Comau began as the Consorzio Macchine Utensili
In 1966, when Soviet officials wanted to build a state-of-the-art factory from the ground up, they turned to a group of Torino-based engineers for answers. These engineers worked through the long list of obstacles—from finding the ideal layout of the factory floor to how the newly designed car would handle the frigid Russian weather. One by one, the engineers met and solved these problems, producing a plant that Henry Ford himself deemed “unprecedented.”Upon their return to Torino, Italy, these engineers and the companies they represented decided to pool their talent and skills to create a new organization that would become recognized around the world as Comau.
Comau expands in the United States
Comau’s history spans the years that witnessed the transformation of car production and the culture of industrial automation that stands behind it. While creating the first FMS (Flexible Manufacturing Systems) and developing technologies for high-speed machining, Comau expands into the United States. It creates CPS (Comau Productivity Systems), for commercial and industrial development within North America. Shortly thereafter, Comau’s competence and innovation captures the attention of General Motors, which invests in Comau and buys 20% of the company. In the second half of the 1980s the massive development of laser technology begins and Comau, working together with Trumpf, creates the first laser robots, which were in high demand at GM.
Comau expands globally
By the 1990s, the industrial sector had spread across the globe. As the world’s largest manufacturing giants continued to hunt for new locations, Comau opened its doors in other European countries, as well as in North and South America, and in Asia. The dawn of the new millennium brought the Lean Production paradigm with it. As always, Comau kept its focus on the leading edge of technology and began developing new solutions in the fields of Aerospace, Commercial and Heavy Vehicles, Railway and Renewable Energies.
Comau Service is established
Comau continues to grow within multiple international markets, expanding its presence in Europe, and opening Comau China, Romania and Russia.Having acquired Renault Automation SA in France, which specialized in engineering, metal cutting, mechanical assembly and final assembly of the body frame, Comau also acquired PICO, a leader in the United States for the production of body frame lines, in the USA, Mexico, Germany and the UK. By early 2000, the newly established Comau Service organization begins supplying manufacturing services for equipment and production processes, as well as asset management, via professional maintenance partnerships.
New product lines
Along with the consolidation of Comau technological solutions and the opening of the Group to non-automotive sectors, Comau launches new business lines—Comau Aerospace, eComau, and Comau Adaptive Solutions—to better respond to market needs. Comau continues to create adaptive solutions based on the concepts of Lean Manufacturing. These solutions increasingly improve operational efficiency within the Aerospace, Commercial Vehicles, Heavy Vehicles, Railways and Renewable Energies sectors.Significant resources are dedicated to transforming environmental responsibility into verifiable energy savings. With the launch of eComau, Comau begins providing tangible solutions to help companies achieve sustainability goals and ensure the highest possible energy efficiency. In the meantime, Comau continues its territorial expansion: in Asia, with three new plants in China, and in Europe, with the opening of Comau Czech Republic, Turkey and new premises in Germany. There’s also an extension to the Comau Mexico plant and inauguration of Comau premises in Thailand and Brazil.
HUMANufacturing, the "factory of the future"
In confirmation of an increasingly extensive global presence, Comau inaugurates the Pisa HUMANufacturing Innovation Center (Italy) and opens new premises, in the UK and USA (California). It’s extending its product range, with the small robots of the Racer family and Rebel-S (SCARA), the result of an innovative design strategy, and developing standard technologies that can be customised for multiple applications: Welding Guns, roller hemming RHEvo, the SmartDrive800L modular and flexible work centre, the new LHYTE laser hybrid technology. Comau is committed to constant research into innovative automation solutions, to meet the challenges of a constantly developing market and the new requirements determined by the ‘digital revolution’ in the factory. Through the concept of HUMANufacturing (Human Manufacturing), the company expresses its innovative vision of the factory: “smart”, flexible, connected, where people are at the centre of the production process and their interaction with other elements of the automation process is made efficient and safe by collaborative robots and digital technologies. From this perspective, Comau is launching the new AURA (Advanced Use Robotic Arm) industrial co-bot and Agile1500, an automated guided vehicle. It’s designing new technologies for digital manufacturing, from HMIs to applications for using smartwatches, tablet and smartphones, and to the IoT Box, a tool for collecting and analysing process data as part of the Internet of Things. In the area of education, Comau is extending the activities of its Academy with the new Executive Master in Manufacturing Automation & Digital Transformation. Resulting from the aim to make robots tools with everybody’s reach is the e.DO project: a small, 6-spindle, anthropomorphic robot, easy to program and build with DIY logic, thanks to a 100% open-source software and hardware architecture.
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