HINO Motors Ltd of Japan is putting increased focus on projects to improve its global production and supply capability. One of the latest initiatives is the consolidation of all engine production at its Nitta plant. This plant already supplies the small and medium range of Hino diesel engines but now it is now being expanded to handle production of the large engine range too.
Large engine production is being relocated from Tokyo and the enlarged Nitta engine-making facility is due for production start up in mid 2016. Hino is also taking the opportunity to increase efficiency and productivity as the new engine line will be able to handle production of both the medium and heavy truck engine ranges. This will enable the company to optimise production to meet market demands.
Hino’s overall programme for the future involves the development of a modularised “market best-fit products” strategy in conjunction with the optimisation of its global supply and production infrastructure.
Components of Hino trucks and buses have been divided into two categories based on a modular concept: first there are the core parts essential for manufacturing a Hino vehicle and then there are the peripheral components which can be adapted to customise a vehicle to meet specific customer requirements in the various regions of the world.
Nitta will be the main facility for manufacturing engines, transmissions and differential gear carriers and will supply these components to the Koga plant in Japan as well as overseas assembly plants.
Koga is being developed as the main assembly plant for medium and heavy trucks and buses and will also be the source of chassis frames, axles and cabs. Koga is already the supply base for knocked down (KD) kits for building Hino trucks and buses outside Japan. The upgraded Koga plant is due to start full-scale production in 2017.
“Through the optimisation of these production and supply structures Hino aims to improve productivity and logistical efficiency,” explained the President of Hino Motors, Yasuhiko Ichihashi. “These major developments will enable us to respond flexibly to the needs of the global market so that we are able to effectively contribute to our customers’ businesses and thereby ensure that Hino continues to be their brand of choice.”
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