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 2,520 sq. ft. room in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, this laboratory currently features two reconfigurable production lines with storage areas and kitting areas, conveyors, and conveyance operations. Over 25 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). The lab is an integral part of four courses in Industrial Engineering, integrated throughout the curriculum (one required freshman-level undergraduate course, one required senior-level undergraduate course, and two elective graduate courses).