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 thoroughly enjoyed my time on the November 2013 tour. I learned so much about Japanese culture and TPS. Despite coming from the IT industry, I was able to gain valuable insights on the philosophy and principles of Lean that I can apply in my industry. Ben and Paul are top-notch guides. Their wealth of…
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…
A great tour. Having spent over 20 years in manufacturing I now understand the true meaning of Kaizen.
I am now back in the office in rainy Seattle and wanted to say a huge thank you, once again for making the lean tour such an enjoyable learning experience. There are so many valuable learnings and enriching experiences that I am looking forward to sharing with my team and colleagues here in the coming days. I…
As I have had a previous unpleasant experience with lean training, I was worried about how much I could gain from this tour. At the end of this magnificent experience I can confirm that Shinka Management has exceeded my expectations. They are so organized, dedicated, helpful and generous. The tour was based on very-well known…
The whole experience of the lean tour was excellent. I learned so much over the past week and all of my previous knowledge of lean was reinforced. Not only did I learn about lean management but I was also impressed with the Japanese culture. The whole team at Shinka Management were very helpful and made…
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.