We are working for a "Clean Plant" that proactively takes energy-saving approaches while cutting manufacturing costs by eliminating waste and losses. Oizumi Plant of Gunma Manufacturing Division had four existing plants on the site and produces all SUBARU engines, with many types flowing in one line in an eco-friendly way.
With such setup, a change of the engine type to be produced will result in loss from stopping the line. Any new plant, therefore, is required to have both "flexibility" and "productivity" for quick engine changeover. The reasoning led us to aim for a plant that is "environment-friendly" and "resilient to change."
|The ceiling is lowered by 0.5m to reduce the volumetobeairconditioned. Also,air-conditioning is limited to the zone up to 2.2m from the ground where workers are, realizing both comfort and
|A new generation boxer engine was first mounted on the FORESTER that was put on the market in October 2010. This new generation boxer engine, wholly revamped for the first time in 21 years, has an extended backbone bore stroke compared with the existing engine, offering more compact combustion chambers as a result of full review of its structure in out-and-out pursuit of better basic performance.
These efforts led to realizing high environmental performance including energy savings of about 10% while achieving high driving performance including smooth acceleration over the entire zone due to increased torque in the practical use zone. There are two types of 4cylinder engines available with displacement of 2,500 cc and 2,000 cc, and in future they will be applied gradually to other models the as their main source of power.
3rd Manufacturing Engineering Department Engine Machining Engineering Section Manager
|What counts for a plant friendly to the environment is its capability to make products with minimum use of energy and minimum discharge of waste. At the 5th plant of Oizumi Plant, the production process was fully reviewed for fastest production with a minimum of equipment. As a result, the old production facilities were replaced with high-performance, more compact ones. In the machining line, the lubrication system was converted to be a nearly dry machining type with minimum use of machining oil to reduce the amount of waste fluid. In the assembly line, AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) was introduced instead of a belt conveyor system to make the line flexibly responsive to rapid product changes.
The production lines were set up amid a relative shortage of staff experienced in plant startup. We adopted proposals and suggestions from young employees with the following positive results.
●Electric power consumption of the facilities reduced by 30% as a result of a reduced area ratio of 20%.
●Amount of discharged waste machining oil reduced by 30% as a result of introducing new technologies in the machining lines.
●Energy saving improved by 20% in the assembly line as a result of greater production efficiency.
This time, the zoned airconditioning was introduced in all the facilities, the first example ever for FHI. Without sacrificing of comfort, the ceilings were made 0.5m lower than those of the existing plants to reduce the volume of space to be air-conditioned, and the portion to be air-conditioned is limited to 2.2m from the ground where workers are. These are some examples of our efforts to minimize the use of energy. We also worked to reduce air pressure, noise and odor, and eliminate the entry of dust. All of these examples contribute not only to reduced incidents of equipment failure and improved workability, but also to the preservation of the global environment as a result of reduced use of energy due to higher production efficiency. We will keep pushing forward to make plants that use less energy for fabrication and achieve a better working environment.
|In the lines of machining steel parts, all of the processes were reviewed from the beginning for better productivity. Streamlining unnecessary processes by trial and error and the conversion of the production equipment to compact higher performance equipment increased capacity fivefold over conventional facilities.
We also cut production time by one-fifth, which translates to higher productivity and less electric power consumption. Machined iron and aluminum chips are also collected for reuse. Reuse of powder generated in grinding is normally difficult, but we managed to lump it and separate the oil for reuse for the sake of recycling of resources.
3rd Manufacturing Engineering Department Engine Machining Engineering Section
|In the past, in assembling an engine, we picked up necessary parts individually from the bins on both sides and in the rear. Being time-wasting, the part bins were discontinued and instead parts are now being prepared as a set for use in the line. In addition, AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) was introduced to respond more flexibly to the change of line layout. Such changeover for timesaving hiked production efficiency by 20%, reducing the use of electric power consumption as well. Higher productivity naturally requires less manpower, which generates a return in the form of reduced energy for air-conditioning.
AGV(Automated Guided Vehicle)
3rd Manufacturing Engineering Department Engine Engineering Section
(at time of interview)