BritishVolt backs Manz for AI-enabled battery gigafactory equipment

BritishVolt backs Manz for AI-enabled battery gigafactory equipment

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Manz in Germany has won a deal worth €70m to supply equipment for the first stage for cell-assembly for lithium-ion battery cells at a gigafactory planned by BritishVolt in Northumberland, UK.

Manz already provided support throughout the planning phase of the plant at the Cambois site in the Northeast of England. The factory design, initially with a capacity of 4GWh, is intended to support flexibility in the production of future cell formats and geometries.

Manz says it is able to map the entire manufacturing process for BritishVolt’s battery cells within a short period of time using using machine learning for the assembly of the cylindrical cells. Delivery of the production systems is scheduled for 2023, with production to start as early as the end of the same year.

In a jointly signed Memorandum of Understanding, the two companies also agree to further expand their strategic cooperation for further lines for cylindrical and prismatic cells planned both in England and in Canada. These are intended to increase BritishVolt’s total production capacity over 100 GWh.

In November, Manz received an order from the BMW Group to set up a battery production line in Parsdorf, Bavaria. The company is also a key partner with electric aircraft maker Lilium, VW and Saft.

“The dynamics in the e-mobility market is rapidly picking up pace. In view of the large number of announced projects in Europe for battery lines, it is only a matter of time before the mechanical engineering sector reaches its limits in terms of development and production capacities,” said Martin Drasch, CEO of Manz.

“With our many years of experience in the development of innovative production concepts and solutions for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, we are an internationally sought-after partner. Our cooperation with Britishvolt is an outstanding example of this. Together, we are striving to make production more sustainable overall and significantly reduce total cost of ownership by consistently reducing energy consumption and a continuously automated process optimization through the use of artificial intelligence.”

“The performance of a battery is closely linked to how it is made. Therefore, we require high quality and efficient equipment to deliver our performance cells,” said Timon Orlob, Britishvolt Global Chief Operating Officer. “Manz, as well as already being well positioned and aligned to our potential customers, clearly understanding latest trends and market requirements. As such, Manz is the right partner for our initial production equipment. Innovative, as well as artificial intelligence-supported, manufacturing equipment will become a core part of our operational strategy. That allows us to realise the full potential of our premier Gigasite in Northumberland, creating production efficiencies and resulting in lowered operating costs and energy consumption. “;

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