Toyota’s Columbus, Ind., lift truck manufacturing plant Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg., Inc. (TIEM) has been chosen as the model for a new Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) lift truck manufacturing plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The U.S. plant was chosen in part for its strict quality control and assurance process and its 22-year history building more than 400,000 lift trucks in the U.S.
The layout and design of the new facility follows basic Toyota Production System (TPS) principles to reduce waste and optimize the linear flow of material through the factory. Several areas of the new plant will mirror TIEM, including areas for sub-assembly and material handling and an area for the Complete Vehicle Inspection process to ensure overall product quality.
"As the ‘mother factory’ and prototype model for TICO’s first manufacturing plant in Brazil we are responsible for training the Brazil plant leaders on everything from quality to safety," said TIEM’s President Toshiya Yamagishi. "It is an honor to be selected from all 22 Toyota industrial manufacturing plants around the world to help oversee the creation of this new facility. It is especially rewarding given TIEM’s heritage as the first Toyota forklift manufacturing plant built outside of Japan."
Construction of the Brazil plant began in June 2012. The new facility will become the manufacturing division of TICO’s existing sales company, Toyota Material Handling Mercosur Industria e Comercio de Equipamentos Ltda, in the state of Sao Paulo. The Brazil plant will manufacture three models of Toyota’s 8-Series internal combustion lift trucks.
After construction is complete in 2013, TIEM will supply the new plant with 31% of its forklift parts. TIEM will become the first Toyota industrial manufacturing plant outside of Japan to supply parts to a TICO plant in another country.
The Brazil launch team consists of production engineering, manufacturing, quality assurance and production control experts from TIEM and TICO. To complete the project three TIEM Associates, along with their families, will move to Brazil for approximately three years to fill the quality, manufacturing and plant manager positions at the new plant.