Comau takes the spotlight at the Dongfeng Honda Powertrain Smart Manufacturing Summit 2021 in China

Guangzhou, October 15, 2021 – The 10th International Automotive Powertrain Intelligent Manufacturing Summit, organized by Dongfeng Honda Engine Co., Ltd., was held in Guangzhou October 12th through the 14th. At the event, Comau demonstrated the application of automated production technology for powertrain assembly and machining, and delivered keynote speeches.

Comau has become one of the key partners for domestic and international OEMs in the manufacturing of core powertrain components due to its outstanding products, flexible and universal turnkey production line systems design, system integration and commissioning capabilities, and its range of digital platform services to meet Industry 4.0 challenges. In 2021, Comau provided an automated turnkey cylinder head production line for GAC Honda, which included CNC machining centers and a complete set of automated materials handling equipment. The line also features a fixture system and an automated truss gripper library to handle multi-product mixed line manufacturing, as well as AGVs autonomous guided vehicles) and a MES interface for efficient and convenient production management.

During the summit, Comau Global Head of Customer Operations and Comau China Managing Director Gaetano Cantalupo, met with Cheng Jiabin, Head of the Purchasing and Sales Department at Dongfeng Honda Engine Co., Ltd. Cheng confirmed, “The first cooperation with Comau began 19 years ago when I recognized Comau’s great technical strength. I look forward to the ongoing delivery of the Dongfeng Honda engine assembly lines made by Comau, and hope the company will continue to support Dongfeng Honda’s technical renovation and productivity enhancement in the future.” Gaetano Cantalupo added, “With strong project experience and global footprint, we have gained widespread recognition in the industry and believe that we can continue to provide Dongfeng Honda Engine with more efficient system solutions to help them further enhance the efficiency of their production systems.”

As engine production grows, labor costs and quality requirements increase, leading customers to increasingly look for highly automated assembly solutions. Wang Junwu, Comau China Head of Powertrain Assembly Engineering Excellence, presented the primary OEM-boosting automation trend in powertrain assembly. He also spoke about Comau’s experience of consistently achieving high automation rates in traditional powertrain assembly lines. As the automation of assembly processes such as traditional press-fitting and tightening has gradually matured, the challenge to further increase efficiency is driven by the automation of complex and sensitive assembly processes. Through the realization of automated assembly technologies such as press-fit tightening of high-pressure injector nozzles, assembly of shaft shims, and flywheel mounting, the automation rate of the production lines currently under construction by Comau exceeds 60%. For engine cylinder head assembly, Comau’s patented product, SmartCell, is equipped with six-axis servo through the application of machining center technology. By allowing traditional assembly to be turned into a flexible assembly center by switching tools and fixtures, it becomes a truly flexible “one-stop” solution.

Suo Lei, Comau China Powertrain Machining Product Research and Development & Industrialization Manager, spoke at the Machining Technology Forum about growing opportunities in the automotive components market and Comau’s Smart Automated Production System solutions. Comau’s SmartDrive and Urane series of horizontal machining centers provide great efficiency, flexibility, precision, and dynamic performance, and are ideal for mass production of powertrain components (cylinder block head, transmission housing, clutch housing, motor housing, valve plate, steering knuckle, etc.). With advanced process engineering capabilities, system architecture capabilities and automation levels, Comau has a strong competitive edge in the machining industry and has already deployed many different flexible turnkey machining production systems to the market. These machining centers ensure product quality and machining accuracy while shortening machining time and lowering workpiece costs, all of which helps meet the high ROI requirements of OEM powertrain plants and parts machinists.

In addition, the Comau in.Grid digital platform was introduced to assist customers in developing a smart manufacturing strategy. Customers can leverage the wide interconnection of the Internet of Things and big data analytics to deeply optimize factory productivity, coordinate seamless human-machine cooperation to better meet the challenges of Industry 4.0.