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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Toyota Discovers That Machines and Technology No Substitute For The Man (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of General_Magician
Inside Toyota Motor Corp.'s oldest plant, there's a corner where humans have taken over from robots in thwacking glowing lumps of metal into crankshafts. This is Mitsuru Kawai's vision of the future.

"We need to become more solid and get back to basics, to sharpen our manual skills and further develop them," said Kawai, a half century-long company veteran tapped by President Akio Toyoda to promote craftsmanship at Toyota's plants. "When I was a novice, experienced masters used to be called gods, and they could make anything."

These gods, or Kami-sama in Japanese, are making a comeback at Toyota, the company that long set the pace for manufacturing prowess in the auto industry and beyond. Toyota's next step forward is counter-intuitive in an age of automation: Humans are taking the place of machines in plants across Japan so workers can develop new skills and figure out ways to improve production lines and the car-building process.

The importance of following through on that push has been underscored by the millions of cars General Motors Co. has recalled for faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths.

Machines and technology are no substitute for the craft work or craftiness of the man, the human being. People make business successful, not machines or technology. It seems Toyota has learned the value of not being "machine dependent."
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I suppose it would be churlish to point out this article from CNN less than three weeks ago:

The Justice Department charged Toyota with wire fraud on Wednesday as part of a settlement with prosecutors that will require the auto giant to pay $1.2 billion for admittedly misleading consumers and the government over unintended acceleration.

According to an agreement signed by the Japanese company, Toyota executives responded to initial complaints about sticking gas pedals and unwanted acceleration by deceiving the public and trying to find ways to limit damage to its global brand.

Seems like if they could only replace the human execs with machines which always told the truth, we'd all be a little happier.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Toyota Discovers That Machines and Technology No Substitute For The Man (0 Likes)
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