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Automated approach for process-capable and efficient manufacture of storage batteries for electric mobility

The focus of the project is on the development of production processes and manufacturing technologies that make automated battery manufacture feasible, while taking account of a comprehensive quality management system. In terms of price and performance electric cars must become competitive with conventional motor cars to make them appealing. Here, battery storage is a decisive cost factor: There is enormous potential for cost reduction here, especially because no adequate production technology exists yet, and some of it still involves manual labour.

Goals and approach

High electric voltages, safety and quality requirements on batteries, as well as easily formable, sensitive cells with various geometries are the basic parameters for an automated battery production system. In the “AutoSpEM”, project manipulation concepts are being researched that would make it possible to automate the production of batteries and simultaneously implement a comprehensive quality assurance system. In order to comprehensively face the special challenges to be found in battery manufacture, different enterprises in the automation industry are collaborating here. The results will consist of demonstrators of the various production steps, ranging from the extraction of individual cells to the manipulation of battery modules.

Innovations and prospects

Included in the things necessary for achieving the project goals are studying automated grippers, handling systems, and battery modules, and considering quality and safety aspects. The results of the project will potentially make an important contribution to the development of a competitive battery production industry in Germany.

Project Profile

Group coordinator

  • Schunk GmbH & Co.KG

Project period

  • 12/2012 – 11/2015

Project partners

  • Schunk GmbH & Co.KG, Lauffen am Neckar
  • ads-tec GmbH, Leinfelden-Echterdingen
  • Dürr Systems GmbH, Bietigheim-Bissingen
  • Festo AG &Co. KG, Esslingen
  • teamtechnik GmbH, Freiberg am Neckar
  •  Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), wbk - Institute of Production Science, Karlsruhe

Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)