Eventsengine helps drive improvement today and tomorrow at Toyota

Gearing up for an increase in car production from April 2005 and with its press shop running at full capacity, Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) turned to MVI Technology for help in identifying opportunities for further efficiency improvements.

TMUK began car production in the UK in 1992, at its plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire. The company has invested over 1.1 billion in the site where it now produces the Avensis and Corolla. The site covers 580 acres and employs over 4,300 people in processes including body panel pressing, welding, painting, plastic moulding and assembly.

The company, widely acknowledged as the originator of excellence in manufacturing, responds to market demand by manipulating the TAKT time on the assembly lines, with the press, weld and paint shops supplying the lines accordingly. It saw opportunity for improved efficiency in the press shop where data collection and analysis of line performance were based on a manual system. It engaged MVI Technology, supplier of real-time performance management (RPM) solution, Eventsengine.

Siobhan OFarrell, MVIs CEO: Toyota has a reputation for being a highly efficient company. The challenge at TMUK was to identify where improvements could be made when the press shop was already running at full capacity. Data accuracy is vital because it is used to prioritise improvement opportunities

Eventsengine records stoppages on the line in real time, prompting operators to take immediate remedial action and to record the reasons for the downtime by pressing a pre-coded button on a line-side touchscreen. The data is fed back instantly via a KPI dashboard on the touchscreen and is visible to any other part of the business via a web browser. The data can be sliced and diced using the systems analyser module and reports generated instantly, providing an accurate, real-time view of the plant.

The Eventsengine implementation at the Burnaston plant began in January 2005 and the system is expected to be fully live on all eight main press shop lines by the end of March. OFarrell believes it is a landmark implementation because historically Toyota has eschewed IT on the shop floor, preferring instead to deliver improvements through people. The difference with Eventsengine is that it fits around people and the way they work its the automation of manual work.

The new system will deliver TMUK live Pareto analysis, not just on the line but at part and SKU level. It enhances some elements of the firms existing manual systems, automating the plants escalation procedures and its Andon visual management system (boards displaying the current status of the lines). OFarrell: The system provides Andon per line projected onto a plasma screen - the latest statistics on how that line is performing, minute-by-minute.

She sees the Eventsengine implementation as part of TMUKs overall improvement programme. Its very much part of a bigger picture and we expect to help deliver major productivity improvement on the main line in the press shop.

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