Integrating Machine Vision & AI with Toyota Production System

By September 8, 2020January 24th, 2022Quality Control Insights
Toyota Production System IOT

Introduction to Toyota Production System

Toyota production system (TPS) is a lean manufacturing system, created by Taiichi Ohno. It focuses on the absolute elimination of waste, cost reduction, and producing high-quality products. TPS is implemented in industries for the following reasons:

  1. It helps in monitoring quantity control to reduce costs by eliminating waste. 
  2. It enhances process and product quality.

Elements of Toyota production system

  • Just in time is a technique of supplying exactly the right quantity, at exactly the right time, and at the exact location. 
  • Jidoka is about building quality into the process. It uses tactics like poka-yoke, 5 whys, kaizens, and continuous improvement processes to improve quality. Machine vision and artificial intelligence solutions add value to jidoka tactics.

Machine Vision And Artificial Intelligence

Machine vision is the technology and methods used to provide image-based automatic inspection for industries. It uses a camera or multiple cameras to inspect and analyze objects automatically, usually in an industrial or production environment. 

Artificial Intelligence refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. Artificial intelligence supports the machine vision to make the right decision in the inspection.


Using Jidoka tactics to integrate with machine vision and artificial intelligence

Here are the jidoka tactics that are poka-yoke, 5 whys, and Kaizens which is integrated with machine vision and artificial intelligence.

1. ‘Poka-Yoke’s’ purpose is to achieve error proofing of processing activity and thereby make the process more robust. It is used in the inspection process to achieve a 100% inspection.  Machine vision and artificial intelligence can be used to ease the process of inspection as it is a non-contact technology and easy to integrate.  The speed being faster than manual labor is an added advantage.

For example, identification of surface defects on doors by machine vision will reduce the outflow of defective parts to the next process, contributing to improved quality in the process within the industry. An average human would take about a minute to inspect, whereas a machine vision and artificial intelligence solution would inspect in just a few milliseconds, providing a high degree of accuracy.

2. ‘5 Whys’ is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-effect relationships underlying a particular problem. The 5 whys technique is used to identify and get a clear understanding of the underlying problem. This enables us to provide customized solutions using machine vision and artificial intelligence to the clients that are accurate and consistent.

3. ‘Kaizen’ is a Japanese word involving two concepts, KAI which means change and ZEN means better. Kaizen is the concept of improving a process with small continuous steps.  Kaizen is process-oriented. Improvisation of the process has to be done for the attainment of excellent results. It conglomerates innovation and continuous ongoing efforts in order to achieve continuous improvement and maintaining standards.

Machine vision and artificial intelligence can be used as an innovative as well as practical solution to help industries continuously improve and maintain their standards by automating their inspection methodology and reduce their defect outflow.  This can be done by a four-step process, first is capturing images with the help of a specified camera. Second is solution development using annotation and deep learning algorithms. Next is the deployment of a solution for real-time inspection. Last is monitoring and fine-tune inspection accuracy.

For example, ring counting is done with the help of a camera capturing rings using specialized lighting and our robust vision system validates the count and the equivalent result is shown in the display.  If the machine vision solution was not used, the ring counting inspection by humans would be inaccurate due to the small rings and thereby contributing to increasing the defects. Incorrect count of the rings would not be the right fit for the next part and would end up as scrap. Machine Vision and artificial intelligence solutions benefit ring counting by improving its accuracy and at a much faster speed than humans.

Also Read: 3 Reasons for choosing Machine Vision in Manufacturing


Collaborating machine vision and artificial intelligence solutions with the Toyota production system is bridging the gap between industries and new emerging technologies. The integration of machine vision and artificial intelligence solutions with jidoka tactics such as the poka-yoke, 5 whys, and kaizens benefit the industries by improving accuracy and speed, thereby enhancing the quality and overall performance, proving to be a one-stop solution to enhance the inspection methodology for manufacturing industries.

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