Industrial Value Chain Initiative (IVI President, Professor Yasuyuki Nishioka, Ph.D. in Engineering) announced the award winners of IVI Connected Manufacturing Award 2021 on June 10, 2021. “Improving Manufacturing Line Productivity with AI, Part. 4, Mazda Motor Corporation” won Award of the Year among fifteen business scenario WGs that were active in 2020.
All the meetings in 2020, including presentations at symposiums, were held online since the corona infestation was not contained. Although human movement is restricted to a great extent to avoid so-called “three kind of crowds”, the transportation of goods in the manufacturing process cannot be stopped. Because of this unstoppable work environment, the spirit of improvement was undiminished as we worked to solve the problems. In addition to Award of the Year, Award of excellence, and Award of recognition, we also newly established this year the Special award, which attracted the most attention at the IVI Open Symposium 2021 Spring, and “Environmental Change Preemption Award”, which was given to the activity that caught the most attention amidst the drastic changes in the living environment caused by the Corona infestation. The reasons for the awards are as follows.
<IVI Connected Manufacturing Award 2021, selection results>
[Award of the year]
6C02 “Improving Manufacturing Line Productivity with AI, Part 4”
Company： Mazda et al.
Reasons for the award: This is the fourth time appearance of this AI using WG. The group was able to narrow down the issues and they achieved excellent results in all the processes, the presentations at the symposiums as well as the report of the activity results. They applied AI into the new field of plant operation, where they approached the optimal operation of boilers, a common problem for many companies. They summarized about how they made and tested a solid hypothesis in a way that was easy to understand. For the sound of an engine, they worked straight into their data analysis methods. It is felt that the use of AI will be further developed in the future.
[Award of excellence]
6B01: “Predictive Maintenance of Wear Parts of Production Equipment”
Company：Kurita Sangyo Co. et al.
Reasons for the award: This project focused on the maintenance of molds used in tablet packaging machines for prescription drugs, and with a new member composition, it was one of orthodox themes of predictive maintenance. One of the features of their activities was that they prepared molds for experiments in order to grasp trends in a short period of time and found correlations with sensing data while reproducing wear conditions. They made good use of AI solutions to analyze the data and took advantage of IVI’s method to try several different analysis tools simultaneously.
[Award of excellence]
6C03: “Visualization of Human/Thing Performance -Ⅲ (Next Generation IE Pursuit)”
Company: Mazda et al.
Reasons for the award: This is a theme for improvement in a logistics workplace. The analysis of the flow lines during forklift operations using powerful images and the change of the fixed defensive range to a free range is a wonderful achievement, as the data was used to convince the workers. The analysis method is good, as it extracts empty running from the visualization of flow lines. The content had a huge impact on the ability to carry out kaizen activities overseas remotely. It also can be used for various themes as an effective use of cameras.
[Award of recognition]
6A01：”Inspection Automation Platform, Utilization Heaven”
Company：CKD et al.
Reasons for the award: The double theme of pursuit of practicality of the system, packaging (platforming) the system developed last year, for new problems (in the field) and the goal of solving problems in the field based on scenarios was a great idea. The approach of new insights based on statistical facts from data was highly apprised. The approach that correlations were found through data analysis and linked to improvements was an effort toward solid implementation. In addition, each member’s field of expertise was used, and that was a unique IVI activity result.
[Award of recognition]
6E02 “How to connect for mass customization”
Company：IHI et al.
Reasons for the award: This theme was aimed at breaking down the situation where the necessary information (quality, delivery date, progress, etc.) cannot be obtained accurately and in a timely manner in the value chain between companies and departments within a company, and the IVI modeler, which is used for smart thinking as proposed by IVI, was successfully used here. The approach of using the master data of the product configuration and processes and applying it to the production management of the progress is an area that can be expected to be used as individual production and one-product production increases in the future. Japanese companies are not good at synchronizing their activities, and they mainly use e-mail and phone calls for production progress. We need to continue to educate our employees so that they can synchronize through BOM sharing, etc.
6A03 “Improvement of die casting cylinder block material quality”
Company：Mitsubishi Electric et al.
Reason for the award: We are pleased to present a special award to the most outstanding WG in the judging of presentations at the IVI Open Symposium 2021 -Spring-. They approached the difficult task of improving the aluminum casting line and conducted a very high level of demonstration and analysis. The use of a new sensor to make the invisible visible and to get closer to the mechanism of the occurrence of die casting nests was excellent. The combination of analysis technology and these methods can be expected to reduce defects in the future.
[Environmental Change Preemption Award]
6C04 “Remote manufacturing process (visual inspection)
Reason for the award: Since the living environment had changed drastically, and this was the most eye-catching WG activity, we presented the Environmental Change Preemption Award to 6C04 for their efforts in remote visual inspection. Even though remote work has advanced, inspections at production sites cannot be done in a single step like in offices. In order to change the way the field works in the near future, they drew “TO-BE” as if they were there, even if they were far away..
[General Comments] Hiroyuki Mizuno (Chairman, IVI Business Cooperation Committee, CKD)
The living environment has changed drastically in the past year. Though there have been many difficult times due to the tough situation, we have been working with our slogan, “With a little extra effort, everyone is happy, and we can move forward with wisdom and ingenuity!”, by showing the word “pain” into “happiness” by adding a “touch” to the Chinese character.
The members gather once a month as a joint WG to meet each other and conduct activities during a usual year. However, meetings were held online due to the fact that the corona was not yet under control. For each WG held, we took measures to prevent the spread of infection and had real meetings, but when it was not possible to visit the sites, we also conducted remote demonstrations with cooperations of the companies that provided the sites. Even with the advancement of remote work, production preparation is not a one-step process like in an office. In order to change the way workplaces will be in the near future, we have created several new themes by envisioning TO-BE as if we were at the work site, even if we are far away.
■What is Industrial Value Chain Initiative (IVI)?
Industrial Value Chain Initiative (IVI) is a forum mainly for the manufacturing industry established on June 18, 2015, with the aim of realizing “connected” manufacturing based on the concept of “loose standards”, which is made possible by integration of manufacturing and IT in the IoT era. IHI, OMRON, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kobe Steel, KONNO Corporation, CKD, JTEKT, Toshiba, Toyota, Nikon, NEC, Panasonic, Hitachi, Ltd., Brother Industries, Busyu Kogyo Co., Fujitsu, Mazda, Mitsubishi Electric, Yaskawa Electric, and 241 other companies and organizations with 699 participants in Japan and overseas.
(Regular members: 75 large companies, 73 small and medium-sized companies; Supporting members: 26 large companies, 50 small and medium-sized companies; Implementing members: 6 companies; Supporting members: 11 organizations, as of May 27, 2021)
For inquiries regarding this matter, please contact
4-3-28-302 Kudan-kita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0073, Japan
Industrial Value Chain Initiative Secretariat (Masao Kamada)
<Inquiries from the media>
IVI Secretariat: Masao Kamada