Mercedes launches construction of InnoLab Battery in Mannheim
Daimler Truck celebrated the topping-out ceremony for its InnoLab Battery laboratory at the Mannheim plant. The building should be ready for occupancy as early as August, and a pilot line for the prototypical production of battery cells and assembly of batteries will be set up there within the next few months.
The Mannheim location is thus “laying an important foundation stone for the future competence of its own battery technology within Daimler Truck” and is generating know-how for the production of battery cells and their commercial vehicle-specific application, according to the company’s statement.
The project was announced in May 2022 as part of a strategic partnership between Daimler Truck and engineering company Manz. The pilot line for the company’s own lithium-ion battery cells, including further processing into complete battery systems for electric buses and trucks, was the first component of the cooperation. The findings should also serve as a basis for future decisions regarding the vertical range of manufacture for the company’s own battery systems, Daimler Truck said at the time.
“The Mannheim plant is in the midst of a transformation from a classic engine plant to our competence centre for battery technologies and high-voltage systems,” says Andreas Moch, site manager at the Mercedes-Benz Mannheim plant. “The topping-out ceremony for the InnoLab Battery represents an important milestone in this process. We will develop innovative battery technologies and associated production processes here in the future.”
Until 2020, machining for cylinder crankcases and flywheels took place in Hall 18. As a result, the 7,500-square-metre building, which was constructed in 1952, was completely gutted and completely renovated within around 15 months. In addition, a 3,500-square-metre extension was built from 600 prefabricated concrete parts. The steel construction and the floor coating in the area of the pilot line for battery assembly are already finished. Since it is very important in the production of battery cells to protect the energy-rich and sensitive materials from dust particles and humidity, the building was equipped with special clean and dry rooms.
In the future, more than 60 new systems will be set up for the InnoLab Battery in that Hall 18, in order to map all relevant processes for the prototypical production of battery cells and systems. Coating technologies, welding processes, assembly and bonding processes will be tested. At the end of 2023, the first own battery cells are to be manufactured in the InnoLab Battery, as well as the first prototype battery systems, according to Daimler Truck.
In addition to the production areas, InnoLab Battery also has several offices. Here, according to the statement, the focus was on a modern office concept with different zones for working, for conferences and also rest areas in order to “give employees more space for creativity, innovation and productivity and efficiency”. To increase sustainability, PV systems were installed on the roof in addition to an “extensive green roof”, and 400 square metres of the facade were also greened.
daimlertruck.com (in German)