Expert: Intelligent manufacturing is more people than tech

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    Uniting the cab with the chassis at the Hino Koga plant in Japan.
    Uniting the cab with the chassis at the Hino Koga plant in Japan.

    HINO’s mother assembly plant called the Koga Plant supports and supplies to all the global production requirements apart from serving as a base for Hino’s manufacturing and technology development.

    Mandated to meet the challenges of design innovation, creation of new technology both for products and for process, as well as new techniques for manufacturing and distribution, the Koga Plant is one of the pillars of Hino’s “Total Support” promise.

    “We need to be constantly innovative here, because we are the mother plant of Hino,” Masahiro Aso, Hino Koga Plant Manager said in a press conference with select Filipino motoring journalists in Japan. There are three other Hino assembly plants in in the cities of Hino, where the head office of the company is, Hamura and Nitta, as well as one testing facility in Memuro in Hokkaido. The second proving grounds is also located within the Koga Plant.

    When asked what the success factor of the Koga Plant is, in relation to its being able to supply the global market, not only with fully assembled trucks and buses, but also with completely knocked down (CKD) parts or bus chassis, Koga explained that it is “human thinking and innovation combined with technology” that sets Hino apart.

    “In order to establish the Hino brand globally as a manufacturer that customers will choose, we need to be constantly improving ourselves and our products. This is where Kaizen or continuous improvement is not only a task but a way of life for us. We always look for ways to innovate our process while keeping safety in mind, and by doing so we are able to also innovate ourselves. So if we combine that with technology and design, we know we are making the best trucks and buses,” Aso explained, focusing on that premise that intelligent manufacturing for Hino means it is able to deliver excellent products and services in a timely manner.

    Constantly establishing new technologies and new innovative techniques at the Koga plant and deploying these to Hino plants overseas, it aims to meet the diverse needs of commercial vehicle customers aligning with its mantra of QDR which stands for quality, durability, reliability. These factors combine to strengthen Hino’s famous Total Support commitment all over the world.