Nissan invests 33 billion yen ($ 303 million) in its flagship car plant in Japan’s Tochigi prefecture as part of the first launch of a production system dedicated to electric vehicles.
On Thursday, the executive vice president of Nissan Motor Co. Hideyuki Sakamoto said production methods must change because vehicles are increasingly using both hybrid and electric motors, as well as new parts for using artificial intelligence..
Sakamoto said production changes, due to be completed next year, will use robotics and sensors to reduce the physical burden on assemblers. They are designed to ease the burden of a workforce that is increasingly staffed by senior workers and women..
Among the innovations for the so-called «intellectual factory» Nissan is a transmission retention system that allows a minimum of 27 configurations to be installed in a single procedure.
Parts, including the battery for electric vehicles, are assembled on one «pallet» or a foundation block for easy installation in a vehicle.
Another innovation includes robot programming. Its movements are adjusted so precisely that they completely repeat the angle and strength of the touch of human hands.
The advantage of such a system is that the robot works consistently and tirelessly, maintaining the quality of workmanship, says Nissan..
«The competitiveness of an automaker lies in the production process as well as in the development of technologies», – Sakamoto told reporters.
Automotive manufacturing methods have largely remained unchanged since the early 1900s. But vehicles are becoming more complex as, depending on the vehicle, driver support technologies, hybrid systems and different types of batteries must be installed, Sakamoto said..
The new manufacturing methods will later be rolled out at Nissan plants in Japan and elsewhere in the world, but details have yet to be revealed..
Yokohama-based Nissan produces the Leaf electric car, March subcompact and Infiniti luxury models, and is committed to bringing innovation to a wider audience as it grapples with serious reputational risks amid falling profits and sales..
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is awaiting trial on various financial crime charges. Nissan admits flaws in its corporate governance.
Nissan’s new chief executive will take office next week. Gon’s successor Hiroto Saikawa also resigns after admitting financial irregularities.
Nissan has the edge in many innovations, especially in electric vehicles, thanks in large part to Ghosn..
Ghosn claims he is innocent and accuses other Nissan board members of conspiring to get rid of him. According to the former top manager, this was done in order to block a more complete integration of the Japanese automaker with its French alliance partner Renault SA..