TURIN, Italy—The body shop at Fiat’s flagship Mirafiori plant here has started to assemble the company’s first all-electric vehicle: a battery-powered version of the popular 500 “city car.” Body sides, floor pans, pillars, roofs and other structural metal components are being attached with 187 Comau welding robots.

“Each robot has been fully equipped to efficiently carry out all the special processes an electric car requires, from custom-designed handling systems and grippers to a special 3D-printed end effector for moving body components,” says Andrew Lloyd, chief operating officer for electrification at Comau.

“[We have] also integrated the lines with advanced vision systems to control the quality of the adhesive dispensing system, both during processing and at the end of the cycle,” adds Lloyd. “To optimize and speed-up inline tool changes, an articulated magazine system was designed to provide the robots with the different types of tools required to perform each application in a fast and easy way.”