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The Japanese car manufacturer Toyota operates, among others, branches in Poland (Toyota Motor Industries Poland /TMIP). The Jelcz-Laskowice and Wałbrzych production plants manufacture engines and transmissions for vehicle types sold worldwide. The corresponding powertrains are then exported to Toyota, PSA and Lotus production lines in the Czech Republic, Great Britain, France, Turkey, Russia, South Africa and Japan.
Toyota’s goal in the In House Part Logistics (IHPL) project was to use production automation to move more parts to the required production location faster and more safely at the right time – without interruptions or part and tool changes.
The production line for hybrid engines (Wałbrzych plant) requires precise and error-free delivery of the parts to be assembled (“just in time”). The material flow from the foundry to production (with some distances in the kilometer range) is carried out by special electrically operated transport trains, which must be loaded in good time with the right parts in the correct number, driven and loaded into appropriate receptacles in production.
Initially, the type and number of elements required in production is determined from the controlling system, then the respective positions of both all parts and the responsible employees within the production hall.
Specific conditions in the factory have to be taken into account; e.g. the exact location of parts within the production hall by means of GPS is inaccurate. For this purpose, a system was created which informs all units involved in production individually and precisely about the conditions relevant to them. Tablets with an application developed for this purpose were placed both in the foundry and in the production hall; in this way, the positions of the transport trolleys can be determined and monitored, which the drivers acknowledge as they pass through. The locations are thus up-to-date at all times and are also visible in the production hall.
The requirements from production are known exactly for the foundry at any time. The coordination between production parts and the foundry is precisely coordinated at all times, waiting times and empty runs are eliminated, production runs without interruption, and storage space can be largely dispensed with.