IOT-BASED IMPROVEMENTS IN HOME APPLIANCE MANUFACTURING AT HITACHI GLS

 
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FEATURED ARTICLES               Smart Life Solutions for People Everywhere

      IoT-based Improvements in Home
      Appliance Manufacturing at Hitachi GLS
      At the same time as the manufacturing industry is experiencing major changes brought
      about by factors such as the globalization of markets, worsening labor shortages, and
      reforms to working practices, another global trend within the industry is the consider-
      able activity taking place in relation to the use of digital tools. This includes a variety of
      initiatives in Japan based on the concepts of Society 5.0 and the Industrial Value Chain
      Initiative. With an emphasis on cell production and using its Lifestyle Home Appliances
      Unit as a model, the Products Division of Hitachi Global Life Solutions, Inc. has been
      adopting Internet-of-Things systems based on the concepts of enhancing transparency
      and connectivity while reducing reliance on particular individuals to reform its manufac-
      turing practices in ways that will enhance total supply chain management. This article
      describes these improvements.

      Nobuhiro Ishida
      Toshiki Ishida

                                                                   sales. This work has been underpinned by the follow-
                                                                   ing three concepts.
        1. Introduction                                            (1) Transparency
                                                                     The ability for all staff to determine in real time
      While retaining an emphasis on cell production, the          whether or not production is running smoothly and
      reforms to manufacturing practices at Hitachi Global         to respond promptly when problems arise.
      Life Solutions, Inc. (Hitachi GLS) have combined             (2) Connectivity
      greater transparency with cell automation and system-          The ability to operate production in an optimal
      wide optimization of the links between individual            manner in terms of the overall process, linking objects
      processes as well as the enhancement of efficiency           and processes automatically, and bringing the associ-
      by getting rid of process steps that do not add any          ated data together in information systems.
      value or by making improvements or eliminating bar-          (3) Elimination of reliance on particular individuals
      riers and bottlenecks. The Monozukuri World No. 1              The automation of tasks that rely on particular indi-
      Project launched in FY2017 has involved the develop-         viduals or that are not best undertaken by people.
      ment of proprietary production techniques suitable for         The aim is to enhance manufacturing capabilities
      wider use and work on establishing optimal systems           by using the Internet of Things (IoT) to put these
      for high-volume production that facilitate increased         concepts into practice.

90.
for the sharing of ideas as well as staff development
  2. Progress of Reforms to                                         and the fostering of an improvement-oriented cul-
     Manufacturing Practices                                        ture through a workplace-led approach. This includes
                                                                    each of the sites presenting improvement activities at
2. 1                                                                regular meetings attended by senior management and
Cell Production                                                     holding GLS Production Innovation (G.P.I.) working
In an environment where product lifecycles are short                groups for workplace improvement.
and where home appliances are produced in anticipa-
tion of future sales, the risks are that a slow response
to changing sales trends will result in potential sales                3. Manufacturing IoT
being lost when demand spikes or excess inventory
building up when sales are lower than expected. The                 Use of IT in the reform of manufacturing practices
aim of cell production is to establish manufactur-                  has in the past been done in a piecemeal manner, with
ing practices that are both efficient and able to deal              activities seeking to provide more transparency in the
with fluctuations in production volumes, reducing                   manufacturing workplace, its management, the analy-
the quantity of work in progress held between and                   sis of operations, and so on. However, there is a need
within processes and minimizing both lost time when                 to optimize operations across multiple sites and utilize
switching production between different models and                   IoT technology to enhance the production systems
holding costs when work in progress is held up.                     that monitor and automate all of the steps from the
   The Lifestyle Home Appliances Unit at Hitachi                    machining of parts to sub-assembly manufacturing,
GLS introduced cell production in earnest in 2003                   product assembly, inspection, and dispatch, as well as
and has achieved dramatic improvements in pro-                      the management of the four elements of manufactur-
ductivity by adopting the practice for all of its varied            ing (4M): men, machines, materials, and methods,
product range, which extends from washer/dryers                     based on orders and production planning. Hitachi
to vacuum cleaners, cooking appliances, and light-                  GLS has consolidated the work being done on this
ing. The unit’s 15-plus years of experience with the                within the Monozukuri World No. 1 Project under
practice has included winning a Nikkei Monozukuri                   the banner of “manufacturing IoT.”
Award in 2008 for a proprietary cell production                        The aim is to develop systems that will maintain
technique for large home appliances such as front-                  optimal safety, quality, delivery, and cost (SQDC) by
loading washer/dryer cells and refrigerator and water               automating the preparation and updating of produc-
heater cells.                                                       tion plans that depend on the expertise of specific
                                                                    members of staff; handling attendance management,
2. 2                                                                which is complicated by the diversity of ways in which
Monozukuri World No. 1 Project                                      people are employed in the manufacturing workplace;
Hitachi GLS has been running its Monozukuri                         sharing information for safety, quality, and efficiency
World No. 1 Project at all of its sites since FY2017,               improvement; and providing real-time information
including at overseas operations. The project seeks to              on things like equipment operation. Although system
improve production efficiency and reduce lead time,                 development is largely undertaken in-house, systems
with the three key concepts listed above playing a                  such as those for automatically generating produc-
central role. Phase two of the project, which com-                  tion plans are developed jointly with the Center for
menced in FY2019, involves the use of automation                    Technology Innovation – Production Engineering of
and the adoption of new systems to improve efficiency               Hitachi Research & Development Group. In either
so as to achieve the 2021 Mid-term Management                       case, the systems have been put in place through a
Plan. The project is intended to raise the standard                 bottom-up approach that is able to incorporate the
of manufacturing across Hitachi GLS by means of                     knowledge held in the workplace in a flexible manner,
activities that run across all worksites and provide                taking account of compatibility with core business

                                              Hitachi Review Vol. 69, No. 1 90–91                                              91.
systems and the ability to be extended to other opera-                                            The solution to these challenges is the automatic
      tions at the same site.                                                                        production planning system, which is made up of an
         The following sections present examples modeled                                             automatic detailed scheduling system that automati-
      on the workplace where front-loading washer dry-                                               cally generates production plans for finished products
      ers are manufactured. These front-loading washer                                               and an internal production scheduler that generates
      dryers are a major product for the Lifestyle Home                                              production plans for parts manufactured in-house.
      Appliances Unit. The current intention is to extend                                            (1) Automatic detailed scheduling system
      this work to other products and other sites.                                                      This scheduler uses the monthly master production
                                                                                                     plan as a basis for generating detailed daily plans and
      3. 1                                                                                           hourly plans that look four days ahead. In doing so,
      Automatic Production Planning System                                                           it automatically generates optimal production plans
      The system is intended to provide the flexibility to                                           that ensure efficient switching between models while
      keep pace with fluctuations in market demand and                                               also taking into account product delivery schedules
      the rate of production by automating the prepara-                                              and the management of worker overtime.
      tion and updating of production plans that previously                                             Work is currently underway on extending its use
      depended on the expertise of specific members of staff                                         to the planning of refrigerator production at the
      and to rationalize auxiliary tasks.                                                            Refrigeration & Heating Home Appliances Unit
         A background factor was that, because the Lifestyle                                         (see Figure 1).
      Home Appliances Unit had a large amount of on-site                                             (2) Internal production scheduler
      production machinery, a result of producing so many of                                            This scheduler supports the most efficient use of
      its components itself, there was a heavy workload associ-                                      plant and human resources by synchronizing with
      ated with the production planning needed to keep work                                          finished product production, determining monthly
      in progress to a minimum while also ensuring a reliable                                        work assignments, the automatic formulation of parts
      flow of parts to the assembly line and maintaining a                                           production plans, and the issuing of materials pro-
      high level of utilization in the operation of this plant.                                      curement orders as well as raising alarms for changes

      Figure 1 — Automatic Detailed Scheduling System
      The figure shows an overview of the system and its functions. To automate the process, the different scheduling methods used for different products
      are defined as parameters.

          ■ Overview
                Automated system for
                                                                                                     ■ Main functions
                                                                                                     (1) Calendar management and overtime planning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Warn if maximum
               scheduling which models                                                                                                                                                         Enter daily           overtime exceeded
                                                     Scheduler                                       ■ March 2018
                     to produce                                                                       No. of days when overtime required
                                                                                                                                                                                                  overtime
                                                                                                                                                                             03/01 (Thur.) 03/02 (Fri.) hours
                                                                        Confirm and modify            2h: 10 days Cycle time       59    (s)     Production
                                                                                                                                                                9965
                                                                                                                                                                    Total

                                                                                                                                                 (no. units)
                                                                                                      3h: 5 days
                    (Simplified) PSI                                                                                                             Hourly
                                                                                                                                                 capacity
                                                                                                                                                 Planned
                                                                                                                                                                9513          453             453

                                                                                                                     Hourly capacity: 453        overtime       35            2               3

                                                                                                     (2) Detailed scheduling
                Determine which models                                              GUI                                         Color                                                                     Generate daily production plans
                                                                                                       Appliance model                  08            09             10             11              12
                      to produce                                                                                               scheme                                                                     in accordance with given rules
                                                                                                            XXXXXX             N        60                          445           355
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Values can also be
                                                                        Detailed scheduling                OOOOOO              S        …                                         240             280
                                                                                                                                                                                                               entered manually
               Schedule of which models                 Overtime               engine                       AAAAAA             N        535           15
                     to produce                         required
                                                                                                     (3) Production volume management/four-day-ahead schedule
                                                                         DB access engine                                                                                                                     Collect data on and manage
                                                                                                                                Color
                                                                                                       Appliance model
                                                                                                                               scheme
                                                                                                                                      19          20           21           22           23          24           production volume
               Manufacturing                                    Copy                                        XXXXXX             N        299       1            339                    422
                instructions                                                                                                                                                                              …   Prepare schedule looking four
                                                                                                           OOOOOO              S        173       2            360                                            days ahead based on incoming
                                             Scheduler*      Update           Detailed
                Procurement                                                                                 AAAAAA             N                               32           694       159                     goods for the month
                                                                            schedule DB
                instructions              Detailed
                                           master      Master             Detailed         Master    (4) Determine which models to produce
                                                        data                                                                                                                                                  000            Shift
             In-house production          schedule                         master           data
                                                                                                      Product code     Model                 Total number to be produced          Planned production volume   000

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             production
                 management                                               schedule                       YYYYYYYY         XXXXXX             1800                                 1800                        000

                                                                                                                                                                                                              00
                                                                                                        BBBBBBBB          AAAAAA             1800                                 1800
                                        Schedule                                                                                                                                                               0             to conveyors
                                         for next       Overall          Schedule          Overall
                                                       schedule           for next                    Product code     Model                 Total number to be produced          Planned production volume
                                                                                                                                                                                                              000

                                                                                                                                                                                                              000            with excess
                                        four days                                         schedule       YYYYYYYY         XXXXXX             1800                                 0
                                                                         four days
                                                                                                                                                                                                              000

                                                                                                                                                                                                              00             capacity
                                                                                                        BBBBBBBB          AAAAAA             1800                                 0                            0

       PSI: production sales inventory GUI: graphical user interface DB: database
       *Existing production scheduler used at Lifestyle Home Appliances Unit

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FEATURED ARTICLES

Figure 2 — Internal Production Scheduler
The figure shows a block diagram of the internal production scheduler and example screens. In addition to work schedules, the system also generates
shift rosters.

       ■ Main functions                                                                                          Block diagram of internal production scheduler

                                                                                          Final assembly
                                                     Problems with past practices

                                                                                             schedule
       (1) Production assignment and                 • Each line was scheduled                                                                     Hourly
                                                                                                                                 Detailed                           Management
                                                       manually                                                 Monthly
                                                                                                                                  (daily)
                                                                                                                                                  schedule
                                                                                                                                                                    of inventory
           planning (monthly)                        • Large amounts of work in                                 schedule
                                                                                                                                 schedule
                                                                                                                                                looking four
                                                                                                                                                                        levels
                                                                                                                                                 days ahead
       (2) Parts production schedule                   progress due to poor
           (daily and hourly)                          synchronization between
       (3) Worker shift rosters                        appliance assembly and parts
                                                                                                                                    (3) Molding             (5) Molding                (6)

                                                                                             Parts schedule
                                                       manufacturing                                                              machine schedule        machine schedule          Statistics
       (4) Materials procurement orders              • Unavailability of parts when                           (1) Allocated
                                                                                                                                       (daily)                (hourly)                  on
                                                                                                              to production
       (5) KPIs                                        needed resulting in overtime                           (N + 2 months)                                                       utilization
                                                                                                                                   (2) Worker                                      and defect

         ■ Features
         • Schedules take account of detailed constraints affecting each line
                                                                                                                                  assignment
                                                                                                                                                               (4) Materials
                                                                                                                                                                allocation
                                                                                                                                                                                      rates

         • Sequencing of production so as to reduce setup times                                                                Internal production scheduler
         • Shift rosters that take account of restrictions on working hours
           (overtime, work on public holidays)

 KPI: key performance indicator

to shift plans based on worker shift rosters and pre-                                        3. 3
dicted overtime hours and changes to inventory levels.                                     Cell Production Management System
  Work is currently underway on extending its use                                          This system is intended to shorten the time it takes
to other sites, including refrigerator production at                                       increasingly diverse new employees to become profi-
the Refrigeration & Heating Home Appliances Unit                                           cient and to raise the level of worker training.
and injection molding facilities at Hitachi Consumer                                          With the structure of the workforce being such
Products (Thailand), Ltd. (HCPT) (see Figure 2).                                           that 70% or more of roles are outsourced, with high
                                                                                           turnover and staff coming from an increasingly diverse
3. 2                                                                                       range of national origins, shortening the time it takes
Worker Recognition System                                                                  new employees to become proficient in cell produc-
This system is intended to automate attendance                                             tion tasks that take about 10 minutes per worker,
management and worker assignment. It shares infor-                                         without compromising safety, is a major challenge
mation with a newly implemented attendance man-                                            when seeking to improve efficiency.
agement system to provide better information about                                            This system displays the information that cell work-
attendance and uses information on the skill sets of                                       ers need on a monitor installed directly in front of
individual workers to automatically generate a staff                                       them, providing a wide variety of instructional infor-
reassignment map to deal with any worker absences.                                         mation including images showing how work is to be
   Through the sharing of data with employment                                             performed, how to avoid mistakes such as forget-
management systems, it has also rationalized the aux-                                      ting to attach certain parts, and communication (see
iliary tasks of attendance managers, such as collating                                     Figure 3).
overtime details and working through the approvals                                         (1) Better information about working hours and team
process.                                                                                   efficiency

                                                                     Hitachi Review Vol. 69, No. 1 92–93                                                                                         93.
Figure 3 — Cell Production Management System
      The system improves efficiency by interactively linking information on individual cells with the management of all areas of the cell assembly shop.

                      Cell production management system                                                          Work guidance
               Overall production management screen for individual cells

                                                                                     Multiskilling
                                                                                                       Screen for “digital poka-yoke”
                                                                                                        (mistake prevention) system

               Parts request screen      Bi-directional communication

                                                                                  improvement
                                                                                    Quality

                                                                                                                                   Picking sensor
                                                                                                                               (work instruction lamp)

         To raise awareness among workers and to help                                        For purposes of quality management and maintain-
      supervisors provide efficient practical training, the                               ing efficiency, the system includes functions for using
      three-worker cells that are a feature of the production                             picking sensors to raise an alarm if parts are taken in
      of front-loading washing machines are equipped with                                 the incorrect sequence and for requesting someone
      displays showing the target and actual work times for                               to bring more parts.
      each worker and the difference between actual and tar-
      get. The system also ensures maximum team efficiency                                3. 4
      by automatically allocating workers in a way that opti-                            Monitoring Cell
      mizes the balance of proficiencies within each team.                               The production efficiency of an assembly cell for
      (2) Communication                                                                  robotic vacuum cleaners was enhanced by putting
        The cell monitor displays information for work-                                  in place a single-worker cell for a monitoring tech-
      ers, providing details of the day’s overtime require-                              nique that combines the processing of images from a
      ments and asking them whether or not they can                                      commercially available work assistance camera and a
      work overtime. The system improves the efficiency                                  newly developed system. This was done to satisfy the
      of work-related communications and keeps track of                                  requirements of a tightly packed design that features
      the physical condition of workers by having them                                   the same functions as competing models in half the
      use touch-operated switches mounted in the cells to                                volume, with a high component count and a compli-
      respond “Yes” or “No” to these prompts.                                            cated wiring harness (see Figure 4).
      (3) Use of visual aids for job training                                            (1) Work guidance system
         Workers are able to view visual representations of                                 Based on signals from the camera, the system
      safety- and quality-related work instructions, includ-                             enables work to proceed smoothly without the need
      ing the ability to backtrack if they want to review this                           to operate switches, with functions that include indi-
      information. This has made it possible to shorten the                              cating which tools to use based on the task being
      time it takes workers to achieve proficiency.                                      performed and automatically positioning parts where
      (4) Avoidance of operator error and parts unavailability                           they are easy to access.

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FEATURED ARTICLES

Figure 4 — Monitoring Cell
The figure shows the functions and layout of the monitoring cell. As the worker carries out a task in accordance with instructions on the monitor (A), the
system compares the actual work done (B) with data on how it is meant to be done (C). This prevents problems such as incorrect assembly or parts being
left out by indicating whether or not the work has been done correctly (D).

                                                                                Work assistance             Work instructions                         Work progress
                                                                                camera
                                                                                Electric screwdriver            (A)                                      (B)

                                                                                System monitor

                                                                                 Tools and parts
                                                                                 are moved into
                                                                                 position as
                                                                                 needed as the
                                                                                 work progresses

                                                                                                                      (C)                             (D)
                                                                                Automatic screw
                                                                                dispenser
                                                                                                           Correct way to assemble               Assessment of result

(2) Work checking system                                                                           (3) Work dynamics analysis system
  The system uses the camera to compare the prog-                                                    This automatically collects data on assembly times
ress of work against the instructions displayed on the                                             for each work cycle. It enables each step to be ana-
monitor, indicating whether or not the work is being                                               lyzed, including the degree of variability in how the
done correctly. This helps prevent incorrect assembly                                              work is done.
or parts being left out.

Figure 5 — Final Inspection IoT System
The figure gives an overview of the final inspection IoT system and its main functions.

                                                      Server    A temporary serial number is scanned           Server
                                                                using readers located at each step of the                      PP base
                                                                assembly process and used to link data                      sub-assembly   Labeled with a 2D code
                       Final inspection
                                                                to the product                                                             (temporary serial number)
                                                                                                                                           after molding of PP base
         Server                                                                                                                  1
                                        3      • Recording of final inspection results                          2
                                                 and measurements
                                               • Recording of manual rework                                                                                   2D code

            4                                                                                          Cell assembly line
                                                                                                                                                             Label attached to
                                                                                                                                                              rear of PP base
                                            Linked to serial number                 : Barcode reader
                                                                                                                         Recording of assembly cell number
                                 Acceptance inspection
                                                                                                                Touch-panel screen
          • Model and other details read when product arrives at assembly line (to provide
            information on number of incoming products)
          • Real-time display of final testing, reworked items, and inspection data
          • Details of problems are displayed on cell monitor in real time
            → Rapid response and prevention of recurrence
          • Automated collection of quality statistics
          • Serial number linked to barcode (to improve traceability)

                                                                                           #
            Cell 3      Problem detected!
                             Leak check 1                                                                           Defect statistics
                     Clip on external drain hose is
                             out of place

           Rework           Re-attach clip
           Comment

 IoT: Internet of Things PP: polypropylene 2D: two dimensional

                                                                            Hitachi Review Vol. 69, No. 1 94–95                                                                  95.
3. 5                                                                                         3. 6
      Final Inspection IoT System                                                                  Equipment Status Management System
      This system has been introduced into the appliance                                           The shop where the exterior parts of front-loading
      assembly process in a way that treats components                                             washing machines are press-formed is equipped with
      manufactured internally and labeled with QR codes*                                           a number of presses and robots, and operates as an
      as key parts. It is intended to make quality manage-                                         unmanned production line. The equipment status
      ment more transparent, to provide real-time feed-                                            management system acquires timely information about
      back, and to rationalize auxiliary tasks. Information                                        the equipment setup and any problems that occur. The
      is recorded for each appliance on whether products                                           intention is to shorten the time taken to restart from
      pass the post-assembly final inspection as well as                                           a shutdown and to increase equipment utilization and
      on things like any rework or adjustments that were                                           production volumes. A system for viewing what is hap-
      made. This information is linked to the serial number                                        pening on the line has been put in place by installing a
      when acceptance inspection is performed. By doing                                            number of large-screen monitors in the workplace and
      so, use of the monitors installed in the assembly cells                                      displaying the layout of the line as a whole, and the
      to display feedback about defects in real time when a                                        presses and robots in each unit (see Figure 6).
      problem is detected not only enables a quick response
      when the same defect recurs, but also improves trace-                                        3. 7
      ability and automates the preparation of daily inspec-                                       Production Real-time Monitoring System
      tion reports and quality statistics (see Figure 5).                                          A production real-time monitoring system (PRMS)
      * QR code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Inc.                                       for providing information on all steps along the pro-
                                                                                                   duction process that is integrated with the systems

      Figure 6 — Equipment Status Management System
      Color coding is used to indicate the operating status of each unit. By displaying the die status (whether setup is in progress or complete), time taken for
      setup, and the state of interlocks for each area so that whether the equipment gate is open or closed can be seen at a glance from anywhere, this signifi-
      cantly improves the performing of safety checks when restarting equipment. It also makes it easier to deal with problems and determine where delays
      are happening based on robot control signals such as when robots take hold of a workpiece.

                                                                               PCM press line
                Center panel                                                                                       Press #2
                                                                Exterior                   1              2                                                 Robot
                                                                                                                          3             Press #3
                                                                 (sides)
                                                                                                                                          4          Press #4
                                                                                        Press #1      Flow of materials

                                                                                                                                                     6
                                                               Lower
                                                               panel                                                              5

              ■   System block diagram
                                                                                                                                                            7
                                                                                                   Display

                                                                                                                           Automatic           Shutdown or setup
                                                                                                     Production            operation           in progress
                                                                                                                                               Inspection or short halt
                                                                                                                           Automatic           Shutdown or setup
                                                                                                          Robot            operation           in progress
                                                                                                                           Automatic           Shutdown or setup
                                                                                                          Press            operation           in progress
                                                                                                     Area safety
                                                                                                                              Closed               Open
                                                                                                        gate
                                                                                                   Functions
                                 Area 3                   Area 2               Area 1               (1) Show progress of die setup (setup time measurement)
                     Centering mechanism, balance        Seamer,       Welder, press, flanging      (2) Show information on holdups (utilization measurement)
                    scales, screw tightener, robot #3    robot #2       machine, robot #1           (3) Show status of safety features (interlocks, safety gates, etc.)

        PCM: pre-coated metal

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FEATURED ARTICLES

Figure 7 — Production Real-time Monitoring System
Shows at a glance what is happening in the room and provides a dashboard for centralized management of different systems.

                                              PRMS for front-loading washing machines                                                                                         (Production Realtime Monitoring System)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                14:36, Tues. 07/16/2019
                                                                                                                                                                                     Room 4B Room 3B                                           168 days since last accident
                                                                                   Equipment             Running          Standby              Halted                                                   Equipment Inventory                                          (Jan. 1, 2019)
                   Equipment         Forming of Equipment
                                    exterior shell                                  Inventory            OK               Overstocked          Understocked                                                                                      Production
                         [1.2]                             [1.0]                                                                                                                                                                                  volumes                   No.4 No.5
                                    Flange
                                                                                 [ ]: Previous cycle time (min.) Standby: 15 min. or more Halted: 30 min. or more                                         Room 3E
                  Equipment                        Equipment                                                                                                                                                                                      Scheduled                    515      485
                     [1.2]       sub-assembly         [1.0]                                                                                                                                             Equipment Inventory
                                                                 Exterior shell stocker 2                           Exterior shell stocker 1                                                                                                       Produced                    279      203
                                                                                Equipment Inventory                                        Equipment Inventory                                            Room 5E                                 In progress                  +34      −28
                                                                                   [1.0]                                                          [1.2]
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Equipment Inventory                    Utilization (%)                 113       87
                    Forming                                              Drive assembly and testing                                Drive assembly and testing                                                                                     Prime by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               first intent (%)                 99       97
                                                                                   Equipment Equipment                                           Equipment Equipment                                                                           Cycle Target
                                                                                        [0.7]        [1.2]                                               [1.2]               [3.2]                                                                                            1.33     1.41
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               (min.) Actual                  1.17     1.61
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Drum forming                                              Quality
                                                                                                                 Appliance preliminary assembly [equipment] Overall [1.1]
                        No. 4 line                                                                                                                                                                            (SUS)                                 Unaccepted
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      defects                 On-site defects
                                                     Final                        Appliance final                                                                                                              Equipment
                                 Packing            testing                         assembly                       11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1                                                                            [0.8]
                                                                                                                   [−−]    [18]   [17.9]   [8]   [5.7]    [8.4] [10.9] [10.1] [9.6] [12.8] [−−]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Production volumes
                                 Equipment         Equipment                       Equipment                                                                                                                    Inventory                         Staff recognition             Lead time
                Store                 [1.0]                   [1.0]                         [0.9]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Production
                                                                                                                                             Main aisle                                                                                                status                 Defective parts
                                                      Exterior processing (PCM)                                                                                                                                                                               Equipment
                                                               Equipment Inventory                                        Appliance preliminary assembly [equipment] Overall [1.3]
                        No. 5 line                                    [1.0]                Appliance final                                                                                                                                       Standby or shut down equipment
                                                                                             assembly
                                                  Packing                     Final testing Equipment                     10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1                                                                                                    Equipment operating times
                                                                                                                           [−−]   [10.9] [11.1] [12.2]     [−−] [15.2] [9.4] [11.6] [8.2]   [8.9]
                                                                                                         [1.2]
                                                  Equipment                   Equipment                                                                                                                                                                                Other
                             Store                    [0.4]                         [1.0]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Noticeboard

                                                                                                                                                                                                             [--][10.9][11.1][12.2][--][15.2][9.4][11.6][8.2][8.9]

 PRMS: production real-time monitoring system SUS: steel use stainless

mentioned avobe was installed to identify bottlenecks                                                                                                The areas that Hitachi GLS plans to work on in the
across the entire production process and to provide                                                                                               future are the upgrading of its core business systems by
productivity information (prime by first intent and                                                                                               adopting integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP),
plant utilization) (see Figure 7). The same philosophy                                                                                            the efficient allocation of design and manufacturing
was adopted in the installation of a similar system on                                                                                            resources through the enhancement and integration
the refrigerator assembly line at HCPT. The system is                                                                                             of supply chain management (SCM) and engineering
used to make improvements aimed at reducing losses                                                                                                chain management (ECM), and the use of digitalization
by providing information about what is happening on                                                                                               for better quality traceability. By achieving highly effi-
the refrigerator production line.                                                                                                                 cient workplaces, Hitachi GLS is aiming for the faster
                                                                                                                                                  and more accurately targeted supply of value-laden
                                                                                                                                                  products that suit the needs of individual consumers.
  4. Conclusions

Because the installation of IoT systems makes it pos-                                                                                                    Authors
sible to collect data from “things,” data can be shared                                                                                                                                             Nobuhiro Ishida
                                                                                                                                                                                                    MONOZUKURI Management Unit, Products Division,
between people, and between people and equipment.                                                                                                                                                   Hitachi Global Life Solutions, Inc. Current work and
As anyone can make use of this data, it is possible to                                                                                                                                              research: In charge of Monozukuri management
                                                                                                                                                                                                    promotion for Hitach GLS in Japan and abroad.
identify where the problems lie in a workplace, come
up with the best possible solutions in an efficient
manner, and implement improvement actions quickly.                                                                                                                                                  Toshiki Ishida
                                                                                                                                                                                                    SCM Reform Promotion Center, MONOZUKURI
   By facilitating human resource management and                                                                                                                                                    Management Unit, Products Division, Hitachi Global
training at manufacturing workplaces, where diversity                                                                                                                                               Life Solutions, Inc. Current work and research: SCM
                                                                                                                                                                                                    reform support work.
is on the rise, these IoT systems are an important fac-
tor in enhancing SQDC.

                                                                                                    Hitachi Review Vol. 69, No. 1 96–97                                                                                                                                                         97.
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