丰田城一周考察带给我的思考

Jim Womack

http://planet-lean.com/reflections-on-a-week-in-toyota-city

丰田城一周考察带给我的思考

劉聖桂 譯 
Reflections on a week in Toyota City
丰田城一周考察带给我的思考

Last week, during a study mission in Japan, the Lean Global Network visited Toyota. Here, Jim shares his thoughts on what we saw and learned.

上周,精益全球网络在日本组织了一次考察活动,期间访问了丰田汽车公司。对于我们在这次考察活动中的所见所学,Dr. James Womack在下文分享了他的想法。

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Lean Global Network and so it seemed appropriate to hold the annual meeting of the 23 national affiliate organizations at Toyota in Japan this past week. I write this far above the Pacific as I return.

今年是精益全球网络成立十周年,上周这个在23个国家拥有分支机构的联盟组织将它的年会放在日本丰田召开,这样的安排非常恰当。在踏上归途、飞越太平洋上空的时候,我写下了这篇文章。

The timing of this trip was perfect for me, because I have been reflecting on the lean movement and our mission as we also celebrate LEI’s 20th anniversary. As readers discovered last month, I’m concerned about the progress we are making in spreading lean thinking and practice. We’ve got great ideas but we are still struggling to get the world’s managers to adopt them.

这次旅行的时机对我来说很完美,因为在庆祝LEI成立二十周年的时候,我一直在反思精益问世后的进展和我们的使命。正如上个月有细心的读者发现的那样,我一向很关注我们在推广精益思想和实践方面所取得的进步。虽然我们有了些不错的点子,但每天仍然在为如何让世界各地的管理者们能实践精益改善而奋斗。

Given my qualms, it would have been truly dismaying to discover that Toyota and its supplier group have lost their way at the lean point of origin in Japan. So, I approached our visit with some concern.

其实,我内心也有一丝忧虑,我担心在日本的时候会看到丰田及其供应商偏离了精益的原点。带着这些担忧,我开始了这次访问。

I knew that Toyota had conducted deep critical self-reflection (what we refer to as hansei) after it grew too fast in the 2000s in pursuit of leadership in global market share. And I knew that President Akio Toyoda had summarized his conclusions in two simple phrases: “back to basics” and “design interesting vehicles”. The former meant returning to traditional Toyota management practices that put customers (rather than rapid growth and market share) first, while the latter meant acknowledging that the global auto industry has leveled up on quality and durability – the company’s prime differentiators in the market for decades – and that Toyota designs that avoid risk but fail to stoke passion would no longer serve. But until the LGN study tour, I had no first-hand, gemba knowledge of what had been accomplished.

我知道,丰田公司在21世纪初期为了追求全球市场份额的领先,经历过一段时间的过快增长,后来他们进行了深刻的自我反思(我们称之为Hansei)。丰田章男总经理用了两句非常简洁的话来进行总结:“回归本源”和“设计有趣的汽车”。前者意味着要回归到传统的丰田管理实践,把客户(而不是快速增长和市场份额)放在第一位,而后者意味着承认全球汽车行业的质量和耐久性水平已经提高—这是丰田公司几十年来一直引以自豪的市场差异化策略—丰田那些避免风险、但缺乏激情的车型外观设计将不再适用。在此次全球精益网络考察之前,我没有进行过现场深入调查,对于他们已取得的成就并不了解。

What I found in a week of walking through truly lean facilities in Toyota City and talking with engineers and managers, young and old, were striking examples of putting these simple directions into practice.

但这个星期里,我在丰田市真正的精益工厂中穿梭,和工程师、管理人员交谈,同年轻人、年长的丰田人对话,发现丰田人正逐步将丰田章男的简洁指南付诸实践。

Toyota has refreshed the chief engineer system for a new competitive environment where customers want a wide variety of products, but car companies need to control development expenses so that resources will be available for massive investments in new technologies – notably alternative energy and autonomy – and for experiments with mobility offerings beyond simply selling customers vehicles. (For example, in May 2016 Toyota made a large investment in Uber.)

丰田认识到全球新的大竞争环境里,客户需要多种多样的产品,因此更新了总工程师体系,以便有效地控制研发费用,并将资源应用于新技术的投资上—特别是替代能源和无人驾驶。除了继续开发代步的汽车工具外,丰田还积极参与移动性产品的试验(例如,2016年5月,丰田对Uber进行了巨额投资。)

The chief engineer (CE) concept had been revised before, in the early 1990s, as Toyota grew rapidly. To manage the growing variety of small and large cars and light trucks, Toyota created platform groups for these vehicles above the traditional CEs. But this was not enough as the company surged to 10 million vehicles by 2009 and fell behind in the performance of its basic platforms. As a result, CEs were substantially reengineering the base platforms to serve their customers and driving up development costs.

二十世纪九十年代初,为了管理品种越来越多的小型、大型汽车和轻型卡车,丰田在传统的总工程师体系上创建了平台的概念。但这并不够,因为汽车产量在2009年猛增到1000万辆,基础平台的能力已无法满足要求。因此,总工程师们为了满足客户需求,纷纷在基础平台上进行了大幅改造,因而抬高了研发成本。

The new approach is to keep CEs in charge of products but to set boundaries on the number of components and systems, while reengineering each of a smaller number of platforms to a higher standard. For example, the center of gravity of Toyota vehicles has been lowered for better driver experience, the number of transmissions has been halved, and the use of standard fit points has reduced the number of alternators from 14 to 6. CEs can appeal to a high-level committee if none of the standard options suits their customers, but the quality of the smaller number of new platforms permits new products like the Camry to be dramatically improved without spending massive amounts on customization of the underbody.

新体系对总工程师们负责产品的要求不变,但对组件和系统的数量却做了限制,要求提高平台的驾驶性能标准,并减少平台数目,。例如,降低汽车的重心,以获取更好的驾驶体验;减半不同变速箱类型的数量;使用标准定位点将发电机的数量从14个减少到6个。如果总工程师们认为没有一个标准选项适合各自的客户,有权向企业高级委员会申述;由于那些数量不多的新平台的质量的确提高了很多,比如像新的凯美瑞,因此需要花费大笔资金重新定制车身底盘的需求实在不多。

Recent styling decisions by chief engineers in quest of Akio’s request for “interesting vehicles” can be debated (although I’m beginning to like my new Prius Prime Advanced, which I originally approached with my eyes closed). But the CEs are at least trying experiments going beyond Toyota’s traditional comfort zone as the whole global industry struggles with how autonomous, electric, shared-use vehicles should look and drive.

尽管丰田章男为追求“有趣的汽车”而让总工程师决定最新造型的做法还有待市场的评估(我个人对我的新普锐斯Prime Advanced的外观越来越喜欢,虽然一开始时没有太多的吸引我)。当前全球汽车行业都在探讨无人驾驶、电动和共享汽车应该长成什么样子和如何驾驶之际,丰田总工程师们已经走出丰田传统的舒适区,做出各种超前的设计试验。

Toyota has launched its Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) to design future products with common fit points that will permit many products to go down any production line and to share major components. This is important in a world where neither the mix of vehicle options nor the volume for whole products can be forecast and products need to be shifted between plants.

丰田近年推出新全球架构(Toyota New Global Architecture, TNGA),使用统一的定位点来设计未来产品,让不同款式的汽车能在同一条生产线上生产,并尽可能共享主要部件。面对一个既无法预测车型组合、又很难预测产品数量,且为了满足市场还需要在工厂之间转移生产等各种挑战,柔性生产设计是个不容忽视的课题。

For example, at the Tsutsumi plant in Toyota City we saw four different vehicles and variants within these vehicles (e.g., the regular Prius and Prius Prime with a much larger battery) being assembled on the same lines in mixed sequence. This requires that many parts be kitted off line and delivered to the line in assembly sequence (as seats have always been.)

例如,在丰田市的堤工厂,我们看到四种不同的车型以及特殊装备要求(例如,普通版的普锐斯和配备大电池的普锐斯Prime)在同一条产线上混序装配。这同时要求许多部件在线下完成配套,并按照装配顺序交付给生产线(就像汽车座椅总成的例子。)

Stated another way, Toyota has decided that its past practice of assigning low-volume and high-variety products to its contract assemblers (such as Kanto and Toyota Auto Body) and its high-volume products like Camry and RAV 4 to its big assembly plants like Takaoka, Motomachi and Tsutsumi, must now change so that all plants can handle lower volume products with a higher option mix in mixed assembly sequence. This sounds simple but requires standard fit points – for example for the carriers taking vehicles through assembly – and massive changes in assembly plant practices if costs are to be reduced.

换句话说,丰田已经决定改变过去那种将小批量和高换型产品分配给合同装配商(如关东和丰田車體公司)、而把大批量产品(如凯美瑞和RAV 4)分配给高冈、元町和堤等大型装配厂的战略,目的是要求所有工厂都有能力处理多品种小批量或小批量混序生产的汽车。这听上去不难,但不仅需要标准定位点—例如吊掛车辆通过装配线的挂钩,而且装配厂的整体工序也需要大幅度的改变。其结果是可以降低可观的成本,。

Toyota is conducting a range of experiments on the right mix of humans and robots. At a Tokai Rika plant making interior components we saw a well-designed work cell producing a previous generation of a product, an adjacent cell producing a new version of this product with intense attention to design for manufacture that removed much of the labor content, and a third cell nearby making the same new design with robotic assembly “labor”. (Note that these experiments were under way on the factory floor and were making production parts.) Despite the world’s enthusiasm for Technology 4.0, with machines supposedly ready to eliminate much of the workforce, the robots at Tokai Rika did not seem to be winning. (This is consistent with Executive Vice President and global production chief Mitsuru Kawai’s belief that brilliant redesign of work to eliminate more muda is a better approach than spending enormous sums on automation.)

丰田正在对人力和机器人的合适组合进行一系列试验。我们在制造汽车内饰件的东海理化工厂看到了三个工作单元:一个单元在生产上一代产品;相邻的一个单元在生产这个产品的新版本,但大部分劳动力已通过为制造着想的工程设计而减少了很多;附近的第三个单元则采用机器人装配和第二单元相同的产品。(请注意,以上这些试验都已在生产线上进行,正式生产零部件。)尽管目前全世界都对工业4.0趋之若鹜,准备用机器来取代大部分的劳动力,但东海理化的机器人似乎并没有遵照这个思路。诚如东海的执行副总裁兼全球生产总监川井先生说的,他认为用心地重新设计产品过程中可以消除许多浪费,甚至優於为自动化而自动化所投入巨额资金的方案。

Toyota has proved that it still has the basic skills to recover when it makes operational mistakes. At Toyota Industrial Corporation, a maker of forklifts, tractor, and other material handling equipment that is part of the original Toyota Automatic Loom company, 37-year Toyota veteran Sadeo Nomura was called in as senior advisor to create basic stability after management took its eye off the ball during dramatic growth (unusually for Toyota, by acquisition) in the 2000s. By reinforcing visual management in every work place and quickly counter-measuring every deviation from standards, in-process defects were reduced by 98 percent across the production system of ten plants in seven countries and warranty claims were reduced by two thirds. In addition, the high-mix mother plant in Toyota City is one of the finest examples of lean production I have seen.

丰田证明了当他们在运营上犯错的时候具有解决问题的基本技能。丰田工业公司,其前身是丰田自动织机公司,现在生产叉车,牽引車和其他物料搬运设备。野村貞郎先生,一位在丰田工作了37年后的老将,被丰田工业公司任命为高级顾问。该公司经历了二十世纪初期的戏剧性增长(丰田历史上很少见的通过并购来实现)以后,管理层希望野村先生帮助建立基本的稳定性。通过加强每个工序的目视化管理,并快速反馈过程中每个偏离标准的错误,他领导的团队在7个国家的10家工厂生产系统中减少了98%的质量缺陷,降低了2/3的保修索赔。我必须承认这家多品种,小批量的混合母工厂(豐田織機高濱工廠)是我见过最好的精益生产工厂之一。

Toyota is pursuing system kaizen in its service parts distribution to dealers in Japan and abroad, which is already the most efficient and effective in the world. Where else can one find a warehouse stocking 300,000 part numbers that turns its inventory every week? And yet the senior TPS advisor assigned to the system sees the potential for dramatic improvement of the entire service parts network in the next few years.

丰田正在寻求对本国和国外经销商服务零配件系统进行系统改善,尽管他们目前已经是世界上最高效的体系了。你在哪里还能找到一个有30万零部件品种,但每周更换库存的仓库?然而,这个系统的高级TPS顾问却还能看到未来提高整体服务部件网络的潜在机会。

Toyota is pursuing a portfolio of choices for motive power – enhanced hybrids, hydrogen fuel cells, and electrics with solid state batteries – in a time of technological discontinuity. This is clearly an example of concurrent engineering in which Toyota continues to pursue a range of radically different possibilities until the best approach emerges even as competitors double down on a single technology. (Concurrent engineering in a lean product and process development environment is traditionally about small things, whereas Toyota is now applying these principles to big, complex technologies.)

在这个新技术青黄不接的时代,丰田正在寻求汽车动力的最佳组合—继续加强混合动力,氢燃料电池和固态电池等技术。这显然是一个并行工程的例子,即使竞争对手在单一技术上双倍下注,丰田依然维持同步持续追求不同技术突破的可能性,直到最佳方案凸显出来。精益产品和流程开发中的并行工程通常用于范围较小的项目,而丰田却将之应用于这个超大型的复杂技术研究。

Toyota has maintained a remarkable continuity in leadership under one family through five generations (despite the Toyoda family owning only 1% of the shares) and we met a deep bench of young managers in every facility with a remarkable depth of lean skills.

丰田公司在一个家族经过五代人的领导,一直保持着显著的持续性(尽管丰田家族拥有的股份只有1%),我们在每家工厂都遇到了大批的年轻管理人员,他们的精益底蕴都相当深厚。

So, I’m relaxing up here in the sky. Toyota is doing fine, having gotten back to basics. Now it’s time for the rest of us to get back to the work of thinking through our strategy for the next phase of the lean movement.

我在飞机上很放松,因为发现丰田做得很好,已经回归了本源,不需要我担心。现在是我们精益人重新思考精益战略,进入下一阶段精益运动的时候了。

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