On Feb 22, 2023, WMCO hosted a tour for members at the Toyota Cambridge Plant. Our tour began at the Experience Center, where our visitors were able to interact with the interactive displays in the showroom. Members were “primed” on what to look for in reference to lean activities, and for ideas and concepts that can apply to their operations.
Following that, we watched a welcome video before embarking on a motorized tram tour of the Cambridge Plant to learn about how team members and robots build the Lexus RX350 and 450h. While WMCO members rode a motorized tram into the activity, trained tour guides spoke directly to us via an audio headset.
The flow of the operations was explained, and the various processes were highlighted. Interesting aspects to consider is how they manage “custom mass production”, with the flow of diverse parts and colours that all convene at one place at the end for final assembly phases. The work of teams was evident everywhere, as well as clear visual plant communications, to help inform employees and management how they are performing in real time. 5S was also evident everywhere.
Once the tour ended, WMCO members reconvened at Royce Ayr in Cambridge, for a hosted lunch and further Lean debrief discussions with the help of Julia Novik, President of Lean Advisors. She provided a review Lean principles and described how the tour related to improvement activities in wood manufacturing operations.
Thank you to Grass, LMI Canada, and Upper Canada Forest Products and Royce Ayr for sponsoring and hosting the lunch.
After networking and further Q&A, the event was a success, and everyone was able to leave with insight on how to apply what they saw to their own manufacturing operations. They learning journey continues and never ends, which is why WMCO hosts tours like this with Toyota every year.