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Comau said it had designed and deployed automated body in white equipment at the Stellantis plant in Betim, Minas Gerais, Brazil as part of a comprehensive retooling project to produce both the Fiat Pulse, the brand’s first SUV in Brazil and the Fastback, its first SUV Coupe and one of the company’s main launches.

Comau provided high speed body assembly systems for the main body, the body sides and respot operations so two distinctly different SUVs could be produced on the same line.

The company integrated 74 automatic and 10 manual stations with vision systems digital applications and turn key equipment. The equipment focuses on the geometry precision and welding accuracy of the underbody and sides.

Comau also used virtual commissioning and process simulation to optimise the design and retooling of the complex welding lines, allowing functionality testing before onsite commissioning. By doing so, it was able to anticipate eventual issues in robot sequencing and communication between robots and PLC.

By creating a comprehensive view of the plant in a virtual environment, engineers were able to identify improvement points, enhance processes monitoring and make better use of legacy plant equipment, essential aspects for an effective design to cost approach.

Industry 4.0 uses IO-Link technology to help monitor the water and compressed air feeding which lets the system provide real time data analysis and detect eventual issues in a fast and highly effective way. It also allows remote configuration and monitoring.

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By GlobalData

The integration of PLC software optimises maintenance and ability to conduct robot backup activities via the corporate network helps increase long term reliability.

The line was designed to minimise tool changes, reducing commissioning time and line interventions.