Toyota, the world’s leading car manufacturer, is taking bold steps to close the gap in battery electric vehicles (EVs) and challenge competitors like Tesla. By combining new technologies with its renowned methods of efficient production, Toyota aims to increase efficiency and reduce costs in the manufacturing process.
During a recent visit to a plant in central Japan, Toyota showcased its latest advancements and examples of ingenuity. The carmaker has implemented self-propelled assembly lines, eliminating the need for expensive conveyor equipment and allowing for greater flexibility in production. Additionally, old equipment has been automated through robotics and 3D modeling, tripling productivity.
A particularly notable innovation is Toyota’s “gigacasting” technology, inspired by Tesla. This die-casting technique produces larger aluminum parts than anything previously used in car manufacturing. Toyota’s expertise in die-casting has enabled faster mold replacements, reducing the time from 24 hours to just 20 minutes. This has resulted in a 20% increase in productivity.
Another area in which Toyota is advancing is autonomous transportation. The car manufacturer has introduced autonomous transport robots at its Motomachi plant in Toyota City. These robots transport the new vehicles through a large parking lot, a task previously carried out by truck drivers. This innovation not only improves efficiency but also reduces physical burden and staff turnover.
Toyota’s ability to adapt to changing times is built on its foundation in the Toyota Production System (TPS). This renowned system of efficient production has revolutionized manufacturing worldwide and is known for its principles of continuous improvement and cost savings. However, in the evolving market of battery EVs, Toyota has been surpassed by Tesla’s innovative approaches.
Under the leadership of CEO Koji Sato, Toyota has launched a new initiative to increase its offering of battery electric vehicles. With a market share of only approximately 0.3% in the global EV market, Toyota recognizes the need for a stronger presence. By leveraging its manufacturing expertise and embracing new technologies, Toyota hopes to overcome this challenge and become a major player in the EV market.
Source: David Dolan, edited by Jamie Freed