Jan 24, 2021

TWI Institute Gains Rights to Toyota Legends Work Methods

Laura V. Garcia
2 min
TWI Institute has gained exclusive rights to Isao Kato's standardised work methods and concepts and will turn them into training and coaching programs...

Albeit, many would consider it far from a sexy topic. There's little that could sound more boring than standardised work. But in actuality, standardised work fights variability, manufacturing's protagonist. The sharing of a common reference point for how tasks are to be performed allows an organisation to define standards for any given process and is the foundation for continuous improvement and Lean manufacturing philosophies such as Kaizen.

Instability in a process can lead to waste of all kinds, including longer setup times and higher scrap rates. Standardising ways of work brings consistencies, makes for easier training of new employees, eliminates waste, allows for the sustainability of improvements and ensures predictable results. All good things when it comes to manufacturing and trying to control costs while ensuring you deliver on time, on budget, and as promised.

Isao Kato

The Toyota Production System (TPS) is legendary, having inspired Lean and other Japanese manufacturing philosophies and Isao Kato's contribution to its development should not be underestimated. Isao Kato spent thirty-five years working in manufacturing, human resources, training and supplier development at Toyota Motor Corporation. Under the direction of the famous Taiichi Ohno himself, he developed training material for the burgeoning TPS.

As the kids say, If you know, you know. But for those who don't, Taichi Ohno is the father of TPS and the devisor of the seven wastes. Mr Kato himself became known at Toyota as "the father of standardised work and kaizen courses" and a master instructor of Training Within Industry (TWI). 

Training Within Industry (TWI)

TWI's was born out of the US Military's need to meet the increased demand for wartime goods. As skilled labourers went off to war, the dynamic hands-on program allowed for the rapid training of unskilled workers entering the war production workforce.

Of the 600 client companies monitored by the TWI Service throughout the war:

  • 86% increased production by at least 25%
  • 55% reduced scrap by at least 25%
  • 88% reduced labour-hours by over 25%
  • 100% reduced training time by 25% or more
  • 100% reduced grievances by more than 25%

In reference to the agreement, Scott Curtis, president and CEO of the TWI Institute, said, "Today, Training Within Industry remains relevant because of its unique methodology that empowers people on the frontline. TWI goes hand-in-glove with Standardised Work and prepares leaders and teams to build better skills, better relationships and better results."

For more information on Standardised Work, programs contact the TWI Institute.

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May 12, 2021

Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing

2 min
Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing

Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing


What is Ultium Cells LLC?

Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”

Who is Li-Cycle?

Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.

As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”

Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?

By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.

“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).

"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.

"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.

Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.

"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5

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