3 December 2019 · Driving Hints & Tips

Behind the scenes at the Hino Koga ‘Mother’ Factory

Hino Hub

Hino are proud of the world class production facility currently in operation at the Hino Koga plant in Japan. It’s another example of technology driving manufacturing to staggering new heights, with cutting edge innovations in every aspect. The state of the art facility - which focuses on automation, efficiency and technology - has drawn admiration worldwide thanks to its community involvement and environmental features. 

The Koga Plant began kit assembly in 2014 and in 2017, it focused on production of new generation trucks. 

The first thing to appreciate about the facility is its sheer scale. Built on an 850,000 m2 greenfield site and currently employs over 2,000 people.That’s in no small part thanks to the implementation of new production processes to enhance efficiency. The factory operates on a modular system, which breaks the conventional way of developing vehicles on a model by model basis. It now operates using 26 sub-assembly lines and one main assembly line, which increases productivity by 20%. The implementation of robotics for labour intensive tasks has also contributed to a more streamlined and simplistic assembly operation. Now up to 90% of the cab welding and 95% of the painting is done through robotics. The adoption of automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) in many processes has also increased efficiency by automating tasks such as transporting parts or components throughout the plant.   

Other changes include the truck frame production, which was normally produced in lots, these are now produced in order of assembly, one by one using a roll forming machine. Combining the modular approach with this roll forming machine it allows the implementation of a one piece flow which reduces the lead time for customers. Quality is also enhanced through cold tandem welding, which reduces distortion.

The second stand-out aspect of the plant is its commitment to the environment by using cutting edge technology to reduce energy and water consumption. Renewable energy, natural light and LED bulbs have helped to lower electricity usage, while limiting air conditioning up to 2 metres from the floor to warm the air only to the height of the operators, is saving an incredible amount of energy. There has also been a big drive to reduce CO2 emissions, which are now 20% lower, and water consumption has also reduced by 65% by implementing initiatives such as rainwater collection for toilet flushing. 

In terms of vehicles, the Koga Plant is now considered the “mother factory” for all Hino medium and heavy-duty trucks. It’s no surprise that the Koga Plant produces some of the most advanced vehicles including the 500 Series Standard Cab, which boasts class-leading features in a number of key areas. It’s unrivalled safety features come with all the state-of-the-art technologies you’d expect, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection and Vehicle Stability Control. When it comes to power, the 500 Series Standard Cab features a Hino A05 turbo, five litre four-cylinder diesel engine, which delivers superior torque, increased power and reduced fuel consumption. 

This helps deliver the cleanest emissions to date from a Hino truck in Australia. With impressive transmission options and a dynamic, stylish two bar grille, the 500 Series Standard Cab matches the class-leading innovation of the Koga Plant it was built in.

The Koga Plant continues to go from strength to strength with impressive technological advancements taking place alongside community led efforts. 

“We launched the Koga Plant at a transformative era for the automotive industry. We will continue crafting high-quality products, and at the same time work to share technologies we have established at the Koga Plant with plants overseas,” said Mr.Masahiro Aso, Koga Plant Manager, Hino Motors. 

It’s well and truly living up to its status as the ‘mother’ factory.