Part design & manufacturing process development
Work undertaken for the Toyota Technical Center Asia Pacific (Australia), SPN engineers in their past role in the Chassis Engineering Department; designed, developed and improved upon new and existing parts and manufacturing processes for the new model Toyota Camry.
Responsibilities in the engineer’s role included:
Project planning & target setting.
Detailed component design & specification.
Generating 2D part drawings/3D models, incl. individual & assembly models/drawings (CATIA).
Model life management - including warranty & root cause analysis & re-occurrence prevention (current vehicles in market).
Issuing engineering change instructions, including for: part shape changes, parts list management, cost down changes, regulation and certification requirements.
Checking part evaluation testing procedures and results from both suppliers and affiliates.
Applying relevant local & international regulations into part design and development.
Specific work included design responsibility for steel and alloy wheels, wheel caps and brake piping components for the Toyota Camry vehicle.
Fig. 1 - Black 18" Alloy Flow Formed Wheels for 2015 new model Toyota Camry
Project Example 1:
The development of the new 18” alloy wheel was the first time this size wheel had been used on an Australian built Toyota Camry to be sold locally and globally, released as part of the new model (face-lift) Camry in April 2015. Together with this, another three different size alloy wheels (in 16” & 17” sizes) were also developed.
Implementing a new production “flow forming” process, allowed engineers to achieve a mass down of approximately 20-25% per alloy wheel and thus consequently leading to a cost down per part piece to be used on the vehicle.
To understand the scope of the engineering change, the mass of an 18” alloy wheel could be made at the same weight however at a significantly cheaper cost compared to a conventional 17” alloy wheel, which implements low pressure die casting and machining processes minus the flow forming element.
Overall savings of over $400,000 per annum was able to be achieved due to the weight saving design and manufacturing process that was developed as part of the Camry vehicle development project.
Project Example 2:
Audit processing of safety critical item review in production plant as part of quality assurance system to monitor and control all assembly processes and make sure they meet all critical safety requirements, as specified on Toyota part and assembly drawings.
The engineer’s role was to develop a monitoring system which would allow a clear and concise cross-check of hundreds of assembly processes carried out for Chassis RUN-STOP-TURN parts in the Toyota assembly facility, in order to assure the safe operation of the Camry vehicle once built.
This activity uncovered multiple discrepancies in operator’s actual assembly process carried out and what was being specified in terms of standard procedures by plant engineers, which was due to a lack of appropriate equipment and line setup, together with inadequate documentation that needed updating and alignment with recent engineering changes.
By engineers implementing a way of auditing the Toyota assembly plant’s processes, the assembly plant was able to assure that all safety critical items for Chassis parts were able to be assembled correctly and hence function properly.