese comapaies are interested on Six Sigma.

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    #101260

    Dog Sxxx
    Participant

    ISO9000 is one of the most stupid thing people shall avoid it. ISO was copying PDCA model from Six Sigma in their latest 2000 version. How many ISO-certified companies got the knowledge and commitment to practise PDCA continual improvement?

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    #101267

    Arora
    Participant

    Makes Sense!
    Why would someone have to discard their working methods when they are already operating about six sigma level?.DMAIC might not be their method but TOYOTA is surely way ahead in acheiving six sigma than many companies working on DMAIC methodology.

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    #101344

    Hmnnn….
    Participant

    Steven Spear and H. Kent Brown identify four simple rules that are the foundation of the Toyota Production System. “These rules guide the design, operation, and improvement of every activity, connection, and pathway for every product and service. The rules are as follows:
     
     
    Rule 1: All work shall be highly specified as to content, sequence, timing, and outcome.
     
    Rule 2: Every customer-supplier connection must be direct, and there must be an unambiguous yes-or-no way to send requests and receive responses.
     
    Rule 3: The pathway for every product and service must be simple and direct.
     
    Rule 4: Any improvement must be made in accordance with the scientific method, under the guidance of a teacher, at the lowest possible level in the organization.
     
    As the rules require that activities, connections, and flow paths have built-in tests to signal problems automatically. It is the continual response to problems that makes this seemingly rigid system so flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances.”
     

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    #101373

    Mar Tuesday
    Participant

    If one company who lead in supply chain (JIT), Strongly in Dealer and Supplier development, and 6 sigma in product design before DFSS was born, why they need to do any more? No, cannot say what they doing today, caz tomorrow they’ll do more over.
    The today revenue come from huge volumn that’s not the reason of quality improvement activities.  Those became from last 5-10 years activities.
    Don’t forget one different is culture.. Kaizen in mind is continue create the both of problem solving-key solution and innovative idea so long time. The data analysis tools that they used since last 20 years before six sigma take over.

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    #101849

    TPS
    Member

    From what I understand, there are some Toyota plants that are using Six Sigma.  Contact Pascal (http://www.leansystems.org) — he may be able to give you more information/specifics — Pascal is a former Toyota manager.
    Further, while in this forum, the Toyota Production System (or Lean) is viewed as a set of methods to make processes faster, it really is a very disciplined problem solving process.  I saw a previous post on Steven Spears 1999 HBR article which does a decent job in describing this.  His most recent article in HBR (Learing to Lead at Toyota) gives a look of the type of problem solving that takes place — available for download at http://www.hbsp.com. 
    I believe that they solve many of their problems with their practical problem solving approach — but at some plants, for problems involving more x-factors, they rely on ‘six sigma’ approaches as well.
    Good luck!

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    #101905

    CN12
    Participant

    Toyota  had a weapon Genichi Taguchi working with them from 1970s.  So they did not need any other certifications.
    CN12

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    #102250

    Dimitar Markov
    Participant

    I am not Six sigma expert, but in my point of view they have a little bit different philosofy. They do the right thing on the right first time. Use the preventive thinking etc. With reference to the biger and biger volume I am absolutely agree. But what of it? Maybe it will be a star of the bigest competition concerning the improvment and new levels of TQM as a whole. They have unknown and unfamiliar motivation to be the best. Any comments about this issue?

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    #102253

    bertever
    Participant

    Interesting you should say that because when we were transitioning to 9000:2000 we looked at models. I noted that Toyota UK doesn’t even call their Quality Manual a Quality Manual. It is called the Management System. In other words, they have evolved a higher order of quality system that is integrated right into their business plan and management philosophy. If these keeps up there won’t be any need for a Quality Department with the highly paid quality practioners. ;}
     
     

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    #102260

    R
    Participant

    Of what I have been reading of late, they are seriously into Lean.

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    #102262

    Deanb
    Participant

    Toyota is both a pioneer and a veteran of many of the best quality mangement practices ever developed. MBA economic texts cite Toyota for giving original credibility-if not birth to-JIT. Toyota adopted Deming’s business management model (which today mirrors our Baldrige in many ways) at least 1-2 decades before it got widespread attention in the USA, and many still consider Toyota better at it than even our best MBNQA winners.
    Toyota is a poster child of how the holistic approach to quality management, (combining process science, people/culture power, and a management system – namely TQM) is a superior approach to sustaining organizational improvement and performance over time. It is not the DMAIC methodology that makes the difference. It is the effective combination of science, culture, and management system that does, and it is usually poor combinations of these efforts that compromise any quality improvement effort. Hence, Six-Sigma probably stands to learn more from Toyota than Toyota stands to learn from Six-Sigma.

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    #102263

    Mikel
    Member

    Amen

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    #102264

    EdG
    Participant

     I refer to my June 4th post and reiterate, what we would call Six Sigma they use.  They just don’t refer to it by that name; it is merely a part of the Toyota Production System.  So your statement that some locations are using Six Sigma isn’t (shouldn’t be) surprising. 
     As for TPS being lean, that is kind of backwards.  Lean was an American description of TPS, or at least what was seen and perceived.  TPS is not an attempt by Toyota in doing Lean.  In this “what came first scenario” the answer is TPS.
     Hope that his input is beneficial.  EdG

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    #102265

    Kessler
    Participant

    CN12,
    Toyota (and the Japanese) are seriously working with statistical tools since the post-WWII era, starting with Deming’s lectures in 1950, followed by Juran shortly after.
    The lectures included SPC, variation, need to improve, understand customer’s needs, involvment of top management and production floor, foolproofing – all this package included concept and immediate use.
    Does it look familiar with SS? Probably one of the reasons so few (if any) Japanese companies are adopting Six Sigma.
    Fight Variation! Kessler

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    #102266

    Anonymous
    Guest

    Guess what car I drive … a Toyota
    Guess what car I don’t drive – a Rover …!!!
    QED

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    #102267

    Mikel
    Member

    Ed,
    With all due respect, your suggestion that Toyota is using Six Sigma shows ignorance of TPS. There is no way they are doing anything called Six Sigma – it is not how they do business.

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    #102269

    Dog Sxxi
    Participant

    I got a workbook authored by Taguchi in 1970 on quadratic loss function, tolerance desigin, SPC for engineer training purpose. The content (concept) of the book is very similair with Six Sigma concept invented in 1987 by Bill Smith.
    The problem is not many Westerners can read Japanese language and many Japanese books are also not translated into English. Many people thought Six Sigma was an entirely new concept invented by Bill Smith. And, some American genuines did prove Taguchi S/N is statistically wrong. :-)

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    #102274

    Mikel
    Member

    Dear Mr. Dog,
    Why do you want to make this a racial/ethnic issue?
    Taguchi’s works have been translated extensively into English and many other languages. I read Taguchi’s Quality Engineering as early as 1984 and worked through each of his data sets to make sure I understood what he was talking about (translation was a little rough). I have read Shingo and Ohno and made sure others did as well.
    There have also been thousands of Westerners that have invested the time to learn Japanese and go live in Japan. Graduate schools such as Thunderbird have had focuses on Japan since at least the 70’s.
    That said, do I think most practioners of Six Sigma understand TPS? No. But the same is true for most practioners of Lean. The problem, I believe, is all societies are into instant gratification and everyone thinks they know more than anyone more than 10 years older than them. Look at the bulk of the Six Sigma consultants – less than 35 with less than 10 years experience in process execution.
    I personally think you know a lot that would help folks on here. There are glimses of genius in many of your posts. Please drop the us vs. them thing. It adds no value.

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    #102277

    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dog Sxxi,
    Many statisticians have claimed that Taguchi’s S/N ratio is wrong, because they have not appreciated the importance of scaling of variance to robust design.
    One of the best authors on this subject is Reigle’s friend Montgomery and although Montgomery is unique in his recognition of the ‘transmission error’ in DOE, unfortunately, he has either failed to recognise, or mention, the effect of scaling on variance, which has nothing to do with non-linearity (interactions between control factors and noise factors.)
    The only way to find scaling opportunties is to use a S/N ratio of one form or another,  and find a signal factor (scaling factor.)
    Andy U

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    #102278

    DaveG
    Participant

    Andy,
    I would like to learn about S/N and, in particular, the issues you cite.  Please recommend references.

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    #102280

    Dog Sxxi
    Participant

    No racial issue pun intended in my post. I know more Americans than Japanese. I am just seeing the issue from another unfamiliar angle to you and others.

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    #102282

    Dog Sxxi
    Participant

    I thought Taguchi did publish a revised S/N method. I am not yet find out what is the new method. 

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    #102283

    Dog Sxxi
    Participant

    I still kept one technical paper on S/N is wrong which I read it at about ten years ago. I may (hopefully I remember it) able to post the source here when I back to my office next week. 

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    #102285

    Thomas C. Trible
    Member

     Folks:
    The paper is mentioned several times, but the title was not given (perhaps I missed it), so here it is:  Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System by Steven Spear and H. Kent Bowen, Harvard Business Review, Sept-October 1999.  This is an important paper in understanding the reasons behind Toyota’s success.
    I’ve been researching Toyota’s quality and financial performance in conjunction with a Lean project that I’m working on.  Here’s how Toyota is doing:
    According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2003 there were 529 automobile recalls reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. [Stephen Power and Karen Lundegard.  Wall Street Journal. New York, N.Y.: March 4, 2004. pg D.1] 
    In all, about 8% of the country’s registered vehicles — some 19.5 million vehicles in all — were recalled last year [2003]. That amounts to roughly one in every 12 vehicles on the road and is about three percentage points higher than a decade earlier.  Whatever the explanation for the rise in recalls, it suggests that quality improvements still have a way to go, particularly at Detroit’s Big Three [italics added]. The domestic automakers, who have fought perceptions of poor quality for decades, have been responsible for a disproportionate share of the vehicles recalled.  (p. D.1) 
    So, how did Toyota do with respect to the Big Three automakers?  According to the WSJ article, GM recalled about 7.3 million vehicles in 2003, which amounted to about nearly 38 percent of all vehicles recalled in 2003, even though GM had just 28 percent of the market.  “Ford Motor Co.’s share of all recalled vehicles has exceeded its market share in seven of the past 10 years. The same is true for DaimlerChrysler AG for four of the past five years.” (p. D.1).  In comparison, “Toyota Motor Corp.’s share of all recalled vehicles never exceeded its market share in the past decade.” (p. D.1).    
    For the past seven years, the Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in the U.S.  In the past 20 years, Toyota has sold 6 million Camrys.  Of those, 5 million of them are still operating, speaking to the reliability and quality of the automobile.  In terms of business success, Toyota earned operating profits of approximately $12 billion in 2002.  This amount was greater than all of the Big Three automaker’s profits combined during the years 1998 through 2002.  By 2003, Toyota had accumulated $34 billion in cash and $100 billion in assets. (Maynard, 2003).  USA Today reports “Toyota’s market capitalization is already larger than GM’s, Ford’s and DaimlerChrysler’s combined.” (Kiley, 2004).
    By the end of this decade, Toyota intends to become the market share leader in the global motor vehicle industry.  By 2010, Toyota will surpass the Big Three automakers in market share of cars sold in the United States.  In 1984, Toyota had only a little over 5 percent of the U.S. motor vehicle market share.  By comparison, the Big Three U.S. automakers: GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler had 41 percent, 22 percent and 11 percent respectively.  But by 2001, U. S. share of the market had shifted significantly.  Toyota’s market share grew steadily to about 11 percent, while GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler shares were 28 percent, 21 percent and 14 percent respectively. (Womack and Jones, 2003).

    “Toyota marches from victory to victory.” Discussing Consumer Reports 2004 annual automotive edition, news agency Reuters reports that Toyota had the most vehicles with “recommended” ratings with 21 of 22 vehicles tested winning the honors, and the hybrid Toyota Prius, powered by electric batteries and a gas engine, tied with Toyota’s Lexus LS430 luxury sedan as the most satisfying vehicle.  Also, Reuters reports that of the 32 most reliable vehicles, 31 were from Japanese manufacturers, Consumer Reports said.
     ([(Consumer Reports: U.S. cars beat Europeans, still trail Asians in reliability) March 09, 2004 – http://www.autonews.com/news.cms?newsId=8057%5D from Consumer Reports – March 9, 2004)
    According to Automotive News Europe, 2003 marked the year that Toyota surpassed Ford Motor Company as the number two global automaker. [Title: Toyota passes Ford as global No. 2, Published 11/17/2003 in Automotive News Europe.], “TOYOTA Motor Corp. squeezed past FORD Motor Co. by 43,000 vehicles in the first six months of its fiscal year to become the world’s second-biggest automaker.  Toyota has been closing in on Ford and GM since the early 1990s thanks to rising sales in North America, Europe and Southeast Asia.” By James R. Crate Automotive News Europe / November 17, 2003. [http://europe.autonews.com/article.cms?articleId=53502&a=a&bt=Toyota+passes+Ford

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    #102288

    Anonymous
    Guest

    DaveG,
    Unfortunately, for some reason Gen-ichi Taguchi has not provided a good explanation; or at least I’m not aware of one. I first came across an explanation in one of Shin’s seminars -his wrist watch example. It is quite straight forward and if you send me an email address that can accept a WORD diagram, I send it to you.
    Cheers,
    Andy Urquhart

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    #102294

    DaveG
    Participant

    wood95ATcox.net
    Thanks!

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    #102295

    Anonymous
    Guest

    DaveG,
    Consider it done .. if you don’t receive it soon; let me know.
    Andy U

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    #102296

    Noname expert
    Participant

    Why “Tweaking”the concept.For Toyota it is “TQM”+KAIZEN (5S)+ “TPM”+”JIT”=TPS,so you can modify it to become :
    TQM+Lean+JIT+SS+TPM+KAIZEN (5S)=TPS.  kind regards

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    #102297

    Noname expert
    Participant

    Excellent post.Adding value plus summerizing the concept ,offering a big picture.Hope to be able to identify “the right honest “efforts and to ignore all those “Vague” efforts and show-off.  kind regards 

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    #102299

    Noname expert
    Participant

    Very Informative Insight Details.But how to ensure that others famous “cars”companies are not doing the same?how to recognize true honest efforts from “Adverticement”?   thank you,regards 

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    #102302

    EdG
    Participant

    Stan,
    If it is ignorance, then maybe you sould contact the folks at Georgetown, KY and tell them that they are “full of poo-poo” because that is what they were telling me.  I didn’t make it up.  And at the time I didn’t feel knowledgable enough in what they are doing (I assumed that they know best what they are doing) to argue with them. 
    However, I am smart enough to continue my growing (learning) from those that can teach me something.  If you have something to teach me, please show me the way.
    EdG
    PS:  As I had said, I was surprised at the answer I was getting from them because I didn’t “read that” in Yasuhiro Monden’s book but I figured that “who am I to argue with them.”
     

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    #102303

    Srinivas Ranga
    Member

    oh oh oh wait a minute! About 30 postings and 15 participants in this post. How many of you have read the book Against All Odds: The Story of the Toyota Motor Corporation and the Family That Created It by Yukiyasu Togo, William Wartman. Please get a copy and read it before further posting. This book is out of print. If you don’t get at least read The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles From The World’s Greatest Manufacturer by Jeffrey K. Liker.
     
    Thanks.
    Srinivas Ranga VN

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    #102305

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Srinivas,
    Maybe you need to back up a little bit. Monden was one of the inovators of TPS.
    I would suggest you read something like “The Deviant’s Advantage” and get a reference point on what happens to ideas like TPS as they move from the fringe to Social Convention. It has become the story of Six Sigma as well.

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    #102308

    Ranga Srinivas
    Participant

    Mike,
    Yes, I have that book and read it many times. The first book I mentioned gives the Philosophy behind the TPS (which was published 20 yrs ago) and the later gives a westernized concept of the TPS. All the three (3rd one being Monden book) are excellent book. The reason I mentioned about these books are people try to COPY the TPS system without understanding the PHILOSOPHY behind it.

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    #102311

    Noname expert
    Participant

    Just Simple:tell us the “philosophy”behind,in  few words .please

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    #102312

    Ranga Srinivas
    Participant

    Dear Expert with Noname,
    I have no time & there is not enough space in this forum to explain. So please read the books.

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    #102316

    Thai
    Participant

    I am not sure you can say that Toyota is operating at a 5.5 Sigma level.  Granted, their quality is considered superior on the whole to US Automotive companies, but in the most recent JD Powers Survey, Toyota vehicles showed 101 problems per 100 vehicles (Ford came in at 127 prob / 100 vehicles).  Depending on how you count opportunities both Ford and Toyota will show very similar Sigma levels.  There is room for quality improvements in both Ford and Toyota in the eyes of the consumer. TPS may be able to provide this improvement for Toyota or they may need to utilize some of the Six Sigma philosophy to achieve a truely 6-Sigma level of performance.
    Just a thought.
    Kirk

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    #102319

    Mikel
    Member

    If someone at Georgetown told you that, they were pulling your leg. It isn’t true.

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    #102333

    Rinkol
    Member

    Well, Toyota is using Science TQM and New JIT etc. at this moment, I did some research and feel the structure is a little bit similar to Six Sigma… the difference is they don’t have so many colors.. actually Six Sigma is Statistical + Project management… 
     

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    #102334

    Dog Sxxi
    Participant

    IMNO, you do not need to read three books and writing a long article just to understand and explain the philosophy of TPS. First, Japan is resources scarce country and second, Japanese language structure makes writing a complex idea like Ford production system a difficult task.
    Waste of resources is almost an evil in Japanese society. Onno also found it’ impractical to use Japanese language to introduce American car production system concept to Japanese workers. He had no better choice except to come out a simplified version of production system like kanban. Waste elimination is just an intrinsic part of Japanese culture and this concept was naturally adopted in TPS.

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    #102335

    Dog Sxxi
    Participant

    Six Sigma is Statistical + Project management… 
    I would say Six Sigma is TQC + Project management + Top management commitment. 

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    #102337

    Dog Sxxi
    Participant

    There is a similar concept for SS in Japan. The name is Kaikaku.

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    #102338

    Dog Sxxi
    Participant

    Andy U, can I get a copy also?. My email is lawyerterbangATyahoo.com

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    #102339

    Thomas C. Trible
    Member

    Kirk:
    I’ve not seen any data published by Toyota that indicates a sigma level for any of their processes.  If it’s out there, I would be interested in learning about it.
    Four years ago our organization (5,000 + employees) rolled out Six Sigma.  From this limited experience, the fundamental difference to achieving quality improvement beween the TPS and our Six Sigma implementation is workforce participation:
    Ours: none;

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    #102341

    done…
    Participant

    I just can’t take it anymore.  I can’t read another of these flashes of formulaic brilliance.   As much as I hate to quote Mike’s friend, I am now exercising my right to change the channel.   My brain is now officially mush……..

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    #102345

    walden
    Participant

    Paresh,
    To answer your post, they are using the predecessor to SS:  Plan, Do, Check, Adjust.  Its logic closely resembles DMAIC, although, I think DMAIC’s logic is better, IMHO;  but I haven’t worked at Toyo 10 years, which may change my answer.  Their problem solving ability is light years ahead of most companies professing to be doing SS.
    They are light years ahead because TPS is not a bag of tools, and it’s not a system (even though it’s part of the name), it’s a thinking process.  Teaching this thinking process to all employees is the responsibility of management at Toyota.  SS’s only saving grace is that *good* MBB’s can teach this thinking proces to BB’s in less than 10 years.
    Finally, why don’t they call what they are doing Six Sigma even though it is?  My opinion is found in Dr. Deming’s 10th point:  eliminate slogans.  My two cents, anyway.
    Regards,
    Chris

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    #102347

    mman
    Participant

    Thank You for your very humble & cooperative attitude.I may have made a mistake  by addressing the wrong person.A real expert can always summerize a book in a few sentences.This FORUM displays an excellent opportunity for “real’experts to exchange their ideas and opinions in a very constructive ,positive and brief manner.kind regards

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    #102350

    mman
    Participant

    Why every-body speaks about  Toyota’s TPS?What about all the others cars companies,such as :Honda,Nissan,Mitsubishi,Ford….etc?
    Just curious to know,thanks for any informative feedback,regards.

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    #102353

    howe
    Participant

    Mman,
    One simple reason, Toyota is truly BIC in quality and every auto company, domestic or foreign, is trying to benchmark Toyota. According to Womack, Ford invented mass production, and Toyota invented Lean enterprise.

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    #102356

    TPS
    Member

    Two clarifications — I understand that some of their plants use Six Sigma, and referred to as Six Sigma — I don’t have the plant locations but will try to get them for you.  They use it to supplement their problem solving methods (described in Spear’s articles).
    — also, don’t know if your reference to ‘TPS being lean’ was an interpretation of my posting, but it wasn’t written that way  — most people know TPS as lean, thus my reference to lean in parenthesis– unfortunately, ‘lean’ is a poor interpretation of the Toyota Production System.
    Regards.

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    #102359

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    TPS,
    Lean is a Womack term.
    Regards,
    Mike

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    #102365

    Dimitar Markov
    Participant

    Toyota is rated, as the best managed company in the world. Although it can lay claim to be the benchmark in several fields, it is so dominant in the field of cycle time that it has spawned a new language of speed—Kanban, pull systems; stockless production, zero inventories, just-in-time (JIT) and lean manufacturing. Although it was old Henry Ford who started the cycle time revolution by converting iron ore into finished cars in forty-eight hours. Ford hasn’t been able to replicate the recipe since!

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    #102367

    Anonymous
    Guest

    TPS,
    I would like to support your view. The Japanese expert I worked with referred to the TPS as Ikko Nagashi – Single Flow. He also told me that although Taiichi Ohno was inspired by American supermarkets … he went much futher.
    SF and Lean are as different as chalk and cheese …
    Cheers,
    Andy

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    #102368

    Dutta
    Member

    well i don’t know wheather six sigma should learn from Toyota or not but certainly i would like to comment that six-sigma is just a tool which will help you in achieving success ,it can’t spoonfeed you ‘success’,it can only act as a spoon and the conent in the spoon is for you to choose -either success like Toyota or __________,the choice is entirely yours!

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    #102369

    Dutta
    Member

    hello Andy,
    since m very new to this world of six-sigam could u please elaborate more on IKKO NAGASHI,TAIICHI OHNO,SF,LEAN
    thanks
    suman

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    #102370

    Anonymous
    Guest

    For the Toyota production system – TPS:
    http://www.toyotaproductionsystem.net/
    TPS uses Ikko Nagashi
    Ikko Nagashi – One Flow or Single-Flow, or SF
    Lean is short for Lean Enterprise – an academic’s interpretation of TPS
     

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    #102374

    Mikel
    Member

    TPS,
    Please hurry back with those Toyota plants that use Six Sigma. I’ll bet you will not as Toyota does not use it. It doesn’t fit the culture and besides they already have the tools to do the same thing.

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    #102377

    tundrafrost
    Member

    Toyota is using their own Quality tool box and TPS.

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    #102379

    mman
    Participant

    Agree

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    #102381

    mman
    Participant

    If Toyota is ignoring SS ,using instead the famous TPS (Lean),why then to say “SS at Toyota”?It is due to start asking about the SS initiative in Motorola?or in GE, Is it still functioning with momentum and enthusiasm?regards

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    #102382

    mman
    Participant

    Agree.Motorola and Ford should feel “jealousy” then.

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    #102396

    John J. McDonough
    Participant

    different as chalk and cheese …
    Apparently over there in Merrie Auld England you don’t get American cheese.
    –McD
     

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    #102398

    Anonymous
    Guest

    Ha, ha good one John … although cheddar on chips isn’t the same as Velveeta.

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    #102406

    Gabriel
    Participant

    By now we have about 40 posts from about 20 different posters. And nothing like “Yes, here in Toyota we…” or “No, here in Toyota we don’t…”?
    That brings to my mind many posts in other thread that were like “I am in BOFA and I can tell you…”, “We are implementing Six Sigma at Ford and…”, “When I was in GE we…”, or even “When I invented Six Sigma at Motorola…” stuff. But never some personal experience from inside Toyota.
    It seems to me that people in Toyota are not interested in Six Sigma forums to start with. So what is left for Six Sigma itself?

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    #102432

    mman
    Participant

    Fully Agree,regards

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    #102437

    Noname expert
    Participant

    Just in few words:what  do you mean by LEAN?How to correlate between SS and Lean ,and between it  and the TPS?I’m really confused,thanks and regards.

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    #102444

    Samuel Ashby
    Member

    One of the most important aspects of Toyota’s success is the pride and ownership that process owners have for the jobs they do. I served as a Team Member and an Acting Team Lead at the Georgetown, KY plant for close to 6 years and I can safely say I know more from that experience than most Production Supervisors do at the Big Three. Toyota is so focused on Continuous Improvement (Kaizen) that most “yellow stripes” (new hires with less than 6 months experience) can tell most if not all of the process that lead to their process and all of those following. Most Team Members, when receiving a defect from another zone, usually know the zone that defect came from, and the process that probably created it. But, more importantly they have the power to create change in a process. That is almost unheard of in most world class companies.

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    #102607

    Reinaldo Ramirez
    Participant

    Toyot Way isn´t the same as TPS; the two are the best weapons to manufacturing cars in only one line, without any waste. Toyota will surpass GM by the 3rd. quarter of the 2005 and it´ll be the first automobile industry in the word.
    All approaches to lean in America and over the warld missed the JIDOKA (automation with human touch and BUILT-IN QUALITY) and GENCHI GENBUTSU (Go see for yourself to thorogly understand the situation).
    You don´t need SS when the worker are in the system adn the manager are over the sytem to help the workers to built-in quality.
    I suggest to read the book The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer by Jeffrey K. Liker ISBN:0071392319
    McGraw-Hill; 2004. Dr. Deming´s philosophy is rigth there for ever.

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    #107550

    Nobody Expert
    Participant

    Complete Nonsense?

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    #110027

    gouaw
    Participant

    i was reading your board…thank you….found it very interesting, and realized you all worry too much there’s a much bigger picture than toyota’s lean production.  i live and breathe toyota, g’town everyday…lean production=injured workers.
     
    thanks

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    #110029

    Mikel
    Member

    Very enlightening – what does it mean?

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    #110030

    gouaw
    Participant

    lean production = injured workers..everyday at toyota. what else can i say.

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    #110031

    Mikel
    Member

    I don’t believe you work there.

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    #122524

    Carlos ALvarez
    Participant

    For your information: 5S, SMED, JUST IN TIME is nothing new, that the MTM philosophy has inside since 60 years ago.
    MTM is 5S concept and more, much more time before Toyota use it.
    SMED is the same thing that organize internal and external task in a or some human-machine units. Nothing new.
    Just in Time?, could you imagine an assembly operation if you have not the part at the moment you need?
    On the other hand, How are the times calculated? How are the methods designed and optimized?, by direct observation?, recording in video?. Some Lean Manufacturing literature is plenty of errors, and unknowledge about scientific methods design and time calculation.
    Do the Lean Manufacturing authors know something about human performance?
    Let’s thing about it.
     
     
     

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    #122554

    Anonymous
    Guest

    Carlos,
    If you’re interested in the history of the production line you might like to research:
    – The Armoury Method (Springfield Arms)
    For the use of automation only, you might like to research the manufacture of the’block and tackle pulley.’ (Royal Navy Dockyard Portsmouth)
    Regardless of what you might think Taiichi Ohno did invent something – its called Jidoka.
    Andy
     

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    #122555

    Mike Chad
    Participant

    Carlos,
    I take it you don’t drive a Toyota!!!!

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    #124221

    RonK
    Member

    You have no idea.
    Six sigma is lose your time.
    TPS = Put your atention in the details of process, Common sense, mothing new and nothing invented in Japan, but japanesse people did that americans and european forgot. they make real the application of common sense. Think in the details of process.
    Do you need a lot of datas and statistical analysis if you don´t know where and what analize?
    The time is very important to lose it using Sis sigma.

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    #124231

    Senthilvasan M
    Member

    Hi There,
    I am sorry to join the discussion late,
    The Six Sigma & Toyota Way differs in two ways;
    Six Sigma is totally a scientific  way in approching your business.
    Toyota Way is more organic & involves four elements of;
    1. Philosphy – Long Term, Customer First
    2. Process – Good Process will yield good result. (JIT,Jidoka,Andon,Heijunka etc.)
    3. People & Partners –  Employee Involvement,nemawashi ( group consensus)
    4. Problem Solving – Genchi Gembutsu.
    As per Jeff Liker & my own observations on my friends working with Motorola I can say that Scope of Six Sigma can cover  points 1,2 & 4.( Liker says SixSigma covers only 1 & 2, but i beg to differ from him)
    The people & partners area  is one that can be solely handled by scientific processes. You need to tune your culture in an organic way.
    In a summary People & partners ( Long Term Relationships,Mutual Trust) are the main difference between Toyota Way & Six Sigma.
    Thanks & regards,
    Senthil
     

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    #124232

    Senthilvasan M
    Member

    Hi friends,
    Sorry for my mistake in telling
    The people & partners area  is one that can be solely handled by scientific processes. You need to tune your culture in an organic way
    please read as “cannot be”.
    To add to the earlier discussion , in Toyota & Six Sigma many Tools are common like;QFD, FMEA etc.
    The advantage of both the Philosphies is that both are adaptable to change.( Lean Sigma )
    Bye
    Senthil
     

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    #124245

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Thomas,
    I was looking over the “Six Sigma at Toyota” thread, and happened upon your post.  I checked some of your facts, and was amazed to find nobody responded to your posting. 
    While I could say the lack of response was surprising to me, it really wasn’t.  I think you pretty much summed it up with respect to Toyota quality.  My understanding is that Toyota is not using Six Sigma as prescribed in the states.  They have their own way of handling automotive quality.  It appears their way works by your data.  Americans need a special name, and all the frills around it to do quality right.  The Japanese just do quality while they work. 
    Thanks for your efforts, and your information.  I for one found it very enlightening.
    Ken

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    #124246

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Senthil,
    Good summary.  Thanks.
    Ken

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    #124249

    Paul Gibbons
    Participant

    Hi Senthil,
    I think you have distinguished the main difference between Womack and Jones’ “Lean” and that of the Toyota Production System. Lean, as Womack and Jones present it, is more about a quantitative approach to removing wastes in the process. TPS takes a more triangulated approach using both qualitative and quantitative strategies in what you say as “tuning your culture in an organic way”. I say people are not robots so don’t treat them as robots.
    In my Lean research I have found quite a bit of criticism of the seminal work carried out by Womack and Jones published in “The Machine That Changed The World”. What make it hard for me is the political issue that my PhD supervisor is one of the contributing researchers to this work;¬) Any tips?
    Paul
     
     

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    #124255

    Senthilvasan M
    Member

    Hi Paul,
    May I  put one point here ?
    People may critisize “Womack & Jones” for not considering human factors. It can happen for any pioneers.(After all we invented wheel first & then the automobile much later, we cant critisize the person who has invented the wheel for not inventing the Automobile on the first hand.) I remember reading about the people process at Toyota also in “Machine that changed the world”.
    As I have observed Six Sigma is very rich in Tools / Methods & TPS is very rich in terms of how to utilize them effectively.
    Six Sigma gives the ingredients ,
    TPS gives good recipe (& also taste of the item, practically).
    It is for the Chef (all of us) to decide how would you do it?
    I hope that these systems can evolve hand in hand with changing times.
    BTW I had sent an e-mail to you. ( I hope I typed your ID correctly), anyway we you can contact me at [email protected].
    Hi Ken ,
    Thanks for your complement.
    Bye,
    Senthil
     
     

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    #126725

    Sean
    Member

    In reference to : “lean production = injured workers..everyday at toyota. what else can i say.”
    That is a big load of dog feces.  Lean doesn’t mean working faster, it means working smarter.  A quote from the father of TPS:
    “The slower but consistent tortoise causes less waste and is much more desirable than the speedy hare that races ahead and then stops occasionally to doze.  The Toyota Production System can be realized only when all the workers become tortoises.” (Ohno, 1988)
    TPS (Toyota Production Systems) and Kaizen is a corporate culture and not just some tools to make better products.  It starts with the lowest person on the seniority chain and goes up to the president. 
    Speed and “One piece flow” are completely unrelated.  I worked at a toyota PDC and in my time there was one minor injury, and it was from someone who was walking to the break room.

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    #126751

    Mike Walmsley
    Participant

    Some of the tools that Toyota uses are DRBFM (Design review based on failure modes : for product / process) and DRBTR (Design review based on test results). You can search the internet for further references.
    The big 3 are trending in the direction of using these tools.
    GM has stolen the top man from Toyota , eg the man who developed these tools. Robert Bosch has obtained the top mans most promising student from Toyota.
    Neither of these tools were originally considered 6 sigma tools. ISI, working with GM has int.egrated them into their DFSS process as of late.

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    #168095

    johndoe
    Participant

    They are using an innovative approach called “common sense”.  Their entire organization is run by engineers.

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    #168098

    No one
    Participant

    EdG,
    Isn’t it the  other way around – Six Sigma uses some ‘classical statistical methods’ and some quality engineering methods, which Six Sigma practitioners call  ‘tools.’
    We now seem to have a ridiculous situation where Six Sigma implies all things known to man – except common sense – as the other poster points out.
    So what is the common sense the other poster implied – it just means the product is verified at each step of the manufacturing process. What could be more simple than the Deming cycle?
    Plan, Do, Check, and Act.
    Six Sigma seems quite good at Planning and Doing, but in my opinion quite hopeless at Checking and Acting :-)
    Regards,
    No-one
     
     
    No-one
     

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