Use of computers in the engineering departments-development and introduction of CAD/CAM systems

The use of computers in R&D areas started with the introduction of indirect analogue computers in 1960 and with the conducting of differential equation analyses. The IBM650 which was introduced in the same year for administration purposes was also partly used for technical work, but in October 1962 the FACOM202 computer was introduced specifically for technical purposes.

This model was replaced with the high performance FACOM230-50 in January 1967. This enabled computations requiring large memory, such as vehicle movement analysis of multiple degrees of freedom, body structure, strength/vibration analysis and torque converter and oil-hydraulic circuit analysis, and the fields where computers were used broadened immediately. For instance, the FACOM230-50 was also used for the research of numerical control (NC) machining in production engineering departments, and contributed to the establishment of NC machining technology.

With the widening scope of computer usage the computers' monthly operating time in the first half of 1969 exceeded 400 hours (20 hours per operating day), leading to an exacting operating schedule with 24 hour or holiday operation. For that reason the adoption of a proper Time-Sharing System was looked into, where a number of terminal users can simultaneously use one computer, and in December 1969 the UNIVAC1108 was introduced as a model suitable for that purpose.

With an increasing number of developed vehicle models at the time, reduction in man-hours and shorter development periods for new cars became an issue. As part of the solutions the computing power of the UNIVAC system was made use of, and system development by project teams was begun. A typical example is the Toyota Integrated Numerical Control Approach (TINCA). This was a system for NC machining of press dies using a computer, falling under the so-called CAM systems.

The first part of this system, for which development was started in October 1969, was completed in the autumn of 1973 and put to use in machining the body parts for the Corolla (Model KE30). Many engineers from different fields-such as body design, die design, NC machining and information processing-from all Toyota Group companies took part in the project team, and jointly developed the system.

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