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Swiss firm commissions battery manufacturing line for e-mobility

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The manufacturing line will be used to accelerate the conversion of maritime transport towards using electric propulsion. (Image: Leclanché)

Leclanché, a Swiss provider of energy storage solutions, has commissioned Italian industrial automation firm Comau to build an automated manufacturing line for lithium-ion battery modules intended for electric vehicles.

The manufacturing line will be an all-in-one solution capable of automating the entire battery manufacturing process, from pouch cell stacking and welding to the final assembly.

The commissioned line will feature multiple articulated robots from Comau, as well as the firm’s hybrid laser welding solution, ‘Lhyte’, which combines a direct diode and fibre laser source within the same modular system to enable increased flexibility, precision and speed.

Comau's interactive IoT (Internet of Things) and MES (Manufacturing Execution System) platform, ‘in.Grid’, will also be included to enable data management and complete production, process and maintenance monitoring, with the option to include remote assistance and teleservice capabilities.

In defining the scope and design specifics of the manufacturing line, the two firms were able to validate the production process and propose modifications to the battery module design that would further increase the efficiency of the proposed manufacturing solution.

Transforming transport

Mass and industrial transport is increasingly moving to electric means of propulsion while public authorities enforce regulations. Marine transport alone produces 13 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and on current projections, emissions are expected to rise by at least 50 per cent by 2050 under a business-as-usual scenario. The collaboration between Comau and Leclanché will drive industrial scale production of energy storage solutions that will help to accelerate the conversion of maritime transport towards more sustainable power solutions.

‘Leclanché made an early investment in developing a DNV GL-certified battery system for marine applications, and is the first battery supplier to fully comply with the stringent 2015 regulations,’ said Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché. ‘Our partnership with Comau will enable Leclanché to produce our leading energy storage solutions for e-transport and e-marine applications at an industrial scale, securing Leclanché's position as the provider of energy storage solutions to the sizeable and fast growing electric and hybrid mass transport market.’

Headquartered in Turin, Italy, Comau has an international network of 32 locations, 14 manufacturing plants and five innovation centres that span 14 countries and employ more than 9,000 people.

‘We are proud of being selected by one of the leading companies in the booming battery sector for being part of their strategic growth,’ remarked Mauro Fenzi, CEO of Comau. ‘This order acquisition confirms that Comau's unique mix of process, digital and robotics competencies is well suited to lead our customers to establish themselves on the e-mobility market’

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