The big news from Toyota manufacturing lately is a pretty radical change in philosophy. Instead of adding more robots and pumping up production, Toyota says it wants to reduce the number of robots it uses and add more humans.
Why would they do this? They want to improve their product quality – profits be damned.
Canada’s largest union is reportedly planning on holding a vote in the coming year that could unionize two Toyota plants in that country. While the UAW has a checkered history in the U.S., would a Canadian unionized Toyota plant be a good or bad thing?
Often times, when people hear the phrase “eco-friendly technology,” the assumption is that a compromise is required, i.e. “we’re getting rid of something that works and replacing it with something that’s green but not quite as efficient.”
This is not one of those times.
Dry ice blasting is reducing cleaning times in automotive factories by as much as 75%, which means factories are running longer and automotive manufacturers are saving money on normal maintenance tasks.
Here’s an explanation of the technology and how it’s impacting the auto industry.
As a bit of good news coming out of the job recession that has plagued the U.S. for the last three years, Toyota announced plans to build a new manufacturing operation in Georgia within the next two years.
According to recent reports, Toyota Motor Corporation is expected to manufacture fewer vehicles in 2012 due to a struggling European market. This follows a company statement to suppliers in August that the Japanese automaker would produce 8.9 million vehicles in the coming year. Nevertheless, the estimated target of 8.65 million units will still set a new record, outpacing the previous mark of 8.53 million automobiles in 2007.