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AZAPA Measurement Model Base Seminar 2019 – Product development innovated through measurement and model-based technology –

AZAPA Measurement Model Base Seminar 2019 was held under the theme of “product development innovated through measurement and model-based technology” on Jun 28 at main conference room on Bldg.#55, Nishi-Waseda Campus, Waseda University (Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo).

“Opening speech / Introduction of AZAPA outline” by Takeharu Kato, Director, AZAPA Co., Ltd.

At the opening of the seminar, Director Takeharu Kato introduced AZAPA.

At AZAPA, under the corporate vision as “Achieving a world where everyone can choose the future through innovation beyond the limits,” we are working to expand the choices of users for products and services through technological development, aiming to create changes in people's lives. In particular, in automobile development, we believe that co-creation with partners like those who are attending this seminar is necessary in order to continuously create innovation while taking into account the vehicle systems and market insights which has become increasingly complex. In July, 2019, AZAPA entered its 12th year of operations, and, in addition to control development and model-based development, our conventional business cores, we are starting a new measurement business by introducing a unique chassis dynamo equipment at the end of 2019. Finally, we are able to provide services combining three different approaches. We hope to be able to support partner's speedy technology development by promoting the distribution of developed models at the model marketplace we are planning to start.

“Future product development innovated through measurement and model base” by Takeharu Kato, Director, AZAPA Co., Ltd.

AZAPA newly established the Measurement Business Division in July, and started providing measurement business based on chassis dynamo measurement, in addition to control development and model-based development, our conventional business cores. From now on, we are going to provide solutions combining three different approaches. Here, Director Kato explained the concept of the measurement business that was newly added to our service lineup.

AZAPA is currently developing a business plan to be implemented with the completion of the automobile chassis dynamo at the end of 2019. In the field of measurement business in automobile development, there are few companies in Japan that can provide total solutions in routines of measurement, model-based development and design. AZAPA wants to provide a total solution from powertrain to vehicle and system performance measurement and mechanism elucidation, as well as distribution of models at the model marketplace, in order to support strong manufacturing in Japan. AZAPA has established and provided “Total Design Management” as a value design process to create better products. Now, by adding the measurement service to this process, we are accelerating utilization of concurrent design of product functions and performance.

“Model-based control research jointly developed by AZAPA-Waseda University: Results of 2017-2018 and future prospects” by Professor Jin Kusaka, Department of Modern Mechanical Engineering, School of Creative Science and Engineering, Waseda University

Next, Professor Jin Kusaka, Department of Modern Mechanical Engineering, School of Creative Science and Engineering, Waseda University introduced the results and prospects of industry-academia collaboration between Waseda University and AZAPA. AZAPA established Research Institute on Automotive Model Based Control in 2017 with Research Institute on Automotive Model Based Control, Research Organization for Next Generation Vehicles, Waseda University (Director: Professor Jin Kusaka, Faculty of Science and Engineering), promoting the modeling of functional systems regarding the powertrain and performance of automobiles. As a part of this initiative, we are studying the model-based development of individual systems related to the performance of the entire automobile. Specifically, we are studying with Department of Modern Mechanical Engineering, School of Creative Science and Engineering including on creation of SHEV energy management model and thermal management model with Professor Jin Kusaka, image recognition in automated driving with Professor Jun Ohya and quantification of ride comfort evaluation with Associate Professor Hiroyuki Ishii. In addition, we are studying one-dimensional modeling of a turbocharger with Professor Kazuyoshi Miyagawa, Department of Applied Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering, School of Fundamental Science and Engineering. At the seminar, Professor Kusaka introduced the results and future prospects of each laboratory.

“Initiatives and systems of Research Organization for Open Innovation Strategy, Waseda University” by Yoshiaki Nakatani, Deputy Director and General Creative Manager of Research Organization for Open Innovation Strategy, Waseda University

Next, we had Mr. Nakatani, Deputy Director of Research Organization for Open Innovation Strategy, Waseda University, as a guest speaker. Established in October 2018, the Organization aims to raise industry-academia collaboration to a new stage as a mechanism for “creating social value,” which is considered as the third role of universities added to education and research. AZAPA employees also participate in this organization and support industry-academia collaboration from the field. On his speech, Mr. Nakatani also introduced the “Co-Lab: Connecting Industry With Business Schools” that connects corporate visions to research and development, calling for participation on it as a partner to those attending the seminar.

“Model-based product development innovated through sensibility measurement and analysis: Examples of ride sensibility” by Kunihiro Minamitani, R&D Division, AZAPA Co., Ltd.

Next, Minamitani from AZAPA gave a lecture on the importance of quantifying and modeling sensibility, which was vague until now.

While efforts to pursue comfort through automatic driving are accelerating, sensibility such as feeling about dynamism or high quality is not quantitatively linked to the vehicle system, which makes it difficult to satisfy the required specifications regarding the sensitivity adaptation. This may lead the performance trade-offs with vehicle specifications and other parts, often resulting in the reworking in the final quality check stage. AZAPA is working on quantification of sensibility in order to make it possible to achieve the required sensibility adaptation at the design stage. Our efforts for this include the adaptation of correlation analysis and evaluation function derivation and verification of the test results using riding comfort simulator, vehicle models and parts models. By quantifying sensitivity, measurement analysis system may be able to handle sensory evaluation which is mostly done by experts currently. It will also be possible to quantitatively grasp the difference in required level of sensitivity depending on people and brands and apply it to product development.

“Intelligent tire: Attempt to realize real-time road surface μ measurement” by Professor Hiroshi Tachiya, School of Frontier Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, Kanazawa University

Next, Professor Tachiya from Kanazawa University introduced an intelligent tire that measures the road surface friction coefficient μ in real time. In vehicle control, steering stability, braking distance, etc. are greatly affected by road surface conditions, so real-time measurement of road surface conditions is required to achieve optimal vehicle control. Kanazawa University is currently developing intelligent tires together with AZAPA that can measure the friction coefficient of road surfaces, aiming to establish a method for measuring the friction coefficient, verify measurement accuracy under actual vehicle driving conditions, respond to actual vehicle driving conditions and apply to vehicle control.

“The world to be drawn from sensitivity measurement” by Takeharu Kato, Director, AZAPA Co., Ltd.

Lastly, Kato, Director of AZAPA, made the proposal for the future realized by sensitivity measurement. “Society 5.0”, the concept of the future society, is said to be a “human-centered society” that aims to realize economic development and solve social issues by fusing virtual and real world with advanced systems, but AZAPA thinks that the concept of human sensitivity such as “mind” and “affinity” is lacking there. So we are exploring ways to measure sensibilities by using sensors and combining psychology and philosophy. We even review the conventional definition of sensitivity to quantify it.

“Closing speech / Introduction of AZAPA outline” by Takeharu Kato, Director, AZAPA Co., Ltd.

At the end of the seminar, Kato thanked participants, and informed them that there would be opportunities to report AZAPA activities through similar seminars. AZAPA will continue to take on challenges with the vision of “Achieving a world where everyone can choose the future through innovation beyond the limits.”