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The Toyota Production System (TPS) is an integrated socio-technical system, developed by, that comprises its management philosophy and practices. The TPS organizes manufacturing and logistics for the automobile manufacturer, including interaction with suppliers and customers. The system is a major precursor of the more generic "Lean manufacturing." Taiichi Ohno, Shigeo Shingo and Eiji Toyoda developed the system between 1948 and 1975.

Originally called "Just In Time Production," it builds on the approach created by the founder of Toyota, Sakichi Toyoda, his son Kiichiro Toyoda, and the engineer . The founders of Toyota drew heavily on the work of W. Edwards Deming and the writings of . When these men came to the United States to observe the assembly line and mass production that had made Ford rich, they were unimpressed. While shopping in a supermarket they observed the simple idea of an automatic drink resupplier; when the customer wants a drink he takes one and another replaces it. The principles underlying the TPS are embodied in The Toyota Way.

The main objectives of the TPS are to design out overburden (muri) and inconsistency (), and to eliminate waste (muda). The most significant effects on process value delivery are achieved by designing a process capable of delivering the required results smoothlyB by designing out "mura" (inconsistency). It is also crucial to ensure that the process is as flexible as necessary without stress or "muri" (overburden) since this generates "muda" (waste). Finally the tactical improvements of waste reduction or the elimination of muda are very valuable. There are seven kinds of muda that are addressed in the TPS:

- Over-production
- Motion (of operator or machine)
- Waiting (of operator or machine)
- Conveyance
- Processing itself
- Inventory (raw material)
- Correction (rework and scrap)

The elimination of muda has come to dominate the thinking of many when they look at the effects of the TPS, because it is the most familiar of the three to implement. In the TPS many initiatives are triggered by mura or muri reduction which drives out muda without specific focus on its reduction...

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