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Bosch to supply equipment for battery production

Engineering and technology giant Bosch has announced its supplying of automated assembly lines for battery production – including laser welding technology.

It aims to increase vertical integration in mechanical engineering and, by 2025, generate annual sales of around €250 million with equipment for battery production.

The firm will also be deploying battery technology in its own plants, investing around €70 million this year to expand local manufacturing operations. In Eisenach, Germany, for example, Bosch is launching full-scale production of second-generation 48V batteries for the hybridisation of passenger cars. Such batteries reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in vehicles with combustion engines by up to 15 per cent, especially in cities.

The firm’s solution portfolio now ranges from the 48V batteries for mild hybridisation to fully electric drives and fuel cells. It also has experience in developing batteries for vehicles as well as for e-bikes, power tools, and kitchen appliances.

Meeting the demand

According to experts, demand for lithium-ion batteries will rise from around 200GWh in 2019 to more than 2,000GWh by 2030 (source: BMWi, 2021). Currently, more than 60 per cent of that demand stems from electromobility (source: VDMA, 2020). 

‘Our assumption is that the global battery market will grow up to 25 per cent each year,’ said Rolf Najork, the member of the Bosch board of management responsible for industrial technology. ‘Bosch is doing its part to meet this demand.’

One of Bosch’s customers is Webasto, a pioneer in the production of battery packs. The firm has been involved in the field of electromobility since 2016 and, in addition to high-voltage heaters and recharging solutions, also focuses on battery systems for electrified vehicles. 

Bosch is supplying the firm with automated assembly lines for welding and gluing battery cells. For this purpose, the various functions of module production are combined: cell cleaning with incoming inspection, the stacking process as well as a special laser-welding process, and end-of-line inspection for quality assurance. 

Thanks to a sophisticated line concept, no particle contamination occurs during processing. Robots automatically assemble the cell stacks in a two-step procedure consisting of dispensing technology and laser welding. With a comprehensive safety concept, it is then possible to establish the battery module’s electrical connection using a highly dynamic and precise laser-welding process.

Bosch will be presenting its solutions for electromobility at IAA Mobility in Munich on 7 to 12 September. The firm now develops equipment, machinery, hardware, and software for manufacturing battery modules and packs that are built from cylindrical, prismatic, or pouch cells and used in electric vehicles. 

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