Entries with tag toyota.

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)

Toyota Issues Prius Recall for Faulty Software

Toyota announced that it is recalling 1.9 million third-generation Prius vehicles to repair faulty software in the hybrid gas-electrical system. The software problem is related to control systems for boost converters—designed to increase the voltage in batteries small enough to fit in hybrid vehicles that could cause overheating in some transistors, which would shut down the hybrid system and, in some cases, cause the vehicle to unexpectedly stop. Since May 2011, 451 drivers have reported such problems. However, noted Toyota, no accidents have been attributed to the defect, according to Toyota. About half the recalls— about 1 million vehicles—are in Japan and roughly 700,000 or 37 percentare in North America. This is the third recall for the Prius, first produced in 1997 and now Toyota’s best-selling model. (Wall Street Journal)(Reuters)(Bloomberg)(Toyota)

Apple Is Now the World’s Most Valuable Brand

Apple is now the most valuable brand in the world, displacing Coca-Cola from the top spot it held since the report’s inception 13 years ago. According to Interbrand—a corporate identity and brand consulting company that has compiled its Best Global Brands report since 2000—the Apple brand’s value is now $98.3 billion, up 28 percent from last year, when it ranked second. Google is second place in the new report, followed by Coke, IBM, Microsoft, GE, McDonald’s, Samsung, Intel, and Toyota. (The New York Times)(CNET)(Bloomberg Businessweek)(Interbrand) 

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