Toyota's Case: Automation And Human Labor

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Automation and Human labor has been at the two ends of manufacturing process spectrum with most companies opting nowadays for the automation of their manufacturing process and eliminating or reducing the number of human labors having a direct impact on the productivity of the organization. Operation managers, supervisors and technical advisors have always wondered what is the optimal level of automation and what amount of work force is required or the process of manufacturing can completely depend on robots and other machines. While the implementation of automation has been on the rise like Xerox which implemented a quick routing system for the Netherlands Social security organization UVW for sorting and routing of employee benefits payment…show more content…
The result of this epic failure was increase manual labor requirement and heavy financial loss and the shutdown of the airport for additional 3 months. The two extremes have been seen now the case of Toyota. Toyota has been going through issue like product recall and poor quality and the answer they found to the problem is reducing automation and balancing it with human labor (Srinivasan [ET], 2012). This was as a result of the response to the issues they were facing and the president Akio Toyoda decided to return back to the basics of the pure craftsmanship that made Toyota the leading global manufacturer (Trudell et. al, 2014). Liker who has written eight books on Toyota and manufacturing process says that while Toyota was bust getting the product out faster and faster they too fell for the big company disease and forgot to learn with the struggle. The 57 year old President of Toyoda wants to move his company back to the ways of quality and efficiency and away from the shadow of growth. For this reason many processes has been removed from automation and people skilled at those jobs entrusted with the…show more content…
Now it is also an important operational strategy and an area of concern for many organizations (Gaimon, 1984). The organizations capacity to produce, the cost of production, quality etc are all predetermined by the level of balance between the automation and labor (Barr, 1982; Cooper & Schendel, 1976; Wheelwright, 1978). The manufacturing process today has to be extremely flexible to internal and external triggers which can come in terms of the items they produce, the volume of production and quality (Bellgran & Safsten, 2005). Achieving a perfect work flow is also important to achieve the production requirements of a manufacturing plant which basically refers to the right process at the right position that would help reduce wastage and also be flexible when there is a change in production requirement (Liker, 2004).To achieve this companies need to automate but at the same time it is necessary to ensure that the amount of automation is right and used for the right process (Fasth, Stahre & Dencker, 2008). There has been many researches on the level of automation and success of it in regular automotive industry plants like Toyota, GM etc. There has been minimal research done on the topic of manufacturing processes in non automotive related industry like Packaging, Household etc. This study will investigate the impact of automation and try to find the

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