In order to keep up with the growing demand for e-cars, investments are being made in battery factories worldwide. Dürr is positioning itself in this growth market as a supplier of production technology and is expanding its market access to battery manufacturers through a cooperation with Techno Smart, a leading Japanese manufacturer of coating systems.
The Japanese company’s coating systems are in high demand among battery manufacturers for electric cars. Dürr is now bringing the coating specialist’s technology on board.
This improves our marketing prospects and provides us with a convincing all-round package for major projects in the automotive sector.—Dr. Jochen Weyrauch, Deputy CEO and responsible for the automotive business on the Board of Management
Producers of batteries for electric cars will receive complete packages from a single source at Dürr in the future: advanced technology for coating and drying electrodes as well as proven systems for solvent recovery. In the medium term, the Group is aiming for a sales volume in the high double-digit million range in the battery manufacturing technology business.
With the acquisition of the US company Megtec/Universal in 2018, Dürr expanded its portfolio by adding important competencies in battery manufacturing technology. With its coating, drying and solvent recovery systems, Dürr Megtec offers solutions for three essential steps in the production of lithium-ion batteries. Dürr Megtec is part of the Clean Technology Systems division.
Battery manufacturing technology offers attractive growth potential for the Clean Technology Systems division. With its simultaneous two-sided coating solution for battery electrodes, Dürr has so far been successful mainly in niche segments. For example, the mechanical and plant engineering firm is benefiting from the growing demand for small-format lithium-ion batteries for hearing aids, headphones and other mobile electrical devices. In the first half of 2020, a major contract was received from a battery manufacturer in Germany, among others.
However, the biggest growth driver in the market for battery manufacturing technology is electromobility. In general, the Dürr Group sees this business field as a great opportunity. In battery manufacturing technology, the portfolio includes not only solutions for coating but also gluing technology for battery modules and coolant filling systems for batteries. Moreover, Dürr is supplying painting, final assembly and testing systems for electric cars.
With an order intake of just under €400 million, production technology for electric cars already accounted for 22% of the order volume in the automotive business last year. For 2020, the growth trend is continuing, particularly thanks to strong demand in China. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Dürr was able to significantly increase incoming orders in the e-mobility business in the first half of the year.
Techno Smart has been building coating systems for a wide range of applications since the 1960s. The coating specialist launched solutions for coating lithium-ion battery cells from the early 1990s and has already supplied its high-precision technology to major battery manufacturers in the Asian market. In 2019, the Japanese plant engineering company with around 250 employees achieved a turnover of €130 million.