7.1 – 70,000 deliveries a day

Imagine being sent tens of thousands of pieces of mail a day. That is what life is like for the team that keeps Burnaston running, because every single part brought into the factory comes through the logistics department and has to be delivered on time. It is one of the most complex and demanding supply chains in Britain.

Burnaston relies on the smooth supply of parts to the production lines. But it is the sheer scale of the operation that boggles the mind. Some 37,500 items, crates and boxes are delivered to the factory every shift. That’s more than 70,000 deliveries in a 24-hour period, a total that weighs in at around 100,000 tonnes.

7.2 – Homegrown power

Toyota’s UK engine plant is in Deeside, North Wales, which occupies a 115-acre site and employs around 500 people. Production started there in 1992 and the facility currently produces around 125,000 engines per year. Engines for the Auris, Auris Hybrid and C-HR are sent all over the world, from the UK to Japan.

7.3 – The space race

Every delivery must be logged and checked, and every box must be unpacked and sorted. That goes for the huge rolls of steel used in the Press Shop to the tiny screws that hold the dashboard together. It may come as a surprise to discover that there is not actually enough space inside Burnaston to hold all the parts required for each shift. As a result, logistics plans its deliveries so finely that it sorts, stores and delivers just 74 minutes’ worth of production parts at any one time.

Around 80 per cent of all parts used in the factory are sourced in the UK and Europe. Out on the road there are approximately four hours’ worth of parts in transit, while at sea there is up to six weeks’ worth of components streaming towards the UK in container ships. In an emergency there is also the facility to fly parts to the factory.


7.4 – The post must get through!

There are 31 forklifts and 45 tow trucks working in logistics at Burnaston. The forklifts unload up to 90 heavy goods vehicles every day. Each lorry takes 15 minutes to unload and then another 15 minutes to pack full again with empty crates. Tow trucks then either take the parts immediately to the production lines or to a stocking room where parts are sequenced before being delivered.

Within the Toyota Production System, this approach to parts’ delivery is called Just-In-Time.