Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, June 14, 2017

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, June 14, 2017
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, June 14, 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017

TMMT - Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

Sakichi Toyoda worked in Japan as an assistant in his father's carpenter trade. Being an ambitious young man who wanted to further his fortune, Sakichi tried to think up a new invention that would benefit society. 

Workers in local cotton mills were using hand looms to make fabric and he became interested in improving the efficiency of the looms. In a barn, he built and destroyed many looms. Local residents thought him quite odd, but he didn't care; he was immersed in his creations.

By 1892, Sakichi invented a hand loom that required only one hand to operate instead of two. Efficiency increased 40-50%. He opened his own factory. But he was obsessed by creating a power loom. 

In 1894 he developed the Toyoda winding machine, and in 1896, the first steel and wood power loom was built and perfected. This launched him on the road to building a loom manufacturing business, Toyoda Automatic Loom Works. He kept developing and improving his loom. 

Hi son, Kiichiro Toyoda, worked with his father for a while, but became interested in automobile manufacturing. He traveled to the United States in 1929 to investigate automobile production. The rest, as they say, is history. 

In 1934, the automobile division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works created its first Type A engine which was used in the Model A1 passenger car in 1935.

Toyota  Motor Company was established as an independent and separate company in 1937. The name was changed from Toyoda to Toyota based on Japanese characters. Toyota used eight strokes in the katakana Japanese language which would be considered indicative of prosperity in East Asian culture.

I tell you all this because today about 20 people from Travelers World RV Resort in San Antonio went to TMMT (Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas) for a plant tour. When we arrived, we had about 1/2 hour to look around the lobby museum area before watching a video about the manufacture of Toyotas. No cell phones, cameras, purses or bags of any kind were allowed inside the manufacturing plant.

After the introductory movie, we drove to the manufacturing facility where we boarded trams for a tour through the plant. 


The one photo I could take outside their property
Wow! Impressive tour. All around us were Toyota parts and vehicles in various stages of being built. The automation is insane. Toyota vehicles in production are moved around the building on conveyor belts or through the air on aerial chains. We saw the bodies of trucks on conveyor belts above us and the chassis next to us. A huge robot picked up the body of a truck from above and with great precision lowered it onto the conveyor below. After a bit, the body and chassis would be "married."

Later the dashboard, front and rear windows, and tires were all added. The plant is built to be ergonomically correct. No one had to lift anything heavy. Therefore, robots lift the dashboard into the vehicle, lift the windows up into position, and lift the tires up to the wheels. The whole plant runs like clockwork. 

At the end of the tour in the question and answer session, someone asked about wages. Our tour guide said high school graduates, age 18 and older, can be hired with no experience at a starting wage of $17 per hour. New workers are hired through a staffing company and must work a set number of months before they become full-fledged Toyota employees.

If you are in San Antonio, make an appointment to go on this tour. It was worth a couple of hours to see innovation in action!

Sorry I've been so lax in writing my blog. I want to make up some time on it because I left off some very major Hawaii blogs and I want to get caught up. 

Thanks for reading. Travel Bug out.