In a surprising move for the industry that practically invented the assembly line, multiple Toyota factories in Japan are replacing robots with human beings. It’s happening at Toyota’s plants across Japan, reports Bloomberg News, and the idea behind it is as innovative as the move 30 years ago to replace humans with robots:
The only way to improve processes and promote more thinking about efficiency is to put people back in charge of making things. The goal is to create a more efficient car production line.
“We need to become more solid and get back to basics, to sharpen our manual skills and further develop them,” Mitsuru Kawai, a decades-long Toyota employee tapped to promote craftsmanship tells Bloomberg. “When I was a novice, experienced masters used to be called gods, and they could make anything.”
Given that Toyota is considered an innovator in manufacturing philosophy and technology, it will be interesting to see whether other automakers follow suit.