Invites automotive media for plant tour
(Part 2 of a two-part series) Part 1: Click here.
Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP), the leading automotive manufacturer in the Philippines, invited select members of the local automotive media to a comprehensive tour and inspection of the primary manufacturing facility in Laguna last October.
TMP’s manufacturing plant and head office are located inside the 82-hectare Toyota Special Economic Zone (TSEZ) in Santa Rosa City, Laguna, which is also homebase to several investors performing strategic roles in the manufacture and export of automotive products to ASEAN, Japan and other parts of the world.
TMP’s manufacturing plant assembles the popular Innova and Vios models.
Welcoming the contingent was TMPC President, Satoru Suzuki, in one of the last events he will host before handing over the reins to his replacement at the end of 2019.
In his message, Mr. Suzuki reiterated the commitment of TMPC to the manufacturing industry. “In 2015, the launch of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy or CARS Program marked a new era for the Philippine automotive manufacturing industry. Since then, we have been diligently carrying out our commitment of supporting the Philippine government’s drive to revitalize the auto-manufacturing sector.
We, at Toyota, have always believed that the auto-manufacturing industry’s growth is a catalyst for national development. As such, we have continued the local production of our best-selling models over the years, thereby providing employment and sustaining many small- and medium-scale enterprises that are the backbone of our economy.” stated TMPC President, Satoru Suzuki
After the short briefing and distribution of safety equipment, the group marched to the first part of the assembly; the metal stamping.
Here, raw sheets of metal are pressed by huge hydraulic presses to form specific parts of the vehicle from a single metal sheet. It is surprising that a single body/chassis of the Vios consists of several stamped metal panels of different but precise dimensions.
The formed parts are now transferred by automatic conveyors to the welding facility, where workers weld pieces together to form the body and roof panel. State of the art welding machine with differing power intensity allows the welders to adjust the welds depending on location.
Chemical Immersion and Painting
After initial body assembly, the incomplete body is dunked or immersed in a chemical solution that acts as rust inhibitors. This process makes it possible for the solution to cover even the most tight and small crevices, including the insides of the metal. After drying, exterior paint is applied.
The dried body is transferred to the next phase of assembly, electrical wiring (which incidentally is still manually done). Next are the interior components such as dashboards and other panels, then weather stripping, and windshields. After the seats are assembled, the powertrain is installed. It is installed from under the car already assembled: just a matter of bolting everything in and connecting the electronics.
Final step in the assembly is the installation of exterior trims and tires. Engines of all finished units are started for the first time, checking all vital signs. After test-driving, other equipment is loaded then finished units are parked in the vast holding area.
The entire Toyota compound is about 82 hectares, with almost half is utilized as parking area of finished units.
The 30-Year Challenge. Where does the Santa Rosa Plant fit in?
As per the 30-Year Challenge introduced last May 2019, TMP has already implemented the program on the Santa Rosa Plant:
Current: Improvement of factory guidelines: Toyota Supplier Network is guided by the Toyota Green purchasing standards, this means suppliers must acquire and maintain ISO 14001 certification. They must adhere to continually improve their environmental performance, reducing CO2 emissions, water consumption waste generation and pollution discharge
Logistics operations must be consolidated to minimize delivery travels, lessening fuel consumption. Dealers must utilize energy efficient appliances and equipment: e.g LED lights, inverter ACs, solar panels.
Reduce CO2 emissions for Suppliers, logistics and dealers by as much as 50% (from 2018 figures)
Reduction in electric power use
TMP started using renewable energy. Inaugurated a 1-megawatt Solar Array, and will reduce CO2 emissions by 790 tin CO2 per year. The whole roof area of the main building is covered with solar panels, which provide alternate power for the welding assembly, resulting in substantial cost savings and more importantly, reduction in environmental damage.
Reduce manufacturing CO2 emissions by at least 60% vs 2013 level
Utilize 100% renewable energy in all operations as soon as possible.
“We take it as an honor and privilege that Toyota’s business activities in the country have given us the opportunity to contribute, not only to our Team Members, but also to the development of our supply chain and our dealer network. These activities have also given us the means to implement the many corporate social responsibility projects that we have pursued directly and through the TMP Foundation.,” added Mr. Suzuki.
The plant tour was organized to show, not only the technological advances that Toyota has developed in manufacturing, but also the development of the whole supply ring, their respective personnel and their families; including its clients. TMP is not all about business and profit. It’s also about the development of its people.
*This article first appeared in November 2019. Updated to reflect developments after.
Text by Earl Manalansan
Images: Earl Manalansan and TMP (indicated)