Carolyn Seale is an industrial engineering and planning manager at Denso Manufacturing in Athens, Tennessee, a maker of advanced automotive technologies. Living in nearby Cleveland and having 17 years at Denso, Carolyn Seale practices the Toyota Production System (TPS) principles.
TPS originated in Japan with Sakichi Toyoda, the inventor of an automatic loom which he developed in 1924. In the 1930s, his son Kiichiro Toyoda extended the system to increase efficiency at the fledgling Toyota Motor Corporation.
The central concept of TPS is the just-in-time inventory system, which ties orders of raw materials and parts to production schedules. In automotive manufacturing, this translates to maintaining a small inventory by ordering parts just as they are needed in the assembly line.
The just-in-time method not only trims inventory - it eliminates unneeded manufacturing processes and reduces the number of defective parts. These and other efficiencies significantly improve productivity.
TPS helped Toyota compete successfully in the United States and Europe. Often referred to as the “Toyota Way,” TPS embodies the corporate philosophies of “daily improvements” and “good thinking, good products.”