Electrification of the drive train is a promising alternative to the conventional combustion engine. However, cost-efficient production of the battery system is a big challenge. Technologies suited for series production of battery systems so far have been existing mainly in the consumer sector. Lithium-ion batteries for automotive applications, however, have to meet strict and extensive requirements in terms of safety, reliability, power density, and performance density. Hence, a new approach to their production is required.
In the project on the “Projection of quality-oriented, series-flexible battery production systems (ProBat)”, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and renowned industry partners study concepts and instruments for planning and controlling quality-oriented battery systems production. Plant layouts and quality assurance systems are analyzed methodologically for safety and cost efficiency, evaluated, and pooled in a software-based planning tool. Thus, systems for small to large-series production can be represented in a scalable manner.
From August 2012, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funds the project under the leading-edge cluster “Electromobility South-West” with EUR 1.7 million for three years.
The holistic approach, consisting of data acquisition, evaluation, and archiving, combined with the support of planning by simulation, is the basis of series-flexible and quality-oriented production. This allows for the continuous improvement of batteries and their fabrication processes. Planning instruments will support plant manufacturers and battery producers in building efficient and scalable systems for economically efficient battery production in Germany. Hence, the project will support the strategic objectives of the leading-edge cluster of reducing total system costs of electric mobility and contribute to reaching the objective of the BMBF of developing Germany to a leading supplier of electric mobility.
Apart from the plant manufacturer Dürr Systems GmbH (project coordinator) and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) as scientific partner, the automotive company Daimler AG and the supplier of multi-dimensional measurement technology Carl Zeiss Industrielle Messtechnik GmbH cooperate under this project to foster the production of vehicle batteries in Germany.
With about 80 actors from industry and science, the leading-edge cluster Electromobility South-West is one of the most important regional associations in the field of electric mobility. The cluster is managed by the state agency e-mobil BW GmbH and aimed at enhancing industrialization of electric mobility in Germany and at making Baden-Württemberg a major supplier of electric mobility solutions. Under the heading “road to global market”, the cluster uses the unique opportunities in the region of Karlsruhe – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Ulm to establish networks of renowned large, medium-sized, and small enterprises in the fields of vehicle technology, energy technology, information and communication technologies, and production technology and local research institutes.
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.