Cycle-time validation support for engineers for accelerated on-site plant commissioning operations

Plant engineering and commissioning activities are crucially relevant for efficient automotive manufacturing environment that are characterized by a significant complexity: hundreds of robots, transport systems and fixtures cooperate together in millisecond timeframes in order to produce car-body frames on a cycle-time basis that could be less than one minute.

In the ComVantage Project an innovative approach and related software tools were developed to improve and speed-up the car body-shop commissioning activities and the process cycle-time validation.

The prototype aims to validate the coherence between planned cycle-time data, developed by the engineering offices, and the corresponding real information acquired on the shop-floor by leveraging a Linked Data-based harmonization approach for distributed data sources (refer to result #1). This has been applied on an extended enterprise collaboration environment involving COMAU as system integrator, system suppliers and OEM car maker as customer.

According to our business simulations, external (e.g. supplier or customer) and internal collaborative capabilities are improved by utilizing the ComVantage framework which have an positive effect on all six dimensions of business process performance: efficiency, flexibility, quality, innovation, cost, and sustainability. These, in turn, affect all three dimensions of the competitive advantage (differentiation, cost leadership, and financial performance). Main benefits expected from the commercial use of the prototype are the reduction of commissioning times, thanks to the application of innovative interfaces with the shop-floor devices for data acquisition, and costs related to the decrease of commissioning engineers travels to the final customer plants (see also demo #4).