The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) has given an update on its “open-access” battery factory. Stellantis company Comau signed responsible for deploying the first semi-automated battery module and battery pack assembly line opened in February.
Comau, with headquarters in Italy, has apparently provided all the technology and know-how to manage the entire battery manufacturing process, from cylindrical cell preparation and pouch cell stacking to the battery pack assembly on the new line, the partners inform. Integrated technologies include robot assembly modules, smart cameras and thermal imaging, pick and place grippers, and End-of-Line leak testing, to name a few.
UKBIC says that the Module and Pack assembly line is the first of its battery manufacturing equipment installed, commissioned and available for its customers to use. The facility allows British companies to determine whether they can manufacture their prototype technology at the required volume, speed, performance and cost to be commercially successful.
The centre in Coventry had announced the opening of the line in February without naming its supplier. Comau, a member of Stellantis, the merged mega-business of PSA and FCA, specialises in advanced industrial automation products and systems. Its portfolio includes technology and systems for electric, hybrid and traditional vehicle manufacturing, among other things. The company sits in Turin and runs an international network of seven innovation centres, five digital hubs, eight manufacturing plants, and employs more than 9,000 people in 14 countries.
Back to Britain, where UKBIC is working on other battery manufacturing equipment currently being installed. The Coventry-based centre claims it covers the whole production process from electrode manufacturing, cylindrical and pouch cell assembly, formation ageing and testing, and a prototyping competence centre for specialist ultra-low volume builds. The Centre says it aims to provide the missing link for battery technology that has proven promising at laboratory or prototype scale to bring up mass production successfully.