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.
The whole tour was very professionally undertaken and led. Paul and Ben have to be congratulated for putting together a very informative and very enjoyable experience. The itinerary was excellent and to see from the raw material all the way through the supply chain through to the finished product was superb. I loved the thought…
It was an inspiring week with great learnings around lean and how it is applied across various levels of the supply chain. The tour also provides a nice glimpse into the Japanese culture with its amazing food and friendly people.
If you have embarked on a lean journey The Lean Study Tour should be on your bucket list! It was inspiring to see the Toyota Production System in action as a management system, as well as the small improvements made day in and day out by dedicated and motivated teams all striving to continuously improve.…
I would highly recommend the tour to anyone who is in the business of improving people. The ideas stimulated through this tour have helped me reform our entire vision of what improvement means for our business.
A great tour. Having spent over 20 years in manufacturing I now understand the true meaning of Kaizen.
During the Lean Japan Tour I came to the realization that improving an organization is not through large capital investments alone. We were completely surrounded by examples of minor investments into small improvements that produced significant savings. The clever use of visual management techniques gave a clear understanding of the current situation and Ben who…
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.