Gifu Auto Body – Factory Tour
Gifu Auto Body is one of the 13 Toyota final assembly plants in Japan. They were established as a truck body maker in 1940 to supply military trucks for Toyota. The company today mainly produces the Toyota HiAce van and Coaster bus and consistently receives the Toyota award for quality within the group.
- Company: Gifu Auto Body
- Foundation: 1940
- Location: Gifu Prefecture
- Main Business: Automotive manufacturing
Gifu Auto Body – Lean Characteristics
TPS, Jidoka, Just-In-Time Production, 5S, TPM
Gifu Auto Body is one of the 13 Toyota final assembly plants in Japan and consistently receives the Toyota award for quality within the group. Their major product is the Toyota HiAce vehicle (they also manufacture emergency vehicles based on the HiAce design), and more recently in 2017 they also started manufacturing the Toyota Coaster bus.
Gifu Auto Body refers to their system as the Good Production System (GPS), but it is nothing but an excellent example of the Toyota Production System (TPS) at work.
The Shinka Management team includes three former managers from Gifu Auto Body, including Akinori Hyodo, a former factory manager and director of the plant. The visit provides a comprehensive and operator-level view of factory operations, coupled with insights from our Japanese senior consultants based on their 30+ years experience working in the plant. There are examples of electric kanban systems, just-in-time delivery, customized equipment and poka-yoke.
Gifu Auto Body has a clever use of space throughout the plant. This has been required over the years due to the expansion of operations within building size limitations. The life of older equipment has been extended considerably through 5S and TPM programs.
I want to congratulate the Shinka Management Team for the fantastic organisation of the Lean Japan Tour 2023. The tour has been a business and life-changing experience for sure. On Day 1 I was already enlightened, and all the bits and pieces of a huge TQM puzzle came together to form a clear picture. The tour…
I would like to give my deepest thanks for helping us end the executive program on a high note. This week has summarized TPS / VPS in a very practical and eye-opening manner. The lean journey has become real and exemplified through the many visits we have done. The coaching by Hattori Sensei, and by…
This tour was recommended to me by our VP Operations who undertook the tour the previous year. Both Ben and Paul provided an excellent tour of the Japanese manufacturing industry and the program was both well run and highly focused towards the practical implementation of lean strategies. There were plenty of opportunities to ask questions…
I attended the Shinka Management / Ai Group / JMAC Lean Japan Study Tour in 2010 – outstanding, highly recommended. (I don’t have this much fun when I go on holiday.) To see the cultural home of Lean Manufacturing is an experience you will never forget. Ride on a bullet train, walk the factory floor…
Had the pleasure to accompany Ben and clients on the 2007 Lean Japan Tour. I had worked with many Japanese, ASEAN, UK and US firms and as such have participated in benchmarking assignments and tours of their operations. Some involved attending and presenting at various strategy, productivity and quality management conferences. In that context, I…
The TPS methodologies and learnings were exceptional. Shinka management ensured the tour was clearly defined. The teachings from expert senseis were effective, and they shared their knowledge and experience of the kaizen and 5S models. A must attend tour for people who are seeking improvements in business and culture. Thank you Shinka management!
The Shinka Management Lean Japan Tour is a professional development program run several times annually. The program includes a mix of lean and kaizen seminars, hands-on lean training and visits to several benchmark lean companies. For further information and program dates, see the lean tour overview page.