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Leclanché picks Comau to develop automated industrial-scale manufacturing lines for Li-ion battery modules for transport

Leclanché has commissioned Comau to develop an automated manufacturing line for lithium-ion battery modules for transport applications. Comau, a member of the FCA Group, is a worldwide leader in delivering advanced industrial automation products and systems. Its portfolio includes technology and systems for electric, hybrid and traditional vehicle manufacturing, industrial robots, collaborative and wearable robotics, autonomous logistics, dedicated machining centers and interconnected digital services and products able to transmit, elaborate and analyze machine and process data.

The all-in-one solution selected by Leclanché is capable of automating the entire battery manufacturing process, from pouch cell stacking and welding to the final assembly of up to 32 different product configurations.

In defining the scope and design specifics during the Simultaneous Engineering process, the joint engineering team was able to validate the production process and propose modifications to the battery module design to further increase the efficiency of the proposed manufacturing solution.

Furthermore, the use of Comau’s LHYTE laser welding machine will enable Leclanché to improve its welding process by granting increased productivity and model flexibility.

The project, which was developed using Simultaneous Engineering, features multiple articulated Comau robots and the company’s cutting-edge hybrid laser solution, LHYTE, that combines a direct diode and fiber laser source within the same modular system.

The line also includes in.Grid, Comau’s interactive IoT and MES (Manufacturing Execution System) platform, which will enable data management and complete production, processes and maintenance monitoring, with the option to include remote assistance and teleservice capabilities.

Mass and industrial transport is increasingly moving to electric means of propulsion while public authorities enforce regulations. The marine transport alone produces 13% of greenhouse gas emissions and on current projections, emissions are expected to rise by at least 50% by 2050 under a business-as-usual scenario. The collaboration between Comau and Leclanché will drive industrial scale production of energy storage solutions that will help to accelerate the conversion of maritime transport towards more sustainable power solutions.

Leclanché made an early investment in developing a DNV GL-certified battery system for marine applications, and is the first battery supplier to fully comply with the stringent 2015 regulations. Our partnership with Comau will enable Leclanché to produce our leading energy storage solutions for e-transport and e-marine applications at an industrial scale, securing Leclanché’s position as the provider of energy storage solutions to the sizeable and fast growing electric and hybrid mass transport market.

—Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché

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