Customer story

Konecranes to help increase productivity of Toyota Motors in Russia

Konecranes Die Gripper Crane

Many foreign automotive companies have set up their businesses in Russia. Now they are successfully increasing production, which allows them to optimize logistics chains and fully meet the current demands of the local market.

Production Efficiency with Konecranes cranes

Toyota Motor opened a factory in St. Petersburg in 2007 when the city began to assimilate in a new role of important cluster for the automotive industry. The factory was fitted with high-tech lifting equipment delivered by Konecranes. Leonid Kalinin, senior engineer of Toyota Motor, told how the cranes are kept running smoothly and how this helps to increase the production efficiency.

 

The factory is designed to produce 100 thousand passenger cars per year. The program is based on the popular model of Toyota sedans, Camry. The last stage of production expansion was completed in 2014 including construction of workshops for body panels stamping and plastic elements molding. This way the company increased the level of localization and established a full cycle of car manufacturing. In 2016, the second model Toyota RAV4 entered the production line, and in 2018, the factory launched a new Toyota Camry model based on TNGA.

The Challenge

The factory is designed to produce 100 thousand passenger cars per year. The program is based on the popular model of Toyota sedans, Camry. The last stage of production expansion was completed in 2014 including construction of workshops for body panels stamping and plastic elements molding. This way the company increased the level of localization and established a full cycle of car manufacturing. In 2016, the second model Toyota RAV4 entered the production line, and in 2018, the factory launched a new Toyota Camry model based on TNGA.

The process of production capacity expanding required that new workshops were furnished with modern equipment. Overhead cranes of 40 tones hoisting capacity were needed to handle dies and molds. The choice was made in favor of Konecranes technology.

Our company is scrupulous about selection of suppliers. In this case we took into account the fact that our facility in St. Petersburg is close to Konecranes head office located in Finland. Another strong argument when choosing a supplier was the well-developed Konecranes service able to ensure arrival of specialists within four hours if necessary. 
Leonid Kalinin
Senior Engineer, Toyota Motors

The Solution

In 2014, four Konecranes overhead cranes were installed at the factory. One crane of 30/15 tones lifting capacity (with 30t main hoist and 15t auxiliary hoist) is used in the plastic products painting shop. The other crane of 20/10 tons lifting capacity works in the Toyota Boshoku department which produces car seats and interior parts. The sheet metal stamping shop has two overhead 40/20t cranes operating on parallel runway rails. One crane changes over the line of presses and feeds dies to the working area. The second crane moves dies to the zone where they are disassembled and repaired. The first crane is loaded to the greatest extent with up to 50 working cycles per shift. In 2018, in connection with Toyota RAV4 and new Camry production, the shop lifting equipment was modified including increase of crane travelling and trolley traversing speeds.

 

In 2018, two auxiliary bridge cranes of 2 tons lifting capacity were installed in the welding shop for industrial robots servicing and operation in the section of body geometry measurements. Thus, the number of units of Konecranes hoisting equipment at the Toyota factory in St. Petersburg was increased to six.

Increasing Production Capacity and Smart Features

Toyota Motor is steadily increasing its production capacity in St. Petersburg and that is why work load for the cranes is going higher significantly. Thus, the number of stamps in the stamping shop has increased from 50 to 129 over the past six years. One crane makes 11 changeovers with 44 stamps per shift, the other one handles 17 stamps in average. In 2015, this crane performed 8 changeovers of presses with 29 stamps per shift. In the plastic parts painting shop, the number of molds increased from 4 to 12. The number of changeovers, which was 18 per shift in 2015, increased to 32 on two molding machines in 2019.

 

Konecranes performs the equipment maintenance. The cranes were initially purchased with basic outfitting and Sway Control feature which was the only option included. Gradually, due to the active use of the machines, other functions were added to improve productivity and safety of operation. For example, the crane in the body panel stamping shop got new bridge stop sensors and new features like load display showing the weight of load under hook, the Hook Centering function to eliminate side pull and Protected Areas function to prevent the crane entering into specific zones.

The company needs to maintain uninterrupted production process, and here the lifting equipment plays the key role. Therefore, the cranes should always be in operation. Konecranes equipment proved to be reliable for six years of service. I remember only one serious malfunction which took place in 2014 when one of the cranes had problems with cable for encoder. The defective cable was replaced promptly and Konecranes service specialists also modified the encoder cable suspension system. Such long downtime at the factory never occurred again. In case of further expansion of production, Konecranes will be considered as equipment supplier along with other leading manufacturers.
Leonid Kalinin
Senior Engineer, Toyota Motors

Looking Ahead

Close cooperation of the automotive factory with the supplier’s maintenance service allowed not only to improve the quality of routine maintenance and planned repairs of the cranes, but also to raise the level of keeping of service documentation. For further information, see our industries, equipment and service or contact us today.

Resource type: