We work actively as part of an international network, consisting of companies, institutions and universities, for the implementation of innovative projects capable of responding to the needs of a continuously evolving industrial system.
Started in January 2017, the European 4D-Hybrid Project is designed to develop a new, hybrid additive manufacturing concept based on the use and integration of compact, low-cost modules. The project focuses on the development of highly innovative solutions: a set of four basic additive manufacturing modules with control and monitoring systems incorporated can be integrated in new or existing machines and robots to implement different processes. Comau’s role in the project is to integrate 4D-Hybrid modules in robotised cells and new, highly flexible work centres.
The competitiveness of companies in the manufacturing sector depends on their ability to provide the market with a superior quality, flexible product with the highest possible level of customisation, using the potential offered by IT and optimising the supply and logistics chain. Comau, together with the partners of the European project Digicor (2016-2019), is working on the development of tools and services to effectively implement collaboration frameworks in the fields of design, manufacturing and logistics. The primary elements of the project include the study of advanced tools for programming robots (visual robot programming), the definition of architectures for the collection of data from robots and the transmission of that data to remote platforms, the development of environments to create virtualised robot models and smart tracking (the creation of advanced tools for logistical tracking of components).
With the aim of supporting European SMEs in designing, testing and promoting new robotic technologies, Comau is one of the partner companies of the Esmera project, funded by the European Union as part of Horizon 2020 and ongoing until 2021. The work team – which involves both private organisations and centres of expertise – wants to promote the innovative potential of small and medium-sized enterprises in the robotics sector, supporting them in technological research and product development, aimed at satisfying specific market production needs.
With the HUman MANufacturing project, Comau is reinforcing its commitment to the designing of an industrial environment that is the expression of the intelligent and safe synergy between man and industrial machines, with the aim of improving productivity, quality and factory performance. The work of the HUMAN team, active until 2019, is based on an approach to automation which is focused on the needs and capabilities of the operator, and on a fair balance between human and technological contribution within the production context.
Funded as part of the ERDF ROP 2014-2020 ‘Smart Factory’ technological platform, the HuManS project (2017-2019), in which Comau is taking the lead role, has as its objective the development of innovative solutions for the creation of new production systems centred around the secure interaction between man and automation. The research areas of the project include advanced robotic technologies (collaborative robots, wearable robots and mobile robots), diagnostic systems based on sensor networks and the Internet of Things, and new technologies for adaptive and intelligent processing.
The increasing amount of data transmitted around the world every day is focusing attention on the need for tools that can allow end users to access information effectively while also ensuring their privacy. The European MUSKETEER project (2018 – 2021), in which Comau is an active partner, aims to to develop a transversal, interoperable and scalable platform based on a machine learning algorithm to permit the secure sharing and use of data stored at different sites and therefore subject to different legal requirements. Comau is contributing to the project by testing the platform in an industrial context and more specifically in the development and management of smart manufacturing processes.
As part of ProRegio, a European project which came to its conclusion at the end of 2017, Comau contributed to the development of an integrated platform for the creation of innovative products and services for the global market, specifically the building of a “virtual plant configurator”, to be used in the proposal engineering phase, for the guided, simple and intuitive design of an entire production line.
Comau is at the forefront in the designing of collaborative robotics solutions for the Smart Factory. By participating in the European Robo-Partner project, completed in 2017, the firm offered up its technical skills for the integration of industrial automation systems with robotic solutions capable of working in close cooperation with the operator (collaborative robots). The outcome of the project was the realisation of a hybrid solution, based on the possibility of secure, user-friendly interaction between autonomous robotic systems and end users.
Alongside key partners in the robotics sector, Comau is participating in RobMoSys, a European project dedicated to the development of a European ecosystem of robotics software which is open, flexible and sustainable. The objective is to guarantee a shared and guided management of the work interfaces, among the multiple roles involved in the realisation of a contract. The project, launched in 2016 and currently in progress, will conclude in 2020.
Completed at the end of 2017, the European SatisFactory project was dedicated to Smart Factory design through the use of cutting-edge technologies capable of improving production processes and increasing working environment sustainability. The solutions implemented, with Comau’s contribution, increase operational safety, optimising production quality and sharing information between operators using intelligent sensors and Augmented Reality. Key outcomes of the project include new solutions for indoor location, remote support and video streaming, as well as wearable devices for Augmented Reality.
Comau is leading the European project Serena (2017-2020). The general objective of the project is to implement the latest techniques for diagnostics and predictive maintenance in different industrial contexts, taking into account system flexibility and remote management requirements. The main topics of the project include advanced IoT systems and smart devices to detect data, at machine and system level, cloud-based remote management, predictive maintenance with the use of Augmented Reality, artificial intelligence techniques for predictive maintenance based on data analytics and advanced communication infrastructures for the implementation of system diagnostics.
Comau Powertrain Machining successfully contributed to the Twin-Control project, financed by the European Horizon 2020 programme, that finished at the end of 2018. The project team, made up of 11 partners including research centres and industrial and technological companies, developed “Digital Twin”, a new simulation tool capable of analysing the many parameters that influence machining processes, such as the state of maintenance and the energy efficiency of the plant involved. The results were validated in two key sectors: Automotive (Renault) and Aerospace (Masa). The multidisciplinary team of which Comau was a key member successfully developed and put into service machine tools with reduced lead times and costs (-10%), reduced energy consumption (-60%) and reduced operating and maintenance costs (-25%).
Comau is a partner of the European Commission’s Versatile project, which will end in 2019, created to develop innovative robotic applications for highly reconfigurable production lines. The work team is involved in the robotic integration of highly flexible systems, capable of managing complex assembly processes. The activity involved the use of robots with advanced handling capabilities – such as the Comau Rebel S and Racer – supported by tools for the automated programming of the robots and Plug & Produce interfaces.