Rotary International District 5580 - to - Rotary International District 2760


Share our Excitement & Join our Journey

Welcome to the travel blog of Rotary District 5580's Group Study Exchange (GSE) Team which will embark on an exciting five week goodwill / vocational exchange to Nagoya, Japan in November, 2009.

Here, our hybrid American-Canadian team of enthusiastic and adventurous young professionals, along with our lovely, talented and fearless team leader, will share cultural experiences and engage in unique vocational learning opportunities.

If you have come to this site, you are likely: a Rotarian, family member, friend or colleague of one of the team members, or... are just plain blog-curious. Either way, we encourage you to check our site often to learn about us, follow our progress as a team and of course, keep in touch as we explore Japan.

We thank Rotary in advance for the adventure of a life time and to all readers, we invite you to share our excitement and join our journey.


GSE Team Japan 2009








GSEチーム ジャパン 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Toyota Material Handling (by Ben)

Today we had the opportunity to visit the largest manufacturing plant of Toyota Material Handling Company. This is a division of Toyota devoted entirely to the production of forklifts and other various material handling machines. A focus of the visit was how they have implemented the Toyota Production System (TPS). Witnessing the process on the floor was amazing. A complete forklift comes off the assembly time every 4 minutes 15 seconds. This pace is called the "Tact Time". While having a tact time for an assembly line may not seem surprising, Toyota has a tact time for every aspect of the company. The QC and shipping department has the same 4:15 timeframe.

Beyond production, even the delivery trucks have a tact time to make sure they are unloading supplies at the correct pace. When they arrive, the trigger a green light indicating they are unloading. If they run behind schedule, the light will turn yellow. If they fall far behind or run late, the light turns red. It was an amazing system.

By having all of these tact times and incredible production systems, they only have about 1 day worth of parts in inventory. There is literally no warehouse to speak of.


  1. And Ben comes onto the blog like gangbusters! Excellent!

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