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ers: scalability, model fl exibility, adaptability to new process- es and optimized logistics.


Restructuring the Bodyshop While Increasing Flexibility Unlike conventional manufacturing systems with multiple feed points, the ComauFlex philosophy essentially re- organizes production into two distinct areas that are fully interconnected. Within this structure, all materials are kitted and loaded into part carriers at the beginning of the line and then automatically transported through the build sequence with robots removing parts as they are needed within each cell. This eliminates the traditional method of line side supply of parts using forklifts, racks and small part conveyors. With faster part feeding and loading, fewer conveyors and less possibility for breakdowns or part shortages, automotive companies can see tangible improvements in both MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) and MTTR (Mean Time To Repair). Comau’s restructuring of the tradi- tional bodyshop is not only revolution- ary in its design, but also in its vision, as it takes into account the whole fac- tory and not just the single processes. The advantage of this approach is clear: a better arrangement of the working activities that, subdivided and concentrated in specifi c areas, reduces operational standby times and also reduces the number of neces- sary steps to accomplish the complete production course.


Modular Manufacturing Systems A fundamental part of the Comau- Flex manufacturing approach is the main and subassembly lines of the pro- duction system—VersaRoll and Versa- Pallet. Developed by Comau to support its fl exible manufacturing philosophy,


ME HPI Edge WESTEC 2015.indd 1


both are modular systems that are confi gured to address the whole production process, redefi ning the arrangement and structure of all body assembly lines. Both systems assure a fast transfer of material through the line, which reduces


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September 2015 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 93


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