Collaboration builds automated manufacturing line for transport applications

The project features multiple articulated Comau robots and the company’s LHYTE hybrid laser welding solution.

E Ferry Low

Energy storage solutions provider Leclanché (Yverdon-les Bains, Switzerland) has commissioned advanced industrial automation products and solutions specialist Comau (Turin, Italy) to build an automated manufacturing line for lithium-ion battery modules for transport applications.

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 LHYTE hybrid laser solution 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. 

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