Repair and maintenance of existing equipment and machinery

Following their return from the United States, Managing Director Eiji Toyoda and Managing Director Shoichi Saito worked to streamline and modernize facilities against the backdrop of the recovery of business performance.

President Kiichiro Toyoda served as director of the Temporary Reconstruction Office from April 1946 to March 1947 and encouraged the restoration of machine tools that had been overused during the war. The repairs, however, did not go beyond minimal emergency measures. Systematic restoration work began in 1948, but restoration of machine tools in use at plants required replacement and supplementary units, so there was a limit to what could be done.

In January 1951, approval was received for temporary use of government-owned and some privately-owned equipment formerly designated for reparations, and the situation changed. By using such equipment, restoration of general-purpose machine tools was expected to proceed according to plan.

According to a survey conducted by the machining plant-which was responsible for the restoration of equipment-at the end of 19501, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. had approximately 2,700 machine tools and approximately 2,000 industrial machines including presses and forges for a total of approximately 4,700 machines. Of these, 47 percent were in use for less than 10 years, and 53 percent were in use for 10 to 20 years. Also, 69 percent of the machines were manufactured in Japan and 31 percent were imported.

When categorized by precision and functionality, facilities and machinery was divided as follows.

  1. 1)1,556 machines (33 percent) had good or generally good precision and functionality.
  2. 2)2,262 (48 percent) machines had somewhat poor precision and functionality.
  3. 3)888 (19 percent) machines had substantially poor or nearly unusable precision and functionality.

The machines in category (3) required immediate restoration, while those in category (2) needed a systematic restoration in stages.

Restoration was implemented based on the survey, and restoration of the machines in substantially poor condition2 was completed in 1952 while outdated belt-driven lathes and milling machines were improved until they could be discarded. In addition to restoring precision and functionality, active efforts were made to modernize refurbished equipment and changes were made from flat belt drives to V-belt or gear drives, necessary functions were automated or semi-automated, and automated specialized equipment using idle power units was introduced.

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