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Dürr: Joint project ProBat successfully concluded

A consortium from the science and industry sectors developed a user support arrangement under the name ProBat for the planning of economical production systems used to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles. Having run for three years, this project has now been successfully concluded. The manufacturing costs of battery systems play a decisive role in how … Continued

A consortium from the science and industry sectors developed a user support arrangement under the name ProBat for the planning of economical production systems used to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles. Having run for three years, this project has now been successfully concluded.

The manufacturing costs of battery systems play a decisive role in how successful electric vehicles are on the market as an alternative to vehicles with conventional drives. Such systems can become cost efficient only if the new production approaches required can be purposefully designed early on in the planning phase. This requires taking particular account of the growth in unit numbers, as well as the existing product and technology diversity.

“Projecting quality-oriented, flexible battery production systems (ProBat)” is the name of the project under which the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and notable industrial partners carried out research into methodical concepts for planning a battery assembly line. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provided the project within the scope of the “Electromobility South-West” cluster with EUR 1.7 million in funding for three years commencing in August 2012.

The results have now been implemented in a tool to assist users. The tool enables structured recording of the battery systems to be manufactured together with all subcomponents. Appropriate software-based assembly processes and quality assurance systems are identified for a specific battery assembly project on the basis of various target criteria. These criteria include specific production targets or specific product properties. The production system designed in accordance with these criteria can be evaluated in terms of cost efficiency and adaptability and prepared in a user-friendly way. The tool can be used to present production systems for a wide range of different applications, from small- to large-scale production. New joining processes and new measuring concepts for use as quality assurance measures in battery assembly were also investigated within the scope of the project.

The consideration of a range of alternative technologies and possible integrable quality assurance measures in the planning phase forms the basis for the design of cost-efficient production systems. The quality assurance measures are additionally ensured by means of a simulation. The innovative tool enables the continuous improvement of batteries and their adaptable production concepts. It can be of assistance to system builders and battery manufacturers in the construction of efficient, scalable battery production systems and thus make a contribution to the economic viability of battery production in Germany. The project therefore supports the strategic goals of the cluster to reduce the overall system costs of electromobility. This contributes to the BMBF’s goal of developing Germany into a leading provider of electromobility.

The plant manufacturer Dürr Systems GmbH (project coordinator) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) as the scientific partner are joined on this project by the automotive company Daimler AG and the system provider for multi-dimensional measuring technology Carl Zeiss Industrielle Messtechnik GmbH.

With around 100 players from the sectors of industry and science, the Electromobility South-West cluster is one of the most important regional associations in the area of electromobility. The cluster, which is managed by the state agency e-mobil BW GmbH, pursues the goal of advancing the industrialization of electromobility in Germany and making the state of Baden-Württemberg an important provider of electromobility solutions. In the four innovation fields of Vehicle, Energy, Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and Production, renowned large, medium-sized and small companies, especially in the Karlsruhe – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Ulm region, are networked both with each other and with local research institutes.

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