Mar. 28, 2017
Toyota Awarded the 63rd Okochi Memorial Production Prize for the Development of a New Paint Line with Reduced Environmental Burden
Toyota City, Japan, March 28, 2017―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announced that its new paint line (Prius production line at the Tsutsumi Plant) has received the Okochi Memorial Production Prize for a significant reduction in the size of the paint line, and its corresponding CO2 emissions in the 63rd (2016) Okochi Memorial Prize awards. Presented by the Okochi Memorial Foundation, the Okochi Memorial Prize acknowledges remarkable achievements related to research and development, and the application of production engineering, production technology and production systems annually. This marks the first time in 16 years that Toyota has been awarded the well-established, prestigious Okochi Memorial Prize. It is the 11th Okochi Memorial Prize*1 overall for Toyota.
- Group Photo
This development is in relation to Toyota's "Plant Zero CO2 Emissions Challenge" which is one of the six targets in the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 which had been announced in 2015.
CO2 is not only emitted by vehicles while traveling, but CO2 is also generated during the vehicle manufacturing process. Therefore, we have been striving to reduce CO2 and other Substances of Concern (SoC) that are discharged during the manufacturing of automobiles at production sites. In particular, paint processes discharge the largest quantity of CO2 compared to various other processes in the automobile manufacturing process such as stamping, welding, assembly, etc. and thus, improvements in this area was seen as an urgent task.
Now, Toyota has developed and introduced new paint technology and completely improved all paint processes. As a result, Toyota successfully reduced the size of paint line equipment by 40% and decreased CO2 emissions from the line by 32% while maintaining high quality levels.
A key point of this technology is the development of production technology that has realized a "reduction of process length", "reduction of equipment height", and "reduction of size of associated equipment".
More specifically, a wide variety of efforts were made such as reducing the space under the paint booth (space to collect leftover paint), creating a narrower booth air supply room*2, jidoka (automation with a human touch) of the cleaning and interior painting processes*3, improving robot processing capabilities, optimizing transfer pitch, decreasing cross-section surface of the dry oven, and effectively using compact deodorization equipment.
Reducing the space beneath the paint booth had the greatest contribution to the reduction of line size. Toyota's development of a new method using centrifugal force to collect paint that did not adhere to car bodies, reduction of equipment size, and decrease of pressure loss also contributed to CO2 emission cuts. (Fig. 1)
Currently, the paint line that adopted this technology is used for the production of the Prius, which is one of the most popular environmentally friendly Toyota models. Its deployment to other plants in Japan and overseas has also been scheduled.
Toyota will continue working to reduce our environmental burden to near zero, and take on new challenges to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society through efforts to bring about positive effects to the earth and society.
*1Including the Okochi Memorial Grand Production Prize, Okochi Memorial Production Prize, Okochi Memorial Technology Prize
*2Room that adjusts the speed and direction of air located above the paint spray booth
*3Process that paints the interior of hoods and trunks