Japan News - What`s happening at Toyota Motor Corporation and the Japanese manufacturing industry. Check here weekly for updates.
Toyota Begins Corolla Production in Mississippi
Production increases & Toyota provides monthly lunches
Honda Robot`s Advanced Technology
The Toyota Production System Produces Results at Airports
Japanese Beer Companies report strong performance.
All major Japanese Trading Companies have reported a Large Increase in Sales & Profit
Prius`s price will increase November 29th in Japan
For our interview with Mr. Kato, Fmr Toyota Motor Corporation Managing Director, on Toyota Way`s take on the Theory of Constraints, click here. For our interview with Dr. Martinko on The Continuous Improvement Process in Europe, click here.
For our interview with Mr. Kato, Fmr Toyota Motor Corporation Managing Director, on Toyota Way`s take on the Theory of Constraints, click here.
For our interview with Dr. Martinko on The Continuous Improvement Process in Europe, click here.
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Toyota Production Up to 70% production capacity
The recovery is two months ahead of the schedule. Eight models including a medium size car, Camry, and a compact, Corolla, will be produced in full operation.
The recovery in production will alleviate the sluggish conditions and will increase sales.
All Production Lines Recommenced at four Richo Plants in the Earthquake Area.
TOKAI CARBON CO., LTD. Resumes Production in December
Elpida Memory Inc. Mass-produces the Most Advanced Dram at the Hiroshoma Plant
Tottori Institute of Industrial Technology Reduced the Equipment Use Fees for the Industries of the Disaster Stricken Prefectures
Tottori Institute of Industrial Technology consists of three centers: the Electronic and Organic Material Research Center in Tottori City, the Machine Material Research Center in Yonago City and the Food Development Center in Sakaiminato City. Out of the three centers, the Electronic and Organic Material Research Center is fully equipped with advanced measurement and evaluation equipment on LED such as optical measurement examination devices.
34 Academic Societies including Applied Physics Society Made a Statement on post Japan Earthquake Disaster Initiatives
Toyota Motor Corporation Profits Up.
However, the drastic reduction of production volumes because of the disaster kept the profit levels lower than what was originally expected. Since normalization of TMC`s operations cannot be expected until the condition are reviewed around November or December, Toyota Motor Corporation representatives refrained from stating their expected results for the next term. TMC`s performance will largely depend on how they fair during the period between April and June.
“We have been put in a position where parts purchasing in six months time
is not assured.” We have insufficient data to express our prospects,” said Mr. Nobuaki Kato, President of Denso, "Although we had experienced a sudden reduction in our production volumes with an anxiety toward the unforeseeable future right after the Lehman shock, we were still able to make a future forecasting.
Yet this time, we are yet to see what will take place due to the indefinite
scale of damages caused by Japan`s earthquake disaster."
Honda Doubled Net Profit for the financial year ending March 2011
Sales increased by 4.2%, which amounts to 8 trillion 936.8 billion yen for the same period. The sales of four wheel vehicles rose by 3.5%, 3.51.2.000 units, while the motorcycles recorded 18.7% increase. Honda sold 11.445.000 units internationally in the financial period ending March 2011.
Mr. Fumihiko Ike, Honda`s Executive Managing Director, stated, “The domestic production of four wheel vehicles will remain at 50% until June. As far as the overseas operation is concerned, the period between July and September might be even more restricted as the consequences of the earthquake and ensuing damages, parts supply and supply chain difficulties have extended worldwide.”
All of the Five Disaster Stricken Plants of Ezaki Glico Restarted Operations
Kuwait Extends Aid of 5 million Barrel Crude Oil
Minister Kaieda expressed his gratitude,“We would like to utilize the aid to help the disaster stricken people.” Mr. Otaibi emphasized the importance of friendship by saying, “Japan has been making a great contribution to the progress of not only Kuwait but also the world communities. We should be Japan’s neighbor especially at time of crisis."
Mitsubishi Heavy Industry Has Developed Special Forklift To Remove rubble In and Around the Nuclear Power Plant
The cabin is made of steel board with thickness of 100mm and flint glass with a thickness of 230 mm. With all side welding structure, high level of sealing has been ensured. It can shut off radiation in the range from 1/50 to 1/100. It also eliminates dust by an air purifier. The size of the forklift is 7.3 meters long, 2.5 meters wide and the height 3.8 meters with the weight of 30 tons.
TMC and WiTricity Form Wireless Battery-charging
WiTricity's charging technology uses resonance, which allows charging without direct contact and is more efficient than electromagnetic-induction, another wireless technology—but one that requires contact—that is starting to come of age in mobile phone and other chargers. TMC believes that resonance wireless charging is suitable for automobiles and aims for its early practical use.
The collaboration is aimed to accelerate development and eventual implementation ofwireless charging for automobiles. The charging of a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle could be as simple and convenient as parking near an embedded charger at a home or in a parking facility.
In the Toyota Global Vision announced in March, TMC expressed its commitment to leading the way to the future of mobility by integrating automobiles, homes and information technology. Wireless charging is just one of the many technologies TMC seeks to develop for the future.
Back to Two Shift Production at Suzuki Motor Corporation Today, First Time after the Disaster
Future Traffic Systems on Exhibit at the Toyota Museum till July : Innovation the Focus
The theme of this event is “Traffic Systems,” that covers the roads in the future. The traffic society free from carbon dioxide is projected by video and diorama. “Intelligent Transport System” which eliminates traffic congestion by information technology in communication is also presented likewise. In addition, there are seven plug-in-hybrid vehicles on exhibit, which is enabled to charge with a home power outlet. The presentation on new traffic systems such as “Linimo” is also available on the site.
Mr. Takahiko Sugiura, Head of the Museum Attendants, said, “Creation of our future society with advanced traffic system should be made by people’s wisdom, not only by the development of industries. It would be great if visitors could have an opportunity to think of an idea to make even half a step forward toward our better future,”
80% Discount of Landing Fees for New International Cargo Service at Central Japan International Airport
The landing fee is determined by the weight of an aircraft; the fee at Central Japan International Airport for landing is ¥1,660 per ton, which will be cut down to ¥332 in the new system. In the case of B747-400type (Jumbo Jet), the fee will come to approximately ¥130,000- a reduction of about ¥500,000.
Currently, the airport is experiencing sluggish operations with only 20 flights a week, while at the peak period of February, 2006, there used to be 54. Due to the reduced routes, industrial products from the Central District of Japan are flowed out to the other major airports such as Narita and Kansai, which keeps the volume of export and import from increasing at Central Japan International Airport.
The airport company said, “We are ready to provide measures superior to other
airports that include financial support by as much as 10 million yen.”
North Eastern Shinkansen (Bullet Trains) Restarts Full Operations in the Entire lines on April 29, Including New “Hayabusa”
The New Type Models of the 5th system, "The Hayabusa,” which made a debut on March 5 before Japan`s earthquake disaster, will also make one round trip between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori, and between Tokyo and Sendai.
Toyota Motor Corporation Focuses on the Shanghai Motor Show though Sluggish Chinese Sales Expected.
Shanghai Motor Show, the China’s biggest auto exhibition, began on April 19th at the New Shanghai International Exhibition Center. Japanese Auto makers are focusing on HV’s and compact models in their presentations. As for the small size cars, their efforts have not been rewarded so far in the Chinese market. Although the China’s world largest economic growth is expected to stay No.1 for two consecutive years to come, a decline in auto sales may be unavoidable due to the unstable supply of component parts caused by the east Japan Great Earthquake.
Toyota is trying to project their uniqueness in “ZERAS”, a new model just introduced in the market toward the end of March, and another called an “E’Z", which is planned to appear at the mid-year period. In addition, an ALPHARD and other vehicles designed for welfare purposes are on exhibit.
Toyota established the world largest test course in the compound of the Research and Development Center in Jiangshu, Changshu, China last autumn, where various road conditions are reproduced to have prototype models and cars on the Chinese market run for trial. President Toyoda expressed his desire, “We would like to give training to our models to satisfy our Chinese customers.”
Honda presented a HV model mounted with a lithium-ion battery for the first time internationally.
With the totals of 1,100 models manufactured by 2,000 companies from 20 countries on public view, the organizer expects some 700,000 visitors to come during the show, which will be open for the public from April 23 to 28. Japan News source for this story: Chunichi newspaper, Nagoya, Japan.
Toyota Motor Corporation Restarts Production
Toyota Motor Corporation restarted its vehicle production at the fourteen domestic plants on April 18, which had been suspended due to the East Japan Great earthquake. Including two disaster stricken bases in the north eastern region of Japan, the production lines began operations at all 17 production bases after about a five week halt. Even at Miyagi Plant of Central Motor Co., Ltd., an affiliated company of Toyota, disaster stricken team members from the local area came back to the production sites.
However, some problem in parts delivery and supply remains unsolved. This problem will keep the rate of operation from rising over 50%. There is no telling when they can put into full operation.
Employees were seen commuting to work from six-thirty in the morning. At eight o’clock, some 800 members gave a silent prayer and meditation at their morning meeting. After reciting “Gambaro” (Let’s go forward!) out loud three times, they got down to their duties.
Also on April 18th, at Kanagasaki town, Iwate Prefecture, a Toyota’s affiliated company, Kanto Auto Works, resumed their operation at the Iwate Plant.
The Miyagi Plant of Central Motor stopped production as equipment had been damaged in the earthquake. All but some one hundred employees who were involved in disaster relief work.
For the month of April, the rate of operation will be limited to 25% of the pre-disaster level. Later the production of the main product “Corolla” will be transferred from the Sagami Plant, Sagami Prefecture and after the Golden week holiday (April 29 - May 5) is over, they will raise the rate of operation up to 50%.
An 18 year old new male recruit, who just started in April said,“Frankly speaking, I was very worried that there would be a cancellation of employment. Although the initiation ceremony was postponed until April 11, I am happy to work without major mishaps.”
Another 22 year old male staff stated, “I am full of expectations thanks to the restart of production. I would like to help the community to rise from the devastation by doing my duty.
After the earthquake, the availability of component parts such as electronic parts was not ensured in the automotive sectors. Toyota was looking into the restarting time of production at all the production bases, while they were making HV cars with an advanced schedule at three plants including Tsutsumi plant (Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture) where Prius are being produced.
Almost 150 items are still in inconsistent supply. Therefore, the rate of operation will remain at 50% until June 3. The recovery in production for the coming period depends on the status of the electronic parts suppliers and the power supply status.
On April 18th, Nissan also restarted production at Iwaki plant, Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture and Tochigi Plant, Mikami Town, Tochigi Prefecture.
Major Automakers, Toyota, Nissan and Honda have all recommenced operations at all of their productions bases.
Toyota Motor Corporation`s supply chain getting back on track
According to the Port Authority of the Miyagi Prefecture, Sendai Port is playing the vital role as the logistic center shipping automotive products, since the Miyagi Plant (Miyagi Prefecture) of Central Motor Co., Ltd, a Toyota Group company, started its operation last January in the north eastern region of Japan.
Deputy Manager of the Port Authority Takashi Hashiura stated, “Now that the logistic systems are set in order, we expect that industrial activities will rise vigorously.”
Dr. Keen, Professor Emeritus, Colombia University, to Reside in Japan Permanently
Prof. Donald Keene, who is 88 years of age, has been engaged in research on Japanese literature for more than half a century, which earned him the Order of Cultural Merit from the Japanese Government in 2008.
He accepted NHK’s interview at his home in New York on April 14 before his retirement from Columbia University at the end of this month. Having visited places in the north eastern district of Japan, while working on a translation of “OKU NO HOSO MICHI” or “The Narrow Road to Oku” by Matsuo Basho (Famous Ancient Haiku Poet), he was totally shocked to know the news about such a great disaster this time. He witnessed that many members of international companies living in Japan were called back to their home countries and some professional baseball players from abroad quit and left Japan. As such, it has been said that staying in Japan is dangerous. “That is all more the reason why I express my belief toward Japan. After retirement, I will acquire Japanese nationality and live in Japan for the rest of my life.” Dr. Keene added a word of encouragement, saying “I married a woman called Japan. Everyone in Japan is a victim of this disaster. I believe the Japanese are so great a people of excellence. Although they are suffering and going through a series of hardship now, they will survive and come out even greater and stronger in the future.”
Toyota Motor Corporation to invest in International Technical Training Center and Industrial Park in Central Japan
Toyota will purchase approximately 18.7 hectors of land from the city to construct a facility for education and training to servicing personnel of Toyota car dealers in Japan as well as Internationally. The land will be transferred to Toyota in January 2012. The amount of investment was undisclosed.
Mr. Sasaki stated, “To cope with a rapid advancement of automotive technology, we have dire needs to educate and train servicing and repair staff, while engaging in research and development on repair technology. This center is going to be an important place of learning for our members from all over the world.
Japan News will continue monitoring this situation.
Honda restarts limited production at Suzuka Plant
At the Suzuka plant, there are 6,800 employees. Before the earthquake occurred, four different models were being produced including the Fit and Insight models on two production lines. The average production was 1,500 units a day. Since the earthquake, parts supply from their plant in Tochiji prefecture (East Japan) have been unavailable. On and after March 14th Honda stopped their operation at all of their their plants.
Gradually production will resume, yet at the Suzuka and Saitama plants, where four wheel vehicles are made, the recovery will be slow.
The research and development division will be transferred to Suzuka from Tochigi.
Since they will continue to have logistic problems in parts supply, the production will be limited to 50% of the previous period. There are over 50 parts suppliers in and around Suzuka.
According to a Honda staff member, they cannot tell when the curtailment will be over. It will probably last for at least six months.
Toyota Motor Corporation President, Mr. Akio Toyoda speaks to new recruits
JR Linear Shinkansen contsruction will continue as scheduled
Toyota Production re-starts production from April 18th despite continued parts supply instability
It has been 5 weeks since the earthquake and tsunami disaster hit Japan. There are still difficulties in achieving stability in parts supply but Toyota is determined to move forward.
Production levels will be limited to 50% of their pre-earthquake levels. The President of the Toyota Motor Corporation, Mr. Akio Toyoda, was strongly urged by Toyota`s suppliers and dealers to increase production to previous levels as soon as possible.
Honda set to restart full production within 3 months.
Toyota Production Re-starts but with Difficulties
Toyota production is currently limited to three hybrid models.
World Manufacturing Disruptions
Prius Production Restarts
Reported on March 25th:Two major challenges and one impressive action were highlighted at a meeting today at a Toyota supplier company in Central Japan.
First, Toyota cannot forecast future production or put a strategy in place due to the ongoing crisis and uncertainty in Japan.
This is a major blow to suppliers as this follows a period of poor sales and slow production. Cash flow had already been limited before the earthquake. Full production was just about to re-start when the earthquake occurred. Now, times are very uncertain. On a positive note, Toyota has made 4 car models a priority for production, which will start in April. Japan News will keep you up to date on any new developments.
Second, the supply chain system has been broken in Japan. A car contains 30,000 parts. In order to complete production, all parts must be assembled. There are three major blockages to the reconstruction of the Japanese supply chain system - Factory damage and shut downs, Planned power cuts (due to electric power limitations), and Logistics system breakdown.
Of particular concern to the Toyota supplier company we spoke with, is the 3M mat for their converters. Without it, they cannot supply any exhaust systems. The only 3M supplier of these mats in Japan is located within the 30 km evacuation zone of the Fukushima nuclear plant. It remains abandoned. Suppliers have reached out to other 3M suppliers in the world. 3M is the supplier of choice because they produce a particularly high quality product. In sum, parts supply is a major issue for the manufacturing industry in Japan and this problem will continue into the future with a rippling effect internationally.
Japan News is currently gathering more data on this matter.
On a positive note, while the crisis is being dealt with, manufacturing companies are undergoing a major lean 5s overhaul especially the first 2s of lean 5s - Sort and Set in Order. Impressively, after only two weeks, this Toyota supplier we spoke with is ready for production. Their plants and factories have been cleaned, sorted and set in order. The power and effectiveness of the 5s system cannot be underestimated.
Disaster preparedness is what the Japanese are known for. The Toyota Motor Company and other great manufacturing companies have proven themselves during this time of crisis.
For details on lean 5s, click here. Return from Japan News to Process Improvement Japan
For details on lean 5s, click here.
Return from Japan News to Process Improvement Japan