Skip to comments.Toyota gigacasting prototype cuts production from hours to minutes
Posted on 09/18/2023 8:23:08 PM PDT by FarCenter
NAGOYA, Japan -- Toyota Motor showed off a prototype of its new gigacasting equipment that can make a third of a car body in about three minutes, a development that will be key to its plans to ramp up electric-vehicle production profitably in the coming years.
The machine at the Japanese automaker's Myochi plant released a plume of white smoke as it ran during a recent demonstration for journalists. Molten aluminum poured in was rapidly cooled from 700 C to 250 C, solidifying into a single die-cast piece making up the entire rear third of the vehicle chassis. This is normally built from 86 parts in a 33-step process that takes hours.
Toyota aims to exploit such advances to halve production processes, plant investment and manufacturing preparation lead time, all to aid in its quest to sell 3.5 million electric vehicles a year by 2030.
Gigacasting will be used to make the front and rear sections of a new electric model due out in 2026.
Toyota aims to achieve 20% higher productivity than the competition with proprietary software to analyze the optimal conditions for molding.
Another piece of Toyota's strategy, self-propelled production, addresses the need to use factory space more efficiently to accommodate the new equipment needed for EV manufacturing.
At the automaker's Motomachi plant, a partly built car, with tires and a battery but no sides or top, drives itself at 0.1 meter per second to a robot arm that attaches seats brought over by an automated guided vehicle. Once finished, the vehicle moves to a different area for inspection and shipping.
This setup does away with conveyor belts, enabling the plant's layout to be changed faster and cutting down on investment. Toyota's goal is to halve assembly time from around 10 hours now.
(Excerpt) Read more at asia.nikkei.com ...
How much impact does it take to total a car where the rear one-third is one gigantic casting?
Can an aluminum “giga casting” be repaired? Can it be straightened? Welded? Hammered back into shape?
Doesn’t this process aid hybrid, ICE. and hydrogen car production as well? The media just goes along with the establishment narrative.
Yeah, I was wondering the same. How many pothole hits does it take to crack a gigacasting, or to cause stress fractures that eventually lead to losing a large chunk of your car at some inopportune time?
Never mind the poor person behind you on the freeway that has to dodge a chunk of random car debris.
What could possibly go wrong?
Tesla has been doing this for years.
Go ahead and bet against Toyota.
Heck, bet on Ford, GM and that Stellantis thing.
Just silly people talk out of their butts about Toyota being sloppy.
This was a major innovation at Tesla a couple years ago. I recall the same questions being asked. There was a video of a manufacturing consultant who reviewed the number of body parts needed to make a Tesla monocoque body/chassis and he thought it was very poorly designed. He was the big champion of the “giga casting” idea. I haven’t read any results yet from the Tesla adoption of giga castings.
Cast aluminum gets brittle in the cold, no?
Not saying I’m betting on anything for or against, just showing a bit of healthy skepticism about cast aluminum for car frames.
It just makes me wonder how robust it really is.
I did see another poster claiming that Tesla has been using the tech for years, so I guess we have that real world experience to draw from if true.
I also have to wonder about the potential for damage from winter deicing mixes and such, I’ve seen aluminum get eaten up pretty quick from that.
Maybe they have figured out how to handle that as well. I’d like to see what the frame looks like after 10 years of MN winters.
I should’ve stated chassis instead of frame, my bad.
I think its cool they can do this.
From a customer point of view though, what does this mean for vehicle accident repairs?
Here is an article about Tesla doing this..
Well if these sections are all one piece, there are no individual structural replacement parts to get...
Brittle all the time, and hard to repair.
Long ago, watched what a welder had to do to weld some cast iron. Said it was all about the heating and prolonged cooling to prevent cracking.
Properly designed using FEA, aluminum castings can work forever in the designed loading. Break them and they are likely scrap.
Reminds me of that article about the Rivian electric pickup that got rear-ended slightly. The insurance company said $1,700 or something. The dealer said $45,000 or something as the back end, sides and roof were all one piece and needed to be replaced.
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