The AutoAlliance facility in Flat Rock, Michigan manufactures the Ford Mustang and the Mazda6. More than 3,700 employees work at this 2.7 million square foot operation. AutoAlliance makes extensive use of CC-Link networking in the manufacture of approximately 1,200 vehicles per day. This application article describes the body assembly and paint operations. More than 400 robots are used to make over 6,000 body welds on each vehicle. 61 robots and 10 automatic paint machines apply sealants, sound deadening and 19 paint colors.
The ease of assembly line start-up and excellent reliability of CC-Link has translated into a highly productive manufacturing facility. The speed at which these new lines were installed and comissioned resulted in significant savings in comparison to other networked systems used previously. Control engineers at AutoAlliance have commented that they have had no CC-Link network failures but that they have experienced a number of failures with Ethernet networks and with 2 other commonly used fieldbus networks.