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Toyota Production Systems Lab

John Kaemmerlen
Senior Lecturer

The Toyota Production Systems lab was founded in 2006 with support from the Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America. The mission of this facility is to provide hands-on education in state-of-the-art production systems. Particular emphasis is placed on the concepts of teamwork, problem solving and process improvement by studying the fundamental behavior of production lines.

Residing in a 2,500 sq. ft. room in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, this laboratory currently features two reconfigurable production lines with storage areas and conveyors as well as a warehouse area with WMS software, pick-to-light order fulfillment and light-directed assembly capabilities. Over 40 activities have been designed to emphasize specific tools, concepts or techniques in an experiential way: line balancing, kanbans, heijunka, jidoka, takt time, among others.

This facility supports activities at varying levels for many different audiences, including: K-12 students, undergraduate students (both in engineering as well as other disciplines), and graduate students (both in engineering as well as other disciplines). This facility also supports courses from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)

The Toyota Production Systems lab supports teaching and outreach via training and camps.

  • Courses: The lab is an integral part of five courses in Industrial Engineering, integrated throughout the curriculum (one required freshman-level undergraduate course, two required undergraduate course, and elective graduate courses). It also supports a practicum course in mechanical engineering and also two courses from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID).
  • Outreach: The lab is constantly engaged in the delivery of K-12 camps, Women in Engineering activities, industry visits, open houses, as well as hosting workshops for local workforce and international students.

For more about information, see The Toyota Lab site.

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