Toshiba Corporate Manufacturing Engineering Center

Message from the Director

Manufacturing Engineering to
Enhance the Production Processes of
Toshiba Group

AKIYAMA Yasuhiro
Toshiba Corporate Manufacturing Engineering Center

[Photo] AKIYAMA Yasuhiro Director Toshiba Corporate Manufacturing Engineering Center

 For 50 years, Toshiba’s Corporate Manufacturing Engineering Center has been committed to the R&D of new technologies, methods, techniques, and systems that Toshiba Group needs to create quality products and services efficiently and cost-effectively and offer them to customers. Its primary focus is on the R&D of core manufacturing technologies that are applicable to various fields and their customization to fit the requirements of individual products and services. In recent years, we have been collaborating with Toshiba Group companies to roll out our technologies to benefit external customers while devoting ourselves to consultation services to assist both internal and external customers in resolving their business issues.

 Drawing on digital manufacturing technology, we are currently stepping up efforts to re-engineer the business processes across value chains as well as our manufacturing and service operations in order to transform Toshiba into a cyber-physical system (CPS) technology enterprise.

 The purpose of digital manufacturing technology is to digitize and analyze the events and phenomena related to manufacturing and services to control and optimize their operations. We will continue to capitalize on the rapidly advancing technologies in the fields of the Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of People (IoP) (*1), and artificial intelligence (AI) to realize cutting-edge manufacturing and service solutions.

 One of the targets of our digital manufacturing technology is business process re-engineering for the entire value chain, spanning sales, design, production, logistics, installation, and maintenance. For example, we employ modular design techniques and configurators (*2) to communicate sales and design information to downstream processes in real time. We also utilize schedulers and manufacturing execution systems (MES) to share production information among procurement, logistics, installation, and maintenance personnel. These tools connect people, things, and information across a value chain, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of product and service development.

 For the re-engineering of manufacturing and service operations, we are making our factories and operation & maintenance (O&M) processes smarter so as to realize digitally interconnected global manufacturing. At smart factories, we will not only leverage our manufacturing expertise cultivated through decades of experience but also draw on AI-based machine vision, sensing, intelligent transport robots, and other cutting-edge technologies to visualize production data, production line status, and motive power conditions while automating and reducing labor on production lines. We will also utilize smart factory technology to create IoT/IoP networks for O&M and thereby consolidate business management processes. This is to develop remote work support, automatic robotic inspection, and other connected services. We will contribute to energy management and infrastructure services via smart manufacturing, i.e., digitally connected O&M.

 In accordance with the Basic Commitment of Toshiba Group stating “Committed to People, Committed to the Future,” we will continually innovate and perfect our manufacturing engineering technology to “turn on a promise of a new day.”

(*1) IoP: Internet-based digitization of people’s thoughts, judgments, and situations
(*2) Tools to create product configurations compliant with the specifications required by customers