German Federal Minister of Research Wanka inaugurates the ZSW research platform for the industrial production of lithium-ion batteries – cell production technology supplied by Manz

29.09.2014 | Reutlingen/Ulm

  • After a festive opening, the battery research center - the first of its kind worldwide - will start up operation at the ZSW location in Ulm in January 2015
  • Manz is supplying key components for the production systems thereby highlighting its position as leading equipment manufacturer for lithium-ion batteries
  • Involvement as an industrial partner in developing close-to-series production processes opens up major future potential for Manz

A new research platform for the development and production of large, high-performance, automotive lithium-ion cells was festively inaugurated at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW) last Friday. High-ranking economic and political representatives were present, including the German Federal Minister for Education and Research, Prof. Dr. Wanka. Manz AG, one of the leading high-tech machinery manufacturers in the world, is supplying a fully automatic production line for the industrial production of lithium-ion batteries, which is the central component of this research platform. The implementation of the production line has now taken place at the ZSW location in Ulm. The new research platform is a strategic project of the federal government's national electromobility platform.

The goal of this initiative is to ensure the future of Germany's automotive industry in developing and producing the most efficient batteries worldwide. For this purpose, and in a unique partnership involving the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BASF, BMW, Daimler, ElringKlinger, Manz, Robert Bosch, Rockwood Lithium, SGL Carbon and Siemens will commence their research and development work at the ZSW in January 2015. In addition to developing new active materials and evaluating components, it will also include close-to-series production of battery cells and industrial conditions. The focus of development is primarily on improving the capacity and safety of the batteries, increasing service life and lowering production costs in order to assist electromobility in making the final breakthrough.

Dieter Manz, CEO and founder of Manz AG, emphasizes the significance of the collaborative project: "Lithium-ion batteries are a key technology for mobility in the future. The new research platform provides the companies involved with ideal conditions for bundling research in the field of electromobility thereby sustainably securing and developing the German automotive industry. As the leading machinery manufacturer for the production of lithium-ion batteries, we are proud to make a significant contribution to this with our newly developed, fully automated production line!"

Compared to laboratory lines, the production system enables the production of larger quantities of units, which are reproducible in high quality. The modular structure of the production system offers the involved companies the opportunity to test manufacturing procedures and components along the entire process chain in a controlled process environment.

Manz is already developing and supplying machinery for lithium-ion battery production for electromobility, stationary energy storage and consumer electronics like high-grade smartphones and tablet computers. After taking over the machinery division of Kemet Electronics Italy (formerly Arcotronics) in spring 2014, Manz is the only machine manufacturer that covers all essential production technologies for lithium-ion cell technologies. With the takeover Manz has expanded its portfolio which now also includes established know-how in winding and laminating technology. Dieter Manz estimates the development in the battery segment with corresponding optimism: "Markets of the future, like electromobility or stationary energy storage and consumer electronics, provide excellent perspectives for Manz. We are excellently positioned to be able to profit from the increasing market dynamic in these areas. With our unique technology portfolio we will continue to strengthen our market position and consistently utilize the opportunities that present themselves to us."