Production of cars that will meet all wishes and requirements of customers is true art. In TPCA, Toyota is in charge of the production, and its TPS (Toyota Production System) is a legend within the automotive industry and a guarantee of efficient production. Our priority is to join requirements concerning quality and safety while observing protection of the environment. We would like to let you have a view on the inside of production of the “triplets” from TPCA in our virtual tour.
The life of each car starts at the stamping line. Large body parts are formed here, including sides, roof, doors or floor parts, from which the car body is welded later. Smaller body parts (such as weldments, supports, safety elements) are provided by external suppliers.
The daily consumption of the stamping line is 180 tons of steel sheets supplied in rolls. In accordance with the Toyota Production System, the stocks of rolls are maintained at minimal levels and every roll is subject to previously planned production. The stamping line processes 31 types of rolls, different in thickness, width and surface finish of the sheet. The target is to adjust the size of the sheet to the size of the stamped part as much as possible in order to lower the volume of metal waste to 1/3 at maximum.
At first, the robots weld the front and rear parts of the floor into one. The completed floor then moves to a totally revolutionary type of a production line – the so-called global body line, where other parts are welded to the chassis – sides, dashboard and roof. The weld shop contains over 200 robots of various types. 2220 welds are made on the car during the welding process.
When the car body is completed and adjusted, it passes to the main welding line, where robots perform strong welds, strengthening the whole car body. This step is followed by installation of minor body parts and installation of doors and the hood. The car body is then taken to individual quality inspection and then to the paint shop.
Perfect paint, which is a mark of all our cars, is created in the paint shop. Enemies of the paint include dust and dirt and therefore the paint shop can be entered only if wearing an antistatic protective overall.
The paint shop takes car bodies from the weld shop and consists of the following processes: degreasing and cleaning the car body, applying the anti-corrosive ED coating, sealing the welds and the chassis, applying the colorless primer and applying the color paint.
Between applying the specific paints, the car passes through a furnace. With regard to the fact that the primer and the ED coating are waterborne, the furnaces must employ a temperature of up to 190ºC. After completing the painting processes the car passes another quality inspection, during which is checked individually and thoroughly.
Final Assembly and Quality Control
Bare painted car bodies arrive at the final assembly operation and complete cars are leaving it. The final assembly consists of four main production units: TRIM (installation of cabling, the dashboard, heating and the processing unit), CHASSIS (installation of the engine, gearbox and chassis), FINAL 1 and FINAL 2 (assembly of other parts, such as bumpers, seats, windows, wheels and other).
Every car produced passes the output quality check as only first class quality is the key to success. The quality inspection department performs a thorough check of functions, technical and performance parameters, appearance and assembly. A car is sent to the customer only if it has passed a series of strict checks and tests without any problems.
Toyota Production System
The Toyota production system is constantly improved and represents the most efficient production system in the world, which almost all car producers try to imitate. It is based on thorough organization of work, high efficiency and strict quality. The aim is to manufacture a product of the highest quality for the lowest possible price. The basis of TPS is the principle of never-ending improvements of standards, called the Kaizen. We are constantly improving ourselves and our corporate activities in order to manage and do things better. In practice this means that the production process is being developed every day.
Removing losses, improving quality and efficiency are never-ending processes. Kaizen stands for constant improvement. It means to be unsatisfied with the current solution, and to constantly investigate for possible quality and efficiency improvements. In the end, kaizen stands for constantly increasing the production standards.
Defects and mistakes are the worst method of wasting as energy to be put into the repairing brings no added value. Therefore, Toyota has developed the concept of Jidoka, or designing equipment and processes in order to be stopped if any problem occurs. This ensures that any lack of quality will be discovered and solved at the place of its occurrence and thus cannot be passed on to the following process. For example, in practice this means that every employee finding any defect on the car can stop the production line in order to prevent the defect being passed on.
- Just - in - time
Just-in-time is a concept of supplies invented by Toyota. It results in minimizing stock inventories, which represent unnecessary cost and wasted resources. Just-in-time supplies are based on the idea of management of the production process by natural laws of supply and demand, i.e. by delivering parts into the production process just in time when the process needs them and exactly in needed amounts.
The principle of visualization is to make information about the progress of the production process and the condition of production equipment well visible to all at all times.
Only when all are sharing the same information they can promptly respond to possible problems and work as one team. From a production line operator to an engineer, from maintenance staff to a foreman, everybody knows immediately about the current state of the production process.