The tour began with a trip to Toyota’s Visitor’s Center where the students were able to learn the history of Toyota by walking through a historical exhibit.
They were then able to watch videos on the subject and participate in many hands-on activities, which was perfect for a hands-on class. If you were to ask any student what their favorite part of the tour was, they would immediately mention “Godzilla”, the robot of the manufacturing facility. The group, safety gear and all, proceeded into the Toyota Tundra assembly line to experience technology in action. They watched Godzilla in awe as he would place the body of a Tundra pickup in position to be worked on by assembly line workers with the up most perfection.
The San Antonio Manufacturing Plant is the only producer of Tundra pick-ups and will be hiring 1100 new employees this year as they add on producing the Tacoma Pick up. The students were amazed to hear about the number of job opportunities at the plant when our economy is so unstable and it is hard to find jobs.
Tour guide Jamie Banda was very informative on Toyota’s commitment to making safe and quality trucks. She explained the Toyota Management principle of “jidoka”, which means that when a problem occurs, all equipment stops immediately. This prevents defective products from being produced, ensuring the safety of the vehicle. She also explained the “just-in-time” concept in which each process produces only what is needed by the next process in a continuous flow. The students learned that it takes 22 hours from start to finish to produce one complete Tundra pick up.
Principles of Technology, taught by Mrs. Judy Hudek, teaches students applied physics skills that are necessary in fields such as construction, oil field, and manufacturing. The class trip to the Toyota factory proved to be perfect for the studies of this class. The students were able to see how the concepts of physics they are learning in class are being applied in real word jobs. The occupations experienced at this facility gave an idea to every student of the endless possibilities that the world of manufacturing has to offer.