Toyota Tsusho has embarked on a major new investment in Laverton North (Victoria), to improve the supply chain management of steel for the Toyota Motor Corporation Australia (Toyota Australia) assembly plant. SYSPRO 6.0 has been chosen to manage the financial, manufacturing and distribution operations of the new venture.
Established under the company “TT Steel Centre Australia”, the new operation will supply all of car panel “blanks” in the Toyota Camry car assembly. It will be the fifth of Toyota Tsusho’s blank supply sites globally; the others being located in Kentucky (USA) , Thailand and Guangzhou & Tianjin (P.R.C.).
The Toyota Australia Camry plant is a substantial manufacturing operation, exporting even more cars to the Middle East and Asia than are produced for its local market in Australia.
Toyota Tsusho will supply flat “blanks” to Toyota Australia which in turn presses these shapes into door, roof, chassis and other car panels. Currently steel sheet is being purchased from steel mills, the new plant will instead purchase coils directly, allowing the steel mills to focus on steel production rather than downstream processing. Improvements in supply chain efficiency are expected. Additionally, by outsourcing some of its “blank” pressing, Toyota gains capacity within its own press shop with the elimination of this operation.
The scale of the manufacturing operations is massive. Toyota Tsusho will source “master coils” from steel mills weighing up to 15 to 25 tonnes each and up to just under two metres wide. These coils are unrolled then “slit” (cutting lengthways) and “sheared” (cutting across the width). These cut sheets are pressed into flat “blanks” of curved, trapezoid, die shaped or square pieces of metal and then on-sold to Toyota Australia to make up the Camry cars.