Japan: Digitalized Quality Control Daikin and Hitachi Implement Image Analysis in Chemical Manufacturing Process
Daikin and Hitachi will start a joint demonstration to digitalize quality control know-how in the reaction process of chemical manufacturing, especially in fluorochemicals, at Daikin Yodogawa Plant (Settsu, Osaka Prefecture).
Tokyo/Japan — For this joint demonstration, the companies will introduce a system that generates alarms for workers to ensure appropriate quality control instantaneously. Hitachi’s image analysis technology of “Lumada” enables to visualize variety of status in reaction processes such as liquid foaming status and color change, all of which were previously checked visually by workers at certain designated points. This digitalization technology extracts the operating status data instantaneously and consecutively which leads to maintaining quality control and improving efficiency in the future, the partners announced
Daikin and Hitachi advance their collaboration to achieve a next-generation production model utilizing IoT. The first step of collaborative creation is to develop the “Brazing Skills Training Support System” that digitalizes brazing skills by using Hitachi’s image analysis technology. Brazing skills requires advanced skills and expertise within the manufacturing process of air conditioners. The system commenced operation at Daikin’s Shiga Plant from October 2017.
As the second step in their collaborative creation, the companies have also applied Hitachi’s image analysis technology and examined the digitalization of quality control know-how at the manufacturing process of fluorochemicals at Daikin’s Yodogawa Plant. From the perspective of the “4Ms”; “Man,” “Machine,” “Material” and “Method”, they have collected the time-series numerical values and image data of the reaction statuses of chemicals (e.g., liquid color and foaming) and equipment operation statuses (e.g., temperature and rotating speed) using cameras and sensors. By converting the image data to numeric data and correlating them with quality, it has become possible to establish quantitative criteria that affect the quality of finished products. Because of the criteria, the two companies gained the prospects of reducing defective rate and improving productivity and will begin a joint demonstration within the fluorochemicals manufacturing process.
In this demonstration, the companies will introduce the system on-site to verify the effects. In the future, the system will be enhanced by adding new factors of logic through monitoring and analyzing human-decision. This system will contribute to digitalize the manufacturing know-how of skilled, expert workers and to establish new manufacturing process in the future.
Based on the results of this joint demonstration, Daikin and Hitachi will establish the system to evaluate and analyzes different reaction statuses in the chemical manufacturing. The system also intends to improve quality and productivity, as well as digitalization of the know-how of skilled, expert workers. Hitachi is expanding its image analysis technology of Lumada to manufacturing industries such as food and pharmaceuticals, as well as to chemical industries worldwide.