Nissan making its earthquake-damaged Iwaki plant more efficient

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 29, 2012

Nissan Motor Co. continues to repair the damage at its Iwaki plant from the earthquake. Instead of only making this plant more quake-resistant, it’s also going to be more efficient. Major portions of the floor had warped causing some parts to sink by up to 6 inches. This V-6 engine plant will resume normal operations this August.

In fact, Nissan is now in the final phases of repair. The Iwaki plant was the most damaged due to the earthquake among all of Nissan’s plants. A bottleneck in Nissan’s recovery plan resulted as this plant was tasked to make engines for numerous Infiniti vehicles intended for North America. Last Monday, the plant was visited by CEO Carlos Ghosn.

The company reinforced the original foundations while the cylinder-head and crankshaft lines were transferred to different areas of the factory. Ghosn said that the company didn’t just aim for production to resume right away. They also sought to improve the plant’s performance and cost competitiveness.

Ghosn explained that while the factory was being reconstructed, plant managers re-engineered one manufacturing process to reduce costs by over 80%. The strengthened foundations will enable the plant to be unaffected by future earthquakes. The Iwaki factory was made in 1994. It produces the VQ V-6 engine that would be fitted on the Infiniti G and M series, the Nissan Murano crossover and 370Z sports car.

Topics: nissan, japan

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