We were previously dedicated to a single automobile manufacturer, but we are now producing torque converters for multiple manufacturers to meet the need for common parts in the automobile industry. Therefore it has become necessary to remodel the production line which had been for a single model to handle multiple models.
However, the requirement was not only to be able to handle multiple models but also to achieve as high an efficiency of the line as possible. Therefore, we noted that although the part connecting to the engine has a structure according to the specifications of each automobile manufacturer, the transmission has the same structure for all manufacturers. The overall efficiency of production was made much higher by using an uniaxial M/C which fabricates in a flexible manner by automatically exchanging many different tools for the engine side, and using a multi-axial M/C with a fixed tool to fabricate the transmission side in one operation.
The requirement was not only to integrate the total process in a line but also to achieve satisfactory cost, efficiency and precision at the same time.
Comparing fabrication by integrated process, in which multiple processes are executed at once by multiple M/Cs, to fabrication by separate processes, each has pros and cons, where the integrated process is better for efficiency but the separate processes are better for precision and cost. Therefore, in order to realize high efficiency/productivity, the total process was divided into sections that are each better suited to be integrated or separated and the line was constructed which combines the two types of fabrication.
The requirement was to construct a production line incorporating in-line measurements in order to realize 24-hour fully-unattended operation.
An example of constructing a system integrating our own machine tool with multiple units of products of other manufacturers (automated measurement instruments, NC lathes, transporting robots, cleaning apparatus). The construction of a joint system with the products of other manufacturers was made possible by our knowledge of not only our own products but also of a wide range of products in the whole industry and by our advanced technical capability to realize it.
The requirement was to realize an assembly line which can handle a number of different specifications by automating the assembly process which had previously relied on manual work.
This is an assembly line with an FMS concept which can handle four types of work part numbers with one machine unit. 22 processes from OK/NG judgment by measurement of the inner diameter of the main body to automated mounting, screw tightening and injection of damper oil are automated in this line.
The requirement was to realize a low-cost line in a bearing ball production plant with requirements of high precision and production efficiency at the same time by combining the polishing machines which we had previously made for various precisions and sizes.
The optimum line was configured for each application, ball size and required precision by forming a combination of our machine tools and polishing machines with high-precision/high-productivity capabilities for each of the flashing, grinding and lapping processes. The following basic line has the capacity to produce 12 million balls per month by operating 20 hours a day, 23 days a month.