Toyota is going against the grain and replacing automated machines with human production lines in many of the company’s factories in Japan.
Seeing as how Japan has more industrial robots than any other country in the world, this move is rather surprising. Yet, the results have been terrific after taking back the work done by robots in over 100 workspaces.
The idea came about when Toyota became increasingly worried many of its factory employees were going through the motions all day, feeding parts to robots and not truly understanding what the production process was all about.
In the long run, Toyota wants to make sure workers are encouraged to become masters of their individual crafts versus becoming reliant on automation.
Toyota has discovered that while robots can do tasks efficiently and at minimal cost, the craftsmanship and human insight is lost which can be extremely valuable in maintaining high-quality products over a long period of time.
Through the research thus far, Toyota has found reducing the human element in production makes processes less efficient so they are hoping the company’s new way of thinking will be the foundation for sustained prosperity in the future.