MartinKinsella, a senior executive from Comau, a leading global automation company,told an audience of automotive executives today that the industry is movingrapidly to the use of a variety of lightweight materials in body and closuresystems and needs flexible manufacturing solutions to accommodate buildingthem.
Kinsella,Comau’s director of Advanced Materials and Process Technology, spoke at theannual Management Briefing Seminars (MBS) in Traverse City, Michigan. Hehighlighted industry forecasts that show aluminum usage will grow to 27 percentof the volume for body and closure parts.
â€œArecently published industry report forecast that by 2025, seven out of 10 newpickup trucks produced in North America will be aluminum-bodied,â€ saidKinsella. â€œThe automotive industry will be the most important global market foraluminum, while the use of other lightweight materials will grow significantlyas well.
â€œInan effort to help carmakers reach lightweighting goals, innovations inmaterials will continue, including advances in steel, composites, plastics, andhybrid materials,â€ he added. â€œCompanies like Comau must develop flexiblemanufacturing systems to enable the use of these advanced materials incombination throughout the vehicle.â€
Tomeet this need, Kinsella said the company’s ComauFlex advanced manufacturingstrategy has been developed to ensure:
– Model flexibility with random build sequencing (up to four unique modelson the same line)
– More diverse materials and joining methods combined with volume flexibility
– Improved logistics and reduced traffic flow
– Consolidation of direct labor placement
– Compressed program timing
– Reduced facility footprint and volume; and,
– Global support in any geographic region.
â€œComauFlexis a comprehensive, production-proven, flexible manufacturing strategy. It issolution-focused as opposed to component-driven, and technologically evolving,â€said Kinsella. â€œOur technology centers, located in the U.S., Italy and China,are continuously developing, testing and demonstrating leading edge processes,such as ComauFlex, in medium to high volume manufacturing applications to meetthe needs of OEMs around the world.â€
Comauis a worldwide leader in manufacturing flexible, automatic systems andintegrating products, processes and services that increase efficiency whilelowering overall costs. Headquartered in Turin, Italy, with an internationalnetwork that spans 15 countries, Comau uses the latest technology andprocesses to deliver advanced turnkey systems that consistently exceed theexpectations of its customers. Comau specializes in body welding & assemblpowertrain machining & assembly, robotics and maintenance as well asenvironmental services for a wide range of industrial sectors. The continuousexpansion and improvement of its product range enables Comau to guaranteecustomized assistance at all phases of a project – from design, implementationand installation, to production start-up and maintenance services.
For further information about Comau’s consolidatedexperience and its vast portfolio of products and services, visit www.comau.com