Yaris DPL 2011: Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) — maintaining the highest levels of built-in quality in the b-segment
— Further improvements in built-in quality sustain Yaris' reputation for Quality, Durability and Reliability
— Project development at TMMF began nearly twice as early as on any previous project
— Part quality ensured through early supplier involvement and extensive collaboration
Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) has been building the Yaris for a decade. It remains committed to delivering vehicles with the highest levels of built-in quality in the B-segment.
The Yaris has already established a reputation for outstanding levels of Quality, Durability and Reliability. Such quality can only be assured through its comprehensive integration into every facet of the Toyota manufacturing process.
Development of the new Yaris project at TMMF was based on three key pillars:
> First, the identification of improvement points from each of the current Yaris production areas, and the very early incorporation of these requirements into the development of the new vehicle structure.
> Second, the guarantee of a smooth transfer of the new Yaris assembly operation to plant members through proper training and a review of fundamental skills.
> Third, the continued improvement of built-in quality in the company's manufacturing processes, based on Toyota production System principles.
TMMF engineers were involved in the development of the new Yaris for three years before the start of production — a year and a half longer than on the previous generation vehicle.
All manufacturing and quality departments sent several engineers to Japan for between 6 to 18 months, to study and further improve the vehicle design. The feedback generated has proved highly beneficial in minimising potential production quality issues.
Key to maintaining built-in quality in the long term, TMMF also focused on ensuring that every part has been designed for more consistent quality over the course of repeated manufacture, allowing for greater control of both fitting accuracy and build quality.
Cross functional Business Reform working groups focusing on design, quality, suppliers and production were also established. Their aim is to review critical process characteristics to guarantee the built-in quality of five critical functions -braking, acceleration, turning, fuel leaks and potential fire starting points. This also further improves quality consciousness from team members, as well as strengthening warranty management and the critical process audit.
The direct involvement of suppliers in the vehicle production preparation process was also essential to ensure the highest possible quality.
This involvement takes the form of numerous diverse activities: Within an intensive supplier development programme, Toyota engineers are based at strategic supplier factories to share knowledge and assist in the achievement of the expected quality standards.
For new parts, Toyota uses Simultaneous Engineering —the early exchange of part design ideas and manufacturing techniques between the company and the supplier- as well as supplier parts tracking teams -multiple visits to the supplier to ensure quality milestones are achieved- to solve problems well before the start of production.
Immediately prior to the start of new Yaris mass production, every supplier visited TMMF on a regular basis, both before and during assembly trial periods. This allow for extensive discussion, design reviews and trial parts fitting, with the aim of identifying all potential problems.
Overall, a longer project development lead time within the Toyota plant and the early involvement of suppliers in the design process combine to guarantee the earliest possible identification of problems. Such measures are fundamental to the Toyota culture of continuous improvement, and will ensure that the new Yaris offers customers the highest levels of built-in quality in the B-segment.