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The Hamamtsu Factory front entrance (top) and the Transmission Plant Gear Machining Department inside Hamamatsu Factory (bottom)

The Hamamtsu Factory front entrance (top) and the Transmission Plant Gear Machining Department inside Hamamatsu Factory (bottom)

Hamamatsu Factory: The source of transmission technology innovation for Global Honda

 The Hamamatsu Factory, built in Honda's hometown of Hamamatsu in 1954, is the oldest Honda production site in Japan. The factory started out building motorcycles, but later expanded into automobiles and power equipment as Honda grew. From its early days to the present, Hamamatsu Factory has forever been an integral part of Honda manufacturing.
 Over the course of its long history, Hamamatsu Factory has also adapted its business to the changing times. In 2001 it built the Hosoe Plant on the shore of Lake Hamana, where it consolidated production of Honda outboard engines. In 2008 it transferred motorcycle production to the Kumamoto Factory. Today, the Aoi Plant, a decades-old facility, specializes in finished automobile transmissions and transmission parts, producing 35 types of transmissions for the Fit, Accord, and other vehicles at a rate of approximately 600,000 units per year, and transmission units and parts for 15 types of transmissions at a rate of approximately 3 million sets per year. These products supply the Suzuka and Saitama factories in Japan, as well as production sites in Europe, the U.S., Indonesia, India, and elsewhere.
 A transmission is a device that uses a complex assembly of gears and other parts to convert engine output into mechanical power that is the appropriate combination of rotational speed and torque for driving a vehicle. As a result, the transmission has a huge impact on a vehicle's driving performance and fuel efficiency.
 These days it's not unusual for automakers to outsource development and production of the transmissions they use to specialized manufacturers. Honda, however, has made a priority of developing and producing its transmissions itself. For the very same reason that the transmission can make or break a well-performing car, Honda has developed its transmissions internally and in close coordination with the development of the engine and body of its vehicles. By doing so it has sought to create transmissions that are more specialized and better suited to the vehicles with which they are paired.
 Having honed its transmission production capabilities and built up expertise by practicing this policy over time, Hamamatsu Factory serves core role in expanding advanced technologies to other Honda factories in Japan and overseas.

TransmissionInstalled in a Honda vehicleContinuously variable transmission (CVT) used in the Fit

TransmissionInstalled in a Honda vehicleContinuously variable transmission (CVT) used in the Fit

Kazumi Oda, Engineering Group,Gear Machining Department, Transmission Plant, Hamamatsu Factory

Kazumi Oda, Engineering Group,Gear Machining Department, Transmission Plant, Hamamatsu Factory

Gear Machining Department turns out more than 50,000 gears per day

 The majority of parts that make up a transmission are gears. One Honda 6-speed automatic transmission, for example, uses 19 gears. It's thus no exaggeration to say that a transmission's performance—that is, how efficiently it transmits power to the wheels, how little it vibrates and emits noise, and how smooth of a ride it can deliver—directly depends on the precision and quality of its gears.
 The Gear Machining Department in Hamamatsu Factory's Transmission Plant is the place where Honda develops such high-precision gear manufacturing technologies, builds its production lines, and actually conducts cutting and manufacturing of transmission gears.
 The Module turns out more than 50,000 gears a day, more than 80 percent of which are shipped overseas. In other words, even Honda transmissions manufactured overseas use gears produced by Hamamatsu Factory's Gear Machining Department—especially those that require gears made with a high degree of precision.

Gear Machining Department's environmental efforts are awarded in triennial conference

 "Gear manufacturing, or gear cutting, is essentially a process of cutting away material from a chunk of hard metal. So it consumes a lot of energy and creates waste. Around 30% of the CO2 emissions and waste generated by Hamamatsu Factory comes from gear manufacturing or cutting."
 Explaining the environmental footprint of gear manufacturing was Kazumi Oda, member of the Gear Machining Department's Engineering Group. Regardless of how critical a given component may be, a manufacturer can't simply pursue performance while ignoring the environmental ramifications of its methods. In a nutshell, the history of technology development in the Gear Machining Department can be thought of as the simultaneous pursuit of two goals: how to create a more precise manufacturing technology, and how to reduce the large impact that the gear manufacturing process has on the environment.
 In December 2013, these efforts to develop a more environmentally friendly gear cutting technology came to fruition. At the Honda Green Conference 2013, a meeting where environmental best practices from across the Honda Group are shared once every three years, the Hamamatsu Factory's Gear Machining Department won the Award for Solving a Waste or Resource Issue and the Best Presentation Award for its technology development project.

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