Valmet has Kuka install efficient battery assembly in Finland


Automation specialist Kuka has scored a new contract and is designing “CO2-neutral” assembly systems for Valmet Automotive in Finland. The supplier says the investment into sustainable battery production is “extensive” and expects the new Kuka system to set new standards.

In addition to robots for process handling, Kuka is also installing friction stir welding systems and equipment for end-of-line testing in the assembly line. Valmet also mentions resource-saving processes and programming optimized for sustainability, such as the “sleep mode”, designed to set said new standards in energy efficiency.

Kuka CEO Gerald Mies added the issue of energy consumption was a “decisive criterion” for Valmet to order with the company based in Augsburg. Another critical advantage was Kuka’s ability to offer “everything from a single source”, so the executive.

Kuka builds most machines at its home base in Augsburg, even though it was acquired in 2016 by the Chinese technology group Midea. Kuka also has a long-standing cooperation with Volkswagen and recently received an order from GAC in China.

Valmet’s new assembly system is under construction in the company’s plant in Uusikaupunki, Western Finland, and the Finnish supplier expects to start the new lines by summer this year. Valmet had started producing a small series of the Lightyear 0 in the factory already; however, the Dutch operating company behind the solar car startup has since gone bankrupt, as reported.

In February, Valmet also kicked off production at its first plant in Germany. The plant near Heilbronn manufactures high-voltage systems for all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Valmet claims it has already received orders but has yet to disclose the OEM – we guessed it is Audi, but this remains unconfirmed.

Neither Kuka nor Valmet mentions the type of battery they will make in Finland, customers or planned capacity in today’s statement. While Kuka CEO Mies called the deal a “major contract,” the value remains unknown.

Jyrki Nurmi, SVP of Electric Vehicle Systems, Valmet Automotive, said that in Kuka, they had “a partner who will tackle our challenges together with us”.


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