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Timeline of Manufacturing Excellence
This Timeline is always under construction. If you have specific events and dates you would like to see added, please contact us. Please reference the source of the information for verification purposes.
* 2004: Shingo Prize-winning Kaikaku published by Norman Bodek, chronicling the history and personal philosophies of the key people that helped develop TPS
* 2003: Shingo Prize-winning Better Thinking, Better Results published, case study and analysis of The Wiremold Company's enterprise-wide Lean transformation.
* 2001: Totota publishes "The Toyota Way 2001" document, which makes explicit the "respect for people" principle.
* 1996: Lean Thinking by Womack and Jones
* 1991 - 1995: The business process re-engineering movement tried, but mostly failed, to transfer the concepts of standardized work and continuous flow to office and service processes that now constitute the great bulk of human activities.
* 1991: Relevance Lost by Tom Johnson and Robert Kaplan exposes weaknesses in manufacturing accounting systems, eventually leading to the Lean Accounting movement
* 1990: The Machine That Changed the World by Womack and Jones
* 1988: Kaizen Institute of Americal holds kaizen seminars at Hartford Graduate Center (Hartford, Conn.), with TPS sessions taught by principals from Shingijutsu Co., Ltd.
* 1988: Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence created by Norman Bodek and Professor Vern Buehler of Utah State University
* 1988: Shingijutsu hired by Danaher Corpopration to assist in implementing TPS a Jacobs Chuck and Jacobs Vehicle Systems.
* 1988: Kaizen Institute leads the first U.S. kaizen event at Jake Brake in Connecticut
* 1988: First wholly owned U.S. facility Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, Kentucky
* 1988: Taiichi Ohno's Toyota Production System - Beyond Large Scale Production is published in English
* 1985 - 1989: Shingo's books on SMED, Poka Yoke, and Study of Toyota Production System from Industrial Engineering Viewpoint are published in the U.S.
* 1985: The Association for Manufacturing Excellence is officially formed from cast off APICS members.
* 1984: Several of AME's founders barnstormed for the APICS Zero Inventory Crusade, collectively making hundreds of presentations on what is now called lean manufacturing. APICS calls for the resignation of the steering committee for violating APICS special interest group rules. The committee decides to go out on its own.
* 1984: Toyota / GM joint venture NUMMI established in U.S.
* 1984: Norman Bodek forms Productivity Press
* 1983: First broader description of TPS by an American author - Zero Inventories by Robert "Doc" Hall is published
* 1980: Under the auspices of the Detroit APICS chapter, several future founders of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence organized the first known North American conference on the Toyota Production System at Ford World Headquarters, with 500 people attending. Featured speaker was Fujio Cho, who became president of Toyota.
* 1980: Kanban: The Coming Revolution is published. It is the first book describing TPS as "JIT"
* 1979: Several APICS members who had seen Toyota production facilities and understood the problems with MRP began to meet regularly.
* 1979: Norman Bodek forms Productivity Inc.
* 1979: First U.S. study missions to Japan to see the Toyota Production System
* 1978: Taiichi Ohno retires and becomes honorary chairman of Toyoda Auto Loom
* 1977: Nick Edwards presents a paper at the APICS conference describing the fallacies of MRP
* 1975: First English TPS handbook drafted by Sugimori, Cho, Ohno, et al.
* 1973: Oil Shock plunges Japan economy into crisis. Only Toyota makes a profit
* 1973: Toyota - Regular supplier improvement workshops begin with top 10 suppliers
* 1969: Start of Toyota operations management consulting division
* 1965: Toyota wins Deming Prize for Quality
* 1962: Toyota - Pull system and kanban complete internally company wide
o Average die change time 15 minutes. Single minute changeovers exist.
o 50% defect reduction from QC efforts
o Initial application of kanban with main suppliers
* 1961: Start of Toyota corporate wide TQC program
* 1960: Deming receives the Japanese "Second Order of the Sacred Treasures" award, with the accompanying citation stating that the people of Japan attribute the rebirth of their industry to his work.
* 1957: Basic Andon system initiated with lights
* 1956: Shigeo Shingo begins regular visits to teach "P-Course"
* 1951: J.M. Juran publishes his seminal work The Quality Control Handbook
* 1951 - 1955: Further refinements to the basic TPS system by Ohno
o Aspects of visual control / 4S
o Start of TWI management training programs (JI, JR, JM)
o Creative suggestion system
o Reduction of batch sizes and change over time
o Purchase of rapid change over equipment from Danley corp
o Kanban implementation
o Production leveling mixed assembly
* 1950: Deming invited to Japan to assist with the Japanese 1951 census. He then gives the first of a dozen lectures on statistical quality control, emphasizing to Japanese management that improving quality can reduce expenses and improve productivity.
* 1950: Toyota financial crisis and labor dispute. Ends with 2146 people losing work. Kiichiro Toyoda steps down as President
* 1947 - 1949: Ohno promoted to machine shop manager. Area designated model shop.
o Rearrangement of machines from process flow to product flow
o End of one man one machine. Start of multi process handling
o Detail study of individual process and cycle times
o Time study and motion analysis
o Elimination of "waste" concept
o Reduction in work in process inventory
o In-process inspection by workers
o Line stop authority to workers
o Major component sections (Denso, Aishin etc.) of Toyota divested
* 1946: Ford adopts GM management style and abandons lean manufacturing
* 1943: Edsel Ford dies
* 1943: Taiichi Ohno transfers from Toyoda Auto Loom to Toyota Motor Corporation
* 1943: Ford completes construction of the Willow Run bomber plant, which reaches a peak of one B-24 bomber per hour.
* 1940: Deming develops statistical sampling methods for the 1940 census, and then teaches statistical process control techniques to workers engaged in wartime production.
* 1940: Consolidated Aircraft builds one B-24 bomber per day. Ford's Charles Sorensen visits to see if Ford's methods can improve on that number.
* 1939: Walter Shewhart publishes Statistical Methods from the Viewpoint of Quality Control. This book introduces his notion of the Shewhart improvement cycle Plan-Do-Study-Act. In the 1950's his colleague W Edwards Demming alters the term slightly to become the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle
* 1938: Just-in-time concept established at Koromo / Honsha plant by Kiichiro Toyoda. JIT wa later severely disrupted by World War II.
* 1937: The German aircraft industry had pioneered takt time as a way to synchronize aircraft final assembly in which airplane fuselages were moved ahead in unison throughout final assembly at a precise measure (takt) of time. (Mitsubishi had a technical relationship with the German companies and transferred this method back to Japan where Toyota, located nearby in Aichi Prefecture, heard about it and adopted it.)
* 1937: Toyota Motor Corporation established. Kiichiro Toyoda President
* 1937: J.M. Juran conceptualizes the overall Pareto Principle and emphasizes the importance of sorting out the vital few from the trivial many. He attributes his insight to the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. Later the term is called the 80/20 rule.
* 1933: Automobile department established in Toyoda Auto Loom
* 1929: Sakichi Toyoda sells foreign rights to loom and Kiichiro Toyoda visits Ford and European companies to learn the automotive business
* 1928: Ford's River Rouge plant completed, becoming the largest assembly plant in the world with over 100,000 employees.
* 1926: Henry Ford publishes Today and Tomorrow
* 1924: Walter Shewhart launches the modern study of process control through the invention of the control chart
* 1924: Sakichi creates the auto loom
* 1914: Ford creates the first moving assembly line, reducing chassis assembly time from over 12 hours to less than 3 hours.
* 1912: The Ford production system based on the principles of "accuracy, flow and precision" extends to assembly.
* 1911: Sakichi Toyoda visits U.S. and sees Model T for the first time
* 1910 - 1912: Ford brought many strands of thinking together with advances in cutting tools, a leap in gauging technology, innovative machining practices, and newly-developed hardened metals. Continuous flow of parts through machining and fabrication of parts which consistently fit perfectly in assembly was possible. This was the heart of Ford's manufacturing breakthrough.
* 1910: Ford moves into Highland Park - the "Birthplace of Lean Manufacturing"
* 1908: Ford introduces the Model T
* 1906: Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto creates a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in Italy. He notices that 80% of the wealth is in the hands of 20% of the population
* 1905: Frank and Lillian Gilbreth investigate the notion of motion economy in the workplace. Studying the motions in work such as brick laying they develop a system of 18 basic elements that can depict basic motion.
* 1902: Jidoka concept established by Sakichi Toyoda
* 1890: Sakichi Toyoda invents a wooden handloom
* 1850: All of the American armories were making standardized metal parts for standardized weapons, but only with enormous amounts of handwork to get each part to its correct specification. This was because the machine tools of that era could not work on hardened metal.
* 1822: Thomas Blanchard at the Springfield Armory in the U.S. had devised a set of 14 machines and laid them out in a cellular arrangement that made it possible to make more complex shapes like gunstocks for rifles. A block of wood was placed in the first machine, the lever was thrown, and the water-powered machine automatically removed some of the wood using a profile tracer on a reference piece. What this meant was really quite remarkable: The 14 machines could make a completed item with no human labor for processing and in single piece flow as the items were moved ahead from machine to machine one at a time.
* 1807: Marc Brunel in England devised equipment for making simple wooden items like rope blocks for the Royal Navy using 22 kinds of machines that produced identical items in process sequence one at a time.
* 1799: Whitney perfects the concept of interchangeable parts when he took a contract from the U.S. Army for the manufacture of 10,000 muskets at the low price of $13.40 each.
* 1760: French general Jean-Baptiste de Gribeauval had grasped the significance of standardized designs and interchangeable parts to facilitate battlefield repairs.
* 1574: King Henry III of France watches the Venice Arsenal build complete galley ships in less than an hour using continuous flow processes