Thursday, February 17, 2011


Word was spreading about the new Toyota's Ohira car factory even before it was finished. A couple days ago it had its grand opening and folks are starting to write about what they have seen. Pretty fascinating.

Here is the link.

"Since the turn of the millennium, Toyota has been slowly backing away from heavy automation. The labor saved by robots was wasted by fixing and most of all by reprogramming robots. Ohira is the current culmination of this trend.

For the first time in 30 years, I see people welding by hand. Someone is even putting a rotary sander to a primed body before it enters the paint station. If Ferdi Piech would see that in Wolfsburg, he would stop the line and fire the factory manager. Why less automation? More flexibility, lower investments."

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