Skeleton Technologies is to build a supercapacitor factory in Markranstädt, Leipzig, with Siemens as part of a €220m investment in the region.
Siemens will support Skeleton as technology partner with the joint development of a fully automated production line for the new factory, which Skeleton says will be the largest in the world when it opens in 2024. As well as digitalizing Skeleton’s entire value chain, the two companies also plan to further expand business ties.
This is the company’s third manufacturing site after a factory in Saxony and its initial plant in Estonia and is expected to start operation in 2024 and produce up to twelve million cells a year.
The factory will have 40x more output than Skeleton’s other site in Saxony, which will continue as an R&D factory in the future, and 240 jobs are expected to be created. Skeleton will invest €220m in Saxony in scaling up production, with €100m in manufacturing equipment in Leipzig area and €120m for scale-up and R&D.
The automated equipment, coupled with the use of Skeleton’s patented “curved graphene” material, are expected to lower the production costs by almost 90% after the completion of the five year project.
The collaboration aims to achieve the digitization of Skeleton’s entire value chain, from supercapacitor cell design to production and services, and scale up the production of next-generation supercapacitors. Siemens supports this with its Digital Enterprise portfolio as well as domain know-how in industrial battery cell production.
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Siemens already has deals with battery makers LG and Inobat, and Skeleton is planning production of its own fast charging battery cell using the same material and a different electrolyte.
Supercapacitors are used in transport, grid, industrial, and automotive applications with almost instant charging and discharging, high reliability, and very long lifetimes to improve power quality and protect equipment and infrastructure by lowering the power fluctuations.
“Supercapacitors are a key element in dramatically reducing emissions in the power generation, transportation and industrial sectors,” said Taavi Madiberk, CEO, and co-founder of Skeleton Technologies.
“With our holistic automation and digitalization portfolio, we can use the appropriate tools and our industrial know-how together with Skeleton, from greenfield planning to factory simulation and optimized high-end production, to realize a highly efficient, fully automated production line that is unique in the world,” said Guido Feind, Head of Siemens Digital Industries Germany.
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“A number of Siemens business units are already Skeleton’s customers and as the energy transition gathers pace, we see the volumes increasing. The strong relationship will be further cemented thanks to this partnership, we will now also benefit from their world-class expertise in electrification, automation, and digitalization to expand our manufacturing,” said Dr. Linus Froböse, Chief Operating Officer of Skeleton Technologies. “This ramp-up will allow us to meet market demand for our next-generation products and make our new factory the largest and most modern supercapacitor factory in Europe.”
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