Toyota Motor Mfg. Kentucky Inc. has been able to shave 21% off the time it takes to produce an engine at its 4-cyl. plant since it introduced a new kaizen (continuous improvement) program there in 1997, says Vice President-Manufacturing Wayne K. Ripberger. Toyota's Kentucky operation now knocks out a 4-cyl. engine every 1.26 hours, an improvement from 1.6 hours in 1996 and a 32% gain from 1.85 hours when block, head, connecting rod, piston, crankshaft and camshaft machining operations ...

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