Entries with tag industrial technology.

Toyota Replacing Robots with Human Workers

Although robots are widely used for industrial production, Toyota is replacing machines with human craftsmen able to teach new skills to their younger colleagues as well as improve the car-building process. The move is designed to help workers understand the processes involved in making car parts from scratch and also allows them to take that knowledge and use it to reprogram machines. Ultimately, this can help improve various processes. This approach is succeeding in the Honsha plant where crankshafts are now made by hand. The company reports this has reduced the amount of scrap by 10 percent, shortened the production line by 96 percent, improved production, and also reduced the costs associated with making chassis parts. Toyota still uses robots throughout its manufacturing operations. It uses 760 robots, for example, in 96 percent of the production at its Motomachi facility. (SlashDot)(Bloomberg)

Technology Increases US Maple Syrup Production

Maple syrup production is a seasonal business reliant on traditional operations. A common challenge is the leaks or flow-clogging bends in the lines running sap between trees and sugar houses caused by issues such as fallen tree limbs or hungry animals. Typically, crews check lines by listening and looking for leaks in the snow, an often daunting and ineffective task. Now, though, various remote-monitoring technologies are increasing productivity. For example, the Tap Track system monitors the pressure in sap lines via sensors and uses solar-battery-powered radio units to transmit the resulting data to a computer or smartphone. A test site with 20,000 maple taps in Ontario, Canada, increased sap collection by about 5 percent, netting an additional $15,000 in the course of a single season. (The Associated Press)

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