Success Stories : Douwa Kougyou
Making a breathtaking leap in machining complex shaped parts for commercial vehicles
"Compact, yet Powerful"
52 Brother Compact Machining Centers
Among more than 150 machine tools running at Douwa Kougyou, 52 of Brother's compact, #30 taper spindle machining centers play a leading role. In the wake of the purchase of 10 machines from Brother in the late 1980's, they have added more Brother machines, and these are generally used for machining small transmission parts and suspension parts.
"Brother has always been the top as a manufacturer of compact machines, although we've changed manufacturers for large and medium machines."
Plant 2, completed in 2006, is essentially a Brother machine shop. A new line added three years ago is composed of three TC-R2Bs (with pallet changer). These machines, with appropriately devised jigs, handle three processes for cast products where six machines were previously required. The S500X1 installed at their premises in August 2014 is a high-torque machine that Brother is very proud of, featuring 90Nm momentary maximum torque.
"The S500X1 provides performance equivalent to a higher ranked class, which we expected. The variation of the line design has expanded."
Although the TC-S2DN-0 is a #30 machine, it has a table comparable to that of a #50 machine. So they replaced the machining centers from other manufacturers' with Brother machining centers. President Oka says, with a pleased look, "Brother always stays true to the Compact yet Powerful concept."
Why do they choose Brother? The answer is clear. "No failure, user-friendly, easy-to-operate, and fast machining"
Most parts produced by Douwa Kougyou have complex shapes. Competitors tend to be reluctant to produce these, as clamping such parts is difficult. Therefore, Douwa Kougyou undertakes machining for almost all large transmission parts for Isuzu.
The introduction of robots is one of their current challenges. Although some robots are presently used for high-frequency hardening, handling of heavy objects etc. from the viewpoint of work safety, they plan to introduce more robots into the production lines to reduce labor.
Truck manufacturers, however, have begun to shift their domestic production overseas. President Oka says, "We must consider the possibility of a decrease in order volume in the future. That's why we have to tackle more difficult parts machining to survive."
Douwa Kougyou kicked off the TPM activities in April this year, and began to address the improvement of productivity and quality, and the reduction of lead time with the participation of all employees. President Oka looks further into the future, with "manufacturing that can contribute to the society" in mind, and aiming to create a work environment where each and every employee can happily work in comfort.
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