Replacing large air systems with localised drive systems

As Toyota move towards a low carbon to net zero approach in their manufacturing as well as in their products, there are opportunities for potential cost reductions. The plant has a significant amount of air actuated equipment, factory air systems are known to have problems with leaks and wasteful amounts of energy in its conversation process to mechanical movements. Toyota would like to get a view of Electric driven replacements to their air driven equipment, this may include cylinders, actuators, and other pressure equipment. This may include electric drives or localised air delivery systems not connected to the main ring. As part of this move towards net Zero, the company has already purchased furnaces that are not connected to large overhead air systems.


Challenge opens


Challenge closes



Toyota Manufacturing in Deeside are working on reducing not only their CO2 impact but their energy consumption. As part of the move to more efficient processes, the company would like to work with innovators and suppliers who can suggest where traditional air drives on equipment can be replaced with Electric drives. Toyota would then work with the companies to start a programme of conversion within the Deeside plant.

Background & Challenge

There is a need for all companies to move to net zero over the coming years, there is a need to make decisions soon now to start the process and drive future procurement in the right direction.

Factory wide compressed air systems are high energy systems which have already been worked on to reduce leaks and reduce pressure to the lowest tolerable level for the machinery to be able to function. Toyota are now looking for alternatives to compressed air equipment on their machines with the hope of installing electrical drive/supply units that can function with the machine in the correct manner. 

This project is open to innovations from both drive replacement and or supporting localised supply methods to drive the movements required to make the machinery function.
There is a large variety of machinery ranging from:
·       Foundry machines that use air to lift temperatures as well as to open screens

·       Opening and closing safety doors using long travel units

·       Many types of machines use air cylinders to actuate movements

·       Air to dry components after being washed

·       There are other uses and would be willing to discuss with potential solution provider
By removing and replacing these cylinders from the production machinery, the energy usage should drop as Air is constantly pressured whereas electric actuators will only energise for the short period they are needed, thus giving and energy saving. The removal of the pipework which can many small leaks will also add to the energy savings within manufacturing.

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