Germany multinational Bosch has announced it is pooling its mechanical engineering experience to supply companies with equipment for battery production from a single source – ranging from individual components and software solutions to complete assembly lines.
One of its pilot customers is Webasto, which is equipping its battery factories with Bosch technology. “We know batteries like the back of our hand, as well as how they have to be manufactured,” remarked Rolf Najork, the member of the Bosch board of management responsible for industrial technology.
Bosch says it aims to increase vertical integration in mechanical engineering and, by 2025, to generate annual sales of €250m (US$293.5m) with equipment for battery production. “Our assumption is that the global battery market will grow up to 25% each year. Bosch is doing its part to meet this demand,” Najork noted.
Battery production at Webasto’s plant in Schierling, Germany, will serve as a blueprint for new production facilities like the one it is establishing in Dangjin, Korea. Bosch’s role is to supply automated assembly lines for welding and gluing the battery cells. This sees the various functions of module production combined: cell cleaning with incoming inspection, the stacking process as well as a special laser-welding process, and end-of-line inspection for quality assurance.
Thanks to what it describes as a “sophisticated line concept”, Bosch claims no particle contamination occurs during processing. Robots automatically assemble the cell stacks in a two-step procedure consisting of dispensing technology and laser welding. With a comprehensive safety concept, it is then possible to establish the battery module’s electrical connection using a dynamic and precise laser-welding process.
Bosch serves both as a general contractor for factory construction and as a supplier of individual components and software solutions. “As a leading IoT company and successful machine manufacturer, we offer the opportunity to customize the factory of the future,” Najork said.
Depending on requirements, Bosch can supply either partially or fully automated lines. Drive and control technologies, intelligently designed manual workstations, manufacturing execution systems (MES) for production scheduling and software for connecting machines and systems are also part of the company’s portfolio.