We've seen a rapid shift toward a digitized world, and the transformation of organizations and businesses using digital technology has become increasingly important.
In the automotive industry it is now essential to utilize DX to quickly and successfully implement the electrification of mobility and autonomous driving. As expected, Aisin Group is working on various innovations to accelerate the design and development processes using digital technology. Our DX initiatives will also enhance operational efficiency, improve quality and productivity at manufacturing sites, and help to create new businesses.

Aisin Group's DX

Kenji Suzuki
Director

Using DX to improve lives

The Aisin Group is actively promoting DX to materialize its management philosophy: Inspiring “movement,” creating tomorrow.

The Cyber-Physical Information Factory concept is at the core of our transformation to digitization. This is the process of collecting data from production sites, accumulating and reproducing the data in cyber space, performing simulations and analysis on that data, and then reflecting the results in production sites.

Based on the Cyber-Physical Information Factory concept, we will to dramatically improve productivity by utilizing digital platforms to innovate internal business processes. In addition, we will accelerate the shift to growth areas by creating and commercializing new solution-based products and services. Through these efforts, we will make a significant contribution to solving various social issues and help improve the lives of people around the world.

Aisin established the “DX Strategy Center” to lead and promote DX initiatives through company-wide, inter-departmental cooperation. This strategic and streamlined approach will accelerate the creation of new value across a wide range of fields.

Beyond global and inter-departmental involvement, it is important that Aisin's DX initiatives permeate organizational hierarchy to reach each employee. To this end, we are also focusing our efforts on digital education for all associates through a combination of lectures and practical training. The coordinated effort of our 120,000 global group associates working together as one team will help us reach the goal of improving the global society.

Efforts to promote DX

DX strategy and progress

The Aisin Group is promoting DX with two central areas of focus: business efficiency to accelerate our response to electrification, and new business creation to help resolve social issues through new businesses. We will take on the challenge of achieving carbon neutrality and resolving various social issues through DX by improving our technological capabilties in areas like software development and artificial intelligence (AI).

By innovating our processes to expedite electrification, we have reduced development time and revolutionized site management. One example of this innovation is our new approach to utilizing 3D data for testing and evaluation. This has resulted in a 50% reduction in development time for some of our powertrain and body products compared to previous models.

In our shift to growth areas through the creation of new businesses, we've created new solution-based services, including the road maintenance and management support service “Michi-log” and the shared shuttle bus service “Choisoko.”

Infrastructure supporting DX promotion

To best expedite the shift to the electrification of mobility, we innovated our business processes by establishing IT platforms based as a Cyber-Physical Information Factory.

As mentioned, this is the concept of collecting, accumulating and reproducing data in cyber space to perform simulations and data analysis and then implementing best practices in production. We are building an environment to more efficiently provide services by connecting platforms in respective areas—not only production, but also design and development, clerical and administrative work, and mobility services.

Organizational structure for DX promotion

Organizational structure

For the promotion of DX within the Aisin Group, we have established an organizational structure in which departments cooperate with each other under the leadership of the company-wide DX Strategy Center. This will accelerate the creation of new value across a wide range of fields.

The DX Strategy Center consists of the DX Promotion Department, which is responsible for the innovation of business processes using IT systems, and the Data Science Department, which is responsible for the development and deployment of AI and data utilization technologies. The DX Strategy Center is a company-wide organization responsible for the promotion and horizontal deployment of DX themes and for the digital governance of areas like IT investment and information security. In actual DX promotion activities, members from each department form a team on a theme-by-theme basis and make a cooperative and concerted effort toward a shared goal.

Human resources development

In our effort to involve all employees in DX initiatives, Aisin Group has established a training system that enables all associates, regardless of experience or rank, to acquire digital skills and autonomously press forward with business process re-engineering.

For those who are not very familiar with digital technology, we have developed a “beginner's package” that provides the basics of DX. In addition, we have created a production line for digital education, enriching practical training. Emphasis is placed on acquiring knowledge and skills while using them in actual work.

For those at the intermediate or advanced level, we have an initiative called “Aisapo+” where on-site employees and digital team members work together to enhance business process re-engineering using data, science and artificial intelligence (AI). In plants and within design and administrative departments, efforts are made under more than 50 themes annually.

We have also enriched our educational video content to allow anyone to learn anytime, anywhere. From topics like - how to use digital tools, to technical know-how on the shop floor, and energy-saving and cost-reduction strategies - more than 500 videos are now available and the content is enriched on a daily basis.

Because our digital future will rely on acquiring and developing human services that are well-versed in AI, we have established footholds in three prefectures: Tokyo, Aichi, and Fukuoka. We are working on building a system that allows associates to take advantage of their expertise while also improving overall job satisfaction.

Roadmap

Business efficiency

  • We will enhance operational efficiency through the utilization of digital technology and shift human resources to higher value-added operations.
  • We will centralize and share production and 3D information based on the Cyber-Physical Information Factory concept. By utilizing virtual verification in design, development, and production, we will significantly shorten lead times and enhance product competitiveness. At production sites, we are improving quality and productivity by utilizing accumulated production information and AI technology.

Creation of new businesses

  • We will roll out solution-based services that capitalize on location technology and Aisin's other technological strengths by accelerating AI technology training and utilization.

To advance these efforts, we have built an infrastructure for managing and utilizing human resource information, and we are committed to enhancing the development of DX human resources throughout the Group.