IHI Corporation – Factory Study Tour

IHI Corporation Factory

Last December 9th I went to IHI Coorporation, Yokohama Factory. The factory is located at 1 Shin-Nakahara-Cho, Ishogu-ku, Yokohama, 235-8501, Japan.  It took almost two hours by bus from Ookayama to the factory. The website address is : http://www.ihi.co.jp/index-e.html.

IHI Corporation is a company that provide design, manufacture, assembly, installation, test operation, and after sales service for various major products such as space development, jet engines, electronic and control, and even battleship. The factory was established in the year 1964 with total site area of 870,000 m2 with total number of employee as high as 2,934 employees for fiscal year 2008. The company itself was founded in the year 1853 under government ownership.

This factory study tour gave us chance to visit some parts of the factory which are Corporate Research and Development Building, Nuclear & Chemical Component Works building, and Machinery Works building. The weather was a little bit raining but the IHI provided us umbrella, helmet, and safety vest. We were divided into two groups. The first group went to a display building by walking. And the second group went to R&D fluid technology research building.

I was in the first group where we went to a display building first. In this building we saw display/example of some tools produced by IHI. The first thing we saw was equipment called Advance Cruise-Assist Highway System. This equipment is real time 3 dimensional object detection camera used on roadside to indentify and recognize moving object on the crosswalk or crossing the intersection. We got an explanation and demonstration of how it worked from a person from IHI Corp.

After that, we went to Machinery works building. In this building we saw three smart robot prototypes to be used in industrial plant. The first one was a robot that had an ability to recognize and identify a size, shape, and position of an object based on image shot by camera. The second one was a half humanoid shape robot that can move on any surface. The third robot was an extension arm for human to weigh heavy object. These robots will be very useful in future production process in a plant.

After that, we went to R&D building, fluid research department. Unfortunately because there was a high confidential research was conducted, we couldn’t explore the whole building. We only got an explanation about the department and saw some example of their research product. From the explanation, I knew that this department was strongly related to my field study, civil engineering. This department provide civil engineer important data analysis of a building characteristic due to fluid behavior to the building such as wind and sea wave.

The last building we visited was the nuclear & chemical woks building. This building produce GTL Reactor to be used in nuclear reactor power plant. We saw the production process how to make the tower from steel sheet shape until become that cylindrical shape tower. There were many types of heavy equipment in the building. That was my first time ever seeing very high capacity compression machine. I used to saw a small capacity of compression machine in my lab to test concrete compressive strength.

After finished visiting those building, we went to the conference room and had “question and answer” session. The factory study tour was ended by taking photos of all participants in front of lobby in reception building. It was a really interesting FST.

(taken from my Factory Study Tour report x_x)

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