Vol. 73, No. 1, January 2018

  Special Reports 1

Manufacturing Engineering to Enhance Competitiveness of Product Development

Toward Advancement of Manufacturing Technologies and Process Innovations
SEINO Takehisa

Activities to Enhance Sophistication of Fundamental Manufacturing Technologies
AKIYAMA Yasuhiro / NAKAGAWA Yasutada
The Toshiba Group is currently working on the sophistication of fundamental manufacturing technologies from the standpoints of improving quality, reducing costs, and meeting delivery schedules for both products and development and manufacturing processes in a variety of different fields.
Among the new technologies that we have been developing are technologies for machining, connecting, and coating processes to improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes; technologies for mechatronics equipment to improve conveyance efficiency in facilities; and technologies for nondestructive tests and appearance checks to improve the accuracy of inspection and measurement processes. We are also promoting the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to manufacturing management and control systems, as well as productivity improvement activities encompassing each of the processes from manufacturing through to installation at the site, and expansion of the fields of application of analysis and evaluation technologies. Furthermore, we are applying simulation technologies from the design process to a broad range of other processes including evaluation and conveyance while advancing the sophistication and efficiency of design.

Advanced Manufacturing Technologies to Achieve Innovations in Products
OKADA Naotada
Manufacturing technology for design (MFD) is defined as activities for innovation in products to substantially improve performance and reduce costs by transformation of design and manufacturing methods through the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies, while maintaining the stability and speed of the processes in conventional manufacturing technologies.
The Toshiba Group is engaged in the development of the following state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies: (1) a prototype three-dimensional (3D) metal printer using a laser metal deposition (LMD) technology for high-speed fabrication of large components without metal molds, (2) high-speed deposition of nanofibers using an electrospinning technology for the mass fabrication of nanofibers from leading-edge materials, and (3) a chemical dicing technology capable of improving wafer use efficiency and throughput using a metal-assisted chemical etching (MacEtch) technology to meet the requirements accompanying the ongoing miniaturization of semiconductors.

Rationalization of Automated Equipment and Manufacturing Facilities Appropriate to Characteristics of Manufacturing Processes
MIYAUCHI Takashi / FUKATSU Kenta / HARANO Tomomi
To improve the productivity of manufacturing sites in response to the progress of high-mix, small-lot production and the increasing complexity and sophistication of manufacturing processes, the Toshiba Group has been promoting the deployment of automated equipment for labor saving as well as the introduction of manufacturing facilities appropriate to manufacturing processes.
From the perspective of both recouping investment and securing quality and delivery times, we are developing and applying technologies to realize optimal production lines based on four types of manufacturing processes, called the "four quadrants to optimize automation and facility introduction." These four quadrants, in which difficulty is represented on the vertical axis and versatility on the horizontal axis, are as follows: (1) a highly individualized zone necessary for the development and application of dedicated processing points and facilities, (2) a zone necessary for the sufficient use of general-purpose facilities, (3) a zone in which costs are reduced through automation by means of common equipment, and (4) a zone in which labor saving is achieved through design for manufacturability (DFM) and the support of workers. This approach is contributing to the rationalization of our manufacturing sites.

Sensing Technologies Required for Production Sites with Advancement of IoT
OKAMOTO Yosuke / HIROSE Yusuke
With the rapid progress of information technology (IT) in recent years, large volumes of data can now be effectively collected and analyzed in a manner that was not previously attainable by human effort. At production sites, the movement toward the introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to connect various facilities, products, and people to cloud systems and servers via the Internet has recently accelerated in order to improve productivity. The quality of the data acquired by these systems is therefore a key to the successful utilization of IoT.
With this as a background, the Toshiba Group is developing sensing technologies for product inspections combining reasonable-cost sensors with machine learning technologies and promoting the expansion of their application to its multiple production sites. By suppressing costs corresponding to the level of difficulty of inspection and adopting versatile approaches to data processing, we have obtained good results including the reduction of burdens on workers, labor saving, prevention of the outflow of defective products, and shortening of development periods for automation. We are also engaged in the development of technologies to monitor production lines by means of sensing data obtained by an IoT platform at the time of product inspections.

Sophistication of Management at Manufacturing Bases Using ICT
TAKANO Masatoshi / KATO Takehiro
The Toshiba Group has been devoting continuous efforts to the nurturing of human resources to promote a variety of improvement activities and the development of tools to support such key personnel in order to enhance the productivity of its domestic and overseas manufacturing bases. To shorten the management cycle from the mea surement and evaluation of production lines through to the review and trial of improvement measures and confirmation of their effects, it is necessary to effectively utilize limited human resources who are specialized in reviewing and carrying out improvement measures.
As part of these efforts, we have developed a management technology for improving productivity using information and communication technology (ICT). This technology makes it possible to efficiently acquire data by means of ICT and provide a scale to evaluate any deviation between the actual conditions and improvement targets, in order to provide key personnel with awareness regarding points that require improvement.

Instrumental Analysis and Reliability Evaluation Technologies Supporting Sophistication of Manufacturing Engineering
OMIYA Kayoko / SAITO Reiko / NITTA Wataru
In the field of manufacturing engineering, instrumental analysis and reliability evaluation technologies are playing a critical role in a broad range of product development processes from the design phase through to mass production and quality control. When dealing with the various issues that arise in development and manufacturing, it is desirable to select a suitable analysis and evaluation technology while estimating a generative model based on the mechanism of the phenomena concerned. It is also necessary to improve sensitivity, precision, and other related characteristics, and to increase the amount of information available in order to enhance the accuracy of estimation.
The Toshiba Group has been engaged in activities to enhance the sophistication of instrumental analysis and reliability evaluation technologies, as well as activities to expand the applicable ranges of these technologies. As an example of improvement of performance, we have conducted experiments that have confirmed the advantage of sputtered neutral mass spectrometry (SNMS) over conventional secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) when measuring the distribution of impurity concentrations at the silicon oxide-silicon (SiO2-Si) interface for evaluation of the reliability of semiconductor devices. As an example of enlargement of the quantity of information available using different technologies, we have developed a fatigue life analysis technology combining mechanical strength evaluation with resin flow analysis.

Design and Simulation Technologies to Improve Efficiency of Product Development and Manufacturing
To constantly ensure the competitiveness of products, it is necessary to decrease product costs by improving efficiency in the design and manufacturing processes, as well as to suppress a variety of factors that increase costs including the deterioration of quality and performance, delays in design and development processes, and the addition of specifications. The rapid introduction of new products is also required to secure sales and profits.
The Toshiba Group has responded to these needs by developing design approaches that take high efficiency and low cost into consideration. Furthermore, through the development and application of various simulation technologies, we are promoting the improvement of productivity and innovation of development processes throughout the entire life cycle of a product from the design phase to the installation and maintenance stages.



  Feature Articles

Trends in and Approaches to Institutionalization and Standardization of Wireless Power Transfer/Transmission
ISHIDA Masaaki / SHOKI Hiroki / OBAYASHI Shuichi
In order to develop wireless power transfer/transmission (WPT) as a global industry, it is important to set global standards for WPT technologies including available frequencies. Active efforts are being made to achieve institutionalization and standardization in the field of WPT technologies by both Japanese and overseas organizations, including the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and the Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI), for application to the wireless charging of electric vehicles (EVs). In Japan, the Act for Partial Revision of the Wireless Radio Act went into effect in March 2016 to promote EV wireless charging, positioning Japan ahead of other countries in enacting such legislation.
Toshiba Corporation is engaged in research and development aimed at the early commercialization of WPT technologies for wireless charging of passenger EVs and large-sized EVs such as electric buses, as well as expansion of the applicability of these technologies to industrial equipment. We are also participating in activities for the institutionalization and standardization of these technologies.

Imaging Technology Accomplishing Simultaneous Acquisition of Color Image and High-Precision Depth Map from Single Image Taken by Monocular Camera
Stereo camera systems equipped with two cameras to generate binocular disparity are widely used in various applications that require three-dimensional (3D) distance measurement, such as drones and robots. To improve the measurement accuracy of these types of stereo cameras, however, it is necessary to lengthen the distance between the cameras, making the overall system larger in size. Demand has therefore been growing for the development of imaging technologies that can reduce the size and cost of such systems.
With this trend as a background, Toshiba Corporation has developed an imaging technology that can simultaneously acquire a color image and a depth map from a single image taken by a monocular camera, allowing such systems to be miniaturized. This imaging technology incorporates the following features: (1) a color-filtered aperture (CFA) comprising cyan and yellow filters inserted into the camera lens aperture to generate asymmetric blurs in the red and blue images, and (2) a distance estimation algorithm called depth from asymmetric defocus (DfAD) technology that makes it possible to obtain a high-precision depth map by evaluating the differences between the asymmetric blurs in the red and blue images. Experiments on a prototype system under various conditions have verified that this newly developed technology achieves distance measurement accuracy comparable to that obtainable with existing stereo cameras.

Spintronic MEMS Microphone Using Ultrasensitive Spintronic Strain Gauge Sensor Element
FUJI Yoshihiko / KAJI Shiori / HARA Michiko
With the rapid expansion of sensors for electronic equipment including smartphones, in-vehicle electronics, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, in which microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technologies are incorporated that make it possible to achieve the miniaturization and mass production of such sensors, demand has been growing for a MEMS microphone with higher sensitivity to enhance the performance of speech recognition.
Toshiba Corporation has developed an ultrasensitive spintronic strain gauge sensor element employing spintronic technologies that have been utilized in hard disk drive (HDD) heads and magnetoresistive random-access memories (MRAMs). The strain sensitivity of this sensor element has been improved to 2 500 times that of a conventional metal strain gauge and more than a hundredfold compared with that of conventional semiconductor strain gauges. We have also developed prototype spintronic MEMS microphones integrating this sensor element with MEMS technologies, and successfully demonstrated their operation for the first time in the world.

Analysis Method for Easy and Rapid Detection of Red Phosphorus Used as Flame Retardant in Resin Parts
MORIMOTO Sayaka / OKI Mitsuhiro / SATO Yuka
A variety of flame retardants are added to resin parts for use in electrical equipment and electronic devices. In particular, red phosphorus is often used due to its effectiveness as a flame retardant. Without a surface coating, however, red phosphorus is hydrolyzed to phosphoric acid, thereby causing insulation degradation associated with the risk of burnout accidents.
To provide customers with safe and secure products, the Toshiba Group has been making efforts to establish a framework for determining whether red phosphorus is contained in resin materials and parts at the time of acceptance inspections, while also investigating alternatives to red phosphorous. As part of these efforts, we have created a red phosphorus inspection process utilizing a novel method in which phosphoric acid is extracted by hot water and the concentration of the extracted phosphoric acid is measured by a simplified water quality analysis instrument.

Approaches to Application of Common Information Model (CIM) Standards to Power Supervisory Control Systems
YASUTAKE Toshiaki / SATO Yuki / NOMURA Nao
Japanese electric power companies have been focusing on enhancing the sophistication of their power supervisory control systems in line with the progress of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in recent years.
To meet such customer requirements, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation has been working to apply the Common Information Model (CIM) standards for application program interfaces (APIs) specified in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61970 series standards to its power supervisory control systems since 2002. The development of various types of application software under unified information entities compliant with the CIM standards is contributing to the improvement of productivity and the formulation of mechanisms for passing on technologies. We are also expanding the range of application of CIM-compliant APIs to supervisory control systems for power distribution systems.

Security Solution for IoT Systems to Realize Secure Network Applying Smart Card Technologies
The expansion of Internet of Things (IoT) systems in recent years has led to an increase in security risks from cyberattacks on monitoring and control systems for critical infrastructure systems and their components. Following reports in other countries of events believed to be due to cyberattacks including a large-scale blackout, various countermeasures against this growing threat have been introduced to improve cybersecurity in Japan.
As part of its efforts in this field, Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation has developed and released an IoT security solution based on security technologies acquired through the development of smart cards. This solution achieves secure communication by externally connecting newly developed security proxy devices, which incorporate a chip with high tamper-resistance performance developed for smart cards, to each component in the network. It is expected to contribute to the strengthening of cybersecurity and optimal operation of critical infrastructure systems as well as industrial IoT systems.

24 V/48 V SCiB™ Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery Modules Capable of Replacing Lead-Acid Batteries for Industrial Use
KAWABATA Nozomi / NOZAWA Shigeru / EBISAWA Masafumi
In line with recent world trends in industrial equipment toward smaller size, lighter weight, and longer lifetime, requirements have become diversified and performance increasingly sophisticated in the field of storage batteries for industrial use. The replacement of existing lead-acid batteries for industrial equipment with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries has therefore been expanding.
Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation has developed the SIP24-23 and SIP48-23 24 V/48 V battery modules and released them in April 2017 as its lineup of SIP series battery modules for industrial use. These battery modules incorporate 23 Ah SCiB™ cells offering high-speed charging, good low-temperature performance, a long lifetime, and high safety. The built-in battery management unit (BMU) provides self-contained protection by means of a power line shutdown function using field-effect transistors (FETs) as well as a self-contained protection function using a fuse. The BMU can also acquire battery information via a controller area network (CAN) interface and output a digital output (DO) signal. The SIP series is physically smaller than a typical lead-acid battery and its weight is approximately one-quarter that of the lead-acid type. These new battery modules are optimal replacements for lead-acid batteries installed in industrial equipment, and can be applied to various industrial fields in Japan and other countries.

Short-Term Development of Software Platform for Robots in Logistics Field Applying Open Source Software
EHARA Koji / NOGUCHI Hirotaka / OGAWA Akihito
Both the labor shortage accompanying the decline in the birthrate and aging of society and the increased workloads in the logistics and distribution fields are becoming social issues in various countries. There is consequently an increasing need for the introduction of automated processes through the use of robot and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
In response to customers' requirements, Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation has been contributing to labor saving in logistics and physical distribution businesses utilizing mechatronics and pattern recognition technologies developed by the Toshiba Group, cultivated through the development of logistics and postal sorting systems in the global market. With the aim of further improving the efficiency of operations, we have developed a software platform for picking robots capable of automatically handling various items. The development of this platform was achieved by engineers in charge of various labor-saving equipment within a short time through the active application of open source software. We have confirmed several benchmarking points associated with the performance and functionality of our platform on the basis of test results obtained through participation in a robot competition.

Method to Evaluate Flicker Phenomenon Associated with Lighting in Moving Images Recorded by High-Speed Cameras
HATA Yuki / HIGASHI Hirokuni
In recent years, attention has been focused on high-speed cameras that provide higher temporal resolution than the human eye, allowing viewers to watch super-slow-motion replays of important scenes in sports broadcast programs. However, the phenomenon of flicker sometimes occurs in such super-slow moving images recorded under artificial lighting, even when this flicker is invisible to the human eye in the actual illuminated scene.
Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corporation has quantitatively clarified the relationship between the flicker phenomenon and two variables: (1) the frame rate of high-speed cameras, and (2) the frequency and ripple factor of the optical outputs of lighting. Utilizing these results, we have developed a method capable of detecting whether flicker will occur by means of frequency analysis. We have conducted verification tests and confirmed that this method is effective for the design of lighting products that will not cause the flicker phenomenon in moving images taken by a high-speed camera.



  Frontiers of  Research & Development

Nearest Correlation Louvain Method (NCLM) for Soft Sensor Modeling Capable of Accurately Estimating Product Quality from Big Data

* Company, product, and service names appearing in each paper include those that are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.