Research and Development Support
Improvements to the Engineering Planning and Development Process
Genesis Research Institute, Inc. established
The Genesis Research Institute was established to investigate issues down to the most fundamental level. As a part of the commemorative events marking the 60th anniversary of Toyota Motor Corporation's establishment, the Institute was planned by three groups attached to the Technical Administration Department, the predecessor organization to the Material Engineering Field in the R&D Group. Its underlying principle is 'fundamental investigation of the direction of research concerning science, technology, and society necessary to contribute to the sustainable development of humankind'. The Institute conducts research not only on automotive technologies but in all areas to advance the well being of humanity.
Toyota Advanced Research Grant Program
This program solicited research topics with a focus on the environment, energy, and safety-topics that are shared by all of humanity in the twenty-first century- from a wide range of researchers at universities and research institutes that conduct cutting-edge science and technology research and provide research grants.
From among 1,488 applicants since 1996, subsidies were provided to 110 projects in support of their research.
The Joint Research Application Program was launched in 2001 as an extension of this program to support collaboration between industry and universities.
Toyota Motor Corporation Obtains ISO 14001 Certification
Toyota Motor Corporation obtained ISO 14001 certification with the aim of establishing internal environmental infrastructure and reinforcing audit capabilities.
In August 1994, the implementation of an environmental management system and audits to design, production, sales, and disposal was approved by the Toyota Environment Committee. Investigation of an environmental management system for product technology development was started in the ISO Environmental Management and Audit Working Group under the Product Environment Committee. Full-scale ISO 14011 audits were performed in six areas that have substantial impact on the environment: fuel efficiency, emissions, noise, coolants, substances of concern, and recycling.
Vehicle Manufacturing Based on Recycling
To actively contribute to the development of a recycling-based society, Toyota adopted the Toyota Recycling Vision as an action policy based on its long-term vision concerning automobile recycling and to rapidly achieve its fundamental goal of a 95% actual recycling rate, set in response to the adoption of recycling laws adopted in Japan and Europe. Concrete targets were set in four areas: steady improvement in recycling efficiency in Japan and Europe, use of reusable resources and recycled materials, increased use of used parts, and reduction of substances of environmental concern.
Development Process Reforms
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) started companywide Business Reform-Advanced Development (BR-AD) activities that extended to engineering, production engineering, production, procurement, and information divisions within the aim of creating new motor vehicle development methods by using information technology as an energy source. TMC sought to design and manufacture high-quality vehicles, plan appealing vehicles in a timely manner, and reduce development and manufacturing costs by making active use of information technology in vehicle development.
Goal of the BR-AD process
BR-AD Innovation Teams
Innovation teams were established in a number of fields to promote and establish BR-AD activities companywide. The main role of the teams is to support component development process preparation, design knowledge consolidation and organization, and development of projects applied to BR-AD processes using interdisciplinary operational structures.
Roles of innovation teams
Trial implementation of Design Review Based on Failure Mode (DRBFM) started in October 2001 as a preventive method for identifying and addressing problems during the development stages. DRBFM is a preventive technique where designers focus on areas of change, thoroughly identify potential problem areas, and investigate design responses followed by design reviews based on the knowledge of experts and specialists. In order to impart DRBFM skills and attitudes, young engineers are required to take a 'reliability techniques' course and DRBFM expert training is conducted to cultivate personnel with advanced technical skills who are able to develop new fields.
Desing Review Based on Failure Mode
DRBFM work sheet
Quality Deterioration Improvement Activities
Quality deterioration improvement activities were started in 2005 following an increase in significant deterioration-related defects in 2004 as a result of various environmental changes, including longer vehicle lives and higher reliability expectations. The activities focused on three main areas: eliminating all weaknesses as a response to actual problems, responding to environmental changes, and responding to longer product lives to address potential problems. To address these issues, extensive and fundamental technology analysis was conducted through use of environment surveys, parts recovery surveys, and interdisciplinary activities. Comprehensive countermeasures were investigated, and design and evaluation standards were reviewed for incorporation in production models.
Main pillar for activities to improve durability quality
Details of activities to improve durability quality