Toyota Industries Corporation is a member of the Toyota Motor Group. The company manufactures parts such, as engines and air conditioner compressors, for the automotive industry and assembles motor vehicles. 

Toyota also produces electronic devices, industrial equipment, and textile machinery. Recently, the company began a collaboration with industrial manufacturing giant, Siemens AG, to improve the aluminum die casting process through the application of AI technologies. 

By using AI to predict product abnormalities in the casting process, the two companies aim to manufacture quality parts for their customers. 

 

Aluminum Die Casting

Die casting is a manufacturing technique usually used for high-volume production. The casting process can produce parts that are defined, smooth, and have a textured surface. During the process, molten aluminum is forced into a steel mold under high pressure. 

 

The specific housing of the motor for the electric compressors made with aluminum die casting. Image used courtesy of Toyota Industries Corporation

 

This method produces precisely formed aluminum parts that require little machining and finishing. 

It is suitable for accurately manufacturing metal cast parts, particularly for those in the automotive industry. These kinds of parts typically require a reliable and quality finish. 

 

The die casting process can be difficult to manage. Production conditions can change, such as variations in the molten aluminum temperature or the injection rate. A high level of experience is usually required for workers to oversee the generation of quality parts and oftentimes parts need to be processed again to address abnormalities and maintain high-quality standards.

 

Predicting Product Abnormalities

The companies claim this will be a “world-first” development of AI-led defect prediction in die casting. The AI application will be used in Siemens’s industry computing platform, Industry Edge. Toyota Industries Corp intends to use the digitization and automation solution to evolve its technologies and integrate them into its production plants located in Japan and other locations.

During the development of the AI solution, the two companies employed one of Siemens’s Simatic S7-1500 controllers to collect extensive data. Nearly 40,000 data points per die casting shot were sampled and collected at the model line, which was then analyzed using AI technology. Production data was processed by the defect prediction AI on Industrial Edge. Data on production conditions was analyzed instantly and part quality assessed immediately after casting was complete. 

By using this AI-led solution, Toyota Industries Corp and Siemens were able to avoid part defects and improve on the quality of parts, through monitoring production status in real-time and automatically predicting equipment abnormalities. Manufacturers can benefit from greater productivity and operators can work more efficiently with such technology. 

 

Advancing AI and Factory Automation

In the collaborative project, Siemens endeavored to improve the functionality of its Industry Edge and Toyota Industries Corp strove to enhance productivity and part quality. 

In a recent news release, CEO of Factory Automation at Siemens, Rainer Brehm, commented, “Digital transformation is a game-changer. I am delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Toyota Industries Corporation in this revolutionary endeavor and to work together to forge the future.” 

 

Siemens Industrial Edge working on a facility floor with robot and cloud capabilities. Image used courtesy of Siemens

 

Brehm added, “We will continue to develop and provide solutions for industries incorporating the latest technologies and to contribute to optimized and sustainable manufacturing.”

Senior Executive Officer, Member of the Board and General Manager of Compressor Division at Toyota Industries Corporation, Yuji Ishizaki, said, “It is significant that Toyota Industries Corporation has successfully implemented AI technology and achieved outcomes in the die casting process, which is where important compressor parts are produced.” 

The companies plan to work together over the next several years to further develop this technology. What kind of technology surrounding AI and die casting do you think will come out of this partnership?

 


Featured image used courtesy of Toyota Industries Corporation


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