The Kasai Division, located in Hyogo Prefecture, produces prismatic lithium-ion batteries that are mounted on hybrid and electric vehicles. In recent years, due to production increase to address the expansion of demand for these types of cars, energy consumed in the factory has been on the rise. Despite the promotion of the so-called "METAGEJI (meters and gauges)" approach, where energy consumption is made visible by using meters and gauges as part of reduction measures, coming up with fresh ideas for making further improvements had become difficult.
At the Kasai Division, air-conditioning equipment accounted for more than one-third of the energy consumption in FY2013. With the METAGEJI approach, the temperature and humidity of outdoor air, supplied air, and room air, the inverter frequency of air-conditioning equipment, and other elements were measured and recorded at the time. However, such data was not effectively incorporated when examining measures to improve equipment performance and efficiency, and therefore, the data was not fully leveraged. It was also difficult to identify losses caused by inadequate adjustments of air-conditioning equipment.
Further, in order to implement energy-saving measures at an around-the-clock factory, it was imperative to define the conditions in advance to achieve the optimal operation of air-conditioning equipment and bring out its best efficiency and performance, and to visualize the effects. Therefore, the Kasai Production Group of the Kasai Division set a direction whereby it would calculate the data necessary for examining energy-saving measures and simulate their effects by adopting a statistical approach.