Toyota NR engine

PT. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMIN) recently announced that production has already begun at its newly-constructed engine plant in West Java. The Karawang Engine Plant started operations since the end of February, built with an investment of approximately 2.3 trillion rupiah (RM718 million).

The plant, which employs 400 people, has the capacity to produce 216,000 engines per year. Currently, it is producing the 1.3 and 1.5 litre NR engines, some of which will be exported. Toyota models like the Sienta, Avanza, Vios and Yaris employ the NR engine family (depending on market).

The Karawang Engine Plant is part of Toyota’s goal to minimise the negative impacts on downstream processes, and thus enabled the inclusion of all steps of the manufacturing process in the same plant. The Karawang plant also produces the Kijang Innova, Fortuner, Etios Valco, Vios and Yaris. It has been rumoured that the Indonesia-spec Sienta will be manufactured at Karawang as well.

Among the production technologies used at the plant include on-site smelting, the first such implementation at a Toyota plant outside of Japan. With on-site smelting, the plant reduces the dangers associated with transporting molten metal during the process of casting major components.

Furthermore, the space required for smelting and casting is significantly reduced by taking the transportation process out of the equation. Fluctuations in demand can also be dealt with more responsively, as the amount of molten metal can now be more readily adjusted to meet demand.

Another technology, which also the first to be implemented at a Toyota plant outside of Japan, is inorganic sand cores. Cores are devices placed in casting moulds to create internal cavities in the final cast component. Once molten metal is poured in and has hardened, the cores are broken.

Traditionally, cores with organic additives are used during casting, due to the need for a combination of ease of disintegration, strength, heat resistance, and moulding properties. However, its usage creates many unwanted by-products like tar and odours to be emitted.

Through the use of inorganic matter additives instead of organic matter, these by-products can be reduced in terms of volume, requiring smaller dust collectors and deodorisers, which further reduces the space designated for casting and thus reduces the initial investment.