Toyota and Hitachi collaborate to build a high-efficiency production model using IoT platform; accelerating PDCA
Toyota Motor Corporation and Hitachi, Ltd. will collaborate to build a high-efficiency production model using an IoT (Internet of Things) platform. These two companies will conduct verification at Toyota’s model plants (Toyota, Aichi Prefecture) starting from this October. Through this verification, they intend to establish a platform using Hitachi’s IoT software “Lumada”, which leverages AI and big data analysis.
Using this platform to solve various issues at manufacturing sites allows the PDCA cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act, also called the Deming Cycle) to be accelerated and new issues to be identified and solved from the viewpoint of total optimization, resulting in further improvement in quality and productivity. PDCA, or the Deming Cycle, is a management framework for the implementation of continuous improvements into processes.
The operating environment surrounding the manufacturing industry has been changing rapidly in recent years due to diversified customer needs and advanced digitalization; thus, there has been increasing demand to establish a high-efficiency production system using IoT that can immediately respond to such situations.
Toyota, which has improved productivity based on the fundamental concepts of automation and its Just-in-Time philosophy, and Hitachi, which offers the Lumada IoT platform created by integrating its OT (operational technology) and IT, developed over many years as a manufacturer, intend to conduct collaborative verification by making use of their respective technologies and know-how.
Through this verification, a plant IoT platform using Lumada will be established in each of the model plants for vehicles and units. The platform mainly consists of a data acquisition and integration layer, a data accumulation layer, and a data utilization layer.
The facilities, devices, and related systems at various manufacturing sites in the model plant will be connected to the platform so that data acquired from them can be consolidated and analyzed. This allows both companies to swiftly use IoT in various manufacturing processes for improvement actions and to share the improvement cases with other manufacturing processes, resulting in an accelerated PDCA cycle.
In addition, by analyzing not only the data residing in a single process but also the data that extends across multiple processes, the overall plant can be visualized and new findings provided, which can lead to further improvement in production efficiency from the viewpoint of total optimization.
As a specific theme of this verification, Toyota and Hitachi plan to establish a system that prevents unexpected facility failures through big data analysis and extend the system to other processes to further improve the efficiency of maintenance work. They also plan to acquire and analyze product data that spreads across multiple processes to conduct verifications to further stabilize quality.
Toyota and Hitachi aim to utilize this IoT platform, establish a high-efficiency production model with an accelerated PDCA cycle, and conduct verifications throughout various processes and themes to verify the effects so that quality and productivity can be improved.
Toyota and Hitachi intend to make further use of the data, new technologies, and know-how that will be obtained in this verification, and strive to cultivate human resources in the IoT field, and create new value to offer business solutions for manufacturing sites and business operations.