April 26, 2021
Toyota Industries and Siemens have cooperated to develop artificial intelligence (AI) that can predict product abnormalities in aluminum die casting, a key process in automotive air conditioning compressor production.
It improves quality and productivity by utilizing the AI application in Industrial Edge, the Siemens edge computing platform for industry. The initiative is an innovative example of digital transformation in manufacturing, and Toyota Industries aims to use it to further evolve their technology and incorporate it into their production plants in Japan and overseas.
The die casting process is challenging to manage due to a range of constantly changing production conditions such as variations in the molten aluminum temperature or the injection rate. Success relies on the judgement of experienced workers, and sometimes the parts require secondary processing to handle abnormalities and maintain high quality standards.
During development, the two companies used a Siemens Simatic S7-1500 controller to gather big data totaling approximately 40,000 data points per die casting shot at the model line and then analyzed the data using AI technology. They succeeded in preventing defects and improving quality by monitoring the production status in real time and automatically predicting equipment abnormalities that lead to quality issues. The production data is processed by the defect prediction AI on Industrial Edge, enabling instant analysis of the data on production conditions at the time of a shot and assessment of the part quality immediately after the casting. This series of AI technologies boosts productivity, improves quality, and transforms how operators work.
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