Digital Automation Lab Opens in Italy

Comau and Fondazione REI (Reggio Emilia Innovazione), part of Unindustria Reggio Emilia, have inaugurated Digital Automation Lab (DAL) in Reggio Emilia in Italy. The Digital Automation Lab aims to support the technological and process transformation of local companies to accompany them in the transition to Industry 4.0. It combines Comau’s long experience in the field of industrial innovation with REI Foundation’s deep knowledge of the local entrepreneurial structure. The Digital Automation Lab is part of the Digital District created by Unindustria Reggio Emilia.

Comau and Fondazione REI inaugurate Digital Automation Lab.

Center for Automation Solutions

Inside the center, companies can learn about and experience the latest automation solutions developed by Comau for a smart factory. They will understand their potential to optimize production processes with the advice of Comau managers and participate in targeted training activities.

A specific space is dedicated to the MATE-XT exoskeleton, where visitors can try, with the support of Comau product managers, the innovative wearable robotics solution for the upper limbs. The exoskeleton was developed to assist operators as they work by reducing physical fatigue. MATE-XT is the only wearable exoskeleton on the market with Ergonomic Assessment Work-Sheet (EAWS) certification. It contributes to 27 percent increase in work precision during overhead tasks and 10 percent increase in execution speed, while reducing shoulder muscle activity and perceived exertion by 30 percent.

Comau has also developed a model assembly line for Fondazione REI, which allows companies to test digital manufacturing technologies and processes, logistics 4.0 and collaborative robotics, in order to observe firsthand the advantages and implementation possibilities.

The line integrates multiple Comau technologies, including the Vir.GIL virtual assistant, which guides the operator in the correct execution of picking and positioning of the pieces. It also includes the Agile1500 autonomous mobile robot, which transports materials towards the assembly station. The Racer 5-COBOT collaborative robot integrated with a vision system made by Fondazione REI and based on open libraries selects the parts to be assembled and works in close contact and in total safety with the operator. Finally, the in GRID digital platform integrates the systems to collect and analyze machine and process data, thus managing and monitoring the correct execution of the workflow.

Next to the Digital Automation Lab, the Human & Technology Training Center has been set up where companies can take refresher courses on the technologies present in the Lab and receive training on business digitization and the management of manufacturing 4.0 processes.

Duilio Amico, Marketing Director of Comau, said, “With the creation of the new Digital Automation Lab in Reggio Emilia, Comau confirms its commitment to support Italian companies in the acquisition of technological innovation and processes required by Industry 4.0. Collaboration with strategic entities within the local entrepreneurial structure, such as Fondazione REI, allows us to get to know regional companies in greater depth, including their production and training requirements, such that we can support them with increasingly advanced smart manufacturing solutions tailored to their needs.”

Fausto Mazzali, President of Fondazione REI, added, “The Digital Automation Lab, a result of the partnership with such an international reference in the field of industrial automation as Comau, allows Fondazione REI to support SMEs and local businesses in their path toward technological and digital innovation, with increasingly effective and challenging proposals and activities.”

Inside the center, in addition to a demonstration area, there is a training space where companies can improve their skills in the use of technologies for Factory 4.0 and evaluate how to improve their work processes with the support of experts, said Mazzali.