NISSAN’S “intelligent factory” hardly has any human workers.
The robots do the work, including welding and mounting. They do the paint jobs and inspect their own paint jobs.
“Up to now, people had to make production adjustments through experience, but now robots with artificial intelligence, analyzing collected data, are able to do it. The technology has developed to that level,” Nissan executive vice president Hideyuki Sakamoto said during a tour of the production line for the Ariya sport-utility vehicle at its Tochigi plant Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
The factory, on the outskirts of Tokyo, is set to be up and running sometime before April, according to Nissan Motor Co.
Its assembly line is designed so that all three types of models — electric; e-Power, which has both a motor and an engine, and those powered by regular combustion engine — can be built on the same line. Each vehicle is equipped with the right powertrain as it moves along the line.
The workers at the factory can focus on more skilled work such as analyzing data collected by the robots, and on maintaining the equipment. All automakers are working on robotic technology that can increase adaptability and enable them to respond quickly to market demand.
Nissan said the innovations being tested in Tochigi will be gradually rolled out at its other global plants. (AP)