Making locally sourced cell formation a reality

The transition to electric mobility is more than just a paradigm shift; it is a direct movement towards a more sustainable future. Behind the shared CO2 emission targets and electric vehicle adoption goals, is the fundamental need for increasingly advanced power technologies and new production processes. In tandem, the market is experiencing significant advancements in the development of high-capacity batteries and efficient electric drivetrains. And while emerging technologies such as solid-state batteries promise even greater energy density and faster charging times, the more immediate challenge is solidifying a reliable, affordable production strategy. This is why Comau’s electrification solutions are designed to support the aggressive goal of building an autonomous EU-sourced electrification value chain.

Comau has more than 50 years of experience in automotive, which is renowned for its  technical complexity and competitiveness. This has allowed Comau to experiment with cutting edge technologies and anticipate many of the trends within the e-Mobility space. As one of the early movers in the electrification arena, Comau’s pioneering products and technologies span the electrification value chain and are being used by customers throughout Europe and around the world.

Now, Comau is bringing its advanced battery production technologies to The Battery Show Europe conference, being held at Germany’s Messe Stuttgart from 18-20 June (booth number 9-F50). Billed as Europe’s largest event for the battery and EV tech communities, the industrial automation company will leverage the platform to commercially launch its highly efficient and fully scalable battery cell formation solutions.

As one of the first European companies to locally source this critical component of the battery production process, Comau is in a perfect position to help enhance productivity, reduce costs, and prioritize safety and sustainability of battery manufacturing. Furthermore, its turnkey cell formation and testing systems can cater to a wide range of production scenarios, from lab-based prototypes to full-scale gigafactories. This ensures that manufacturers can seamlessly transition from development stages to mass production without compromising quality or efficiency.

Comau’s cell formation offer encompasses the core processes that transform assembled components into stable, electrically charged battery cells. A crucial phase in the battery manufacturing process, it involves a series of charging and discharging cycles that ultimately ensure both optimal performance and longevity of the cells. This charging and discharging is performed using specific electrical current profiles, after which the activated cells are then aged and tested to ensure they are of the highest quality standards. The fact that the cell formation systems are designed and produced locally by a renowned leader in industrial automation represents an important step towards advancing the European battery manufacturing industry.

The newest element in Comau’s vast e-Mobility portfolio complements the strong foothold already gained in battery module and pack assembly processes, and will increasingly allow Comau to offer a complete turnkey battery solution from powders all the way to packs. Similarly, Comau designs and delivers highly efficient systems for e-drives, hybrid transmissions, components and complete assembly lines, as well as design, testing and  manufacturing solutions for hydrogen fuel cells and electrolyzers.

“Battery demand is estimated to increase significantly between now and 2030, driven largely by the pan-European goal of creating an autonomous supply chain. Despite recent uncertainty regarding the growth rate, the battery market is still expected to exceed 170 billion Euros in 2030* and our broad ranging competence and versatile skills set allow us to respond to evolving scenarios.” explained Pietro Gorlier, Comau CEO. “Comau’s commitment to delivering best-in-class technologies, such as our new cell formation solutions, underscores our ongoing dedication to helping drive the world’s energy transformation goals. Leveraging our unique know-how, long-standing experience in automotive and strong global team, we will continue to support our growing client base and navigate their increasingly complex projects.”

Comau-complete process for Cell Formation

Another electrification enabler is Comau’s cleanroom classified, high-speed Racer-5 SENSITIVE ENVIRONMENTS (Racer-5 SE) industrial robot. This 6-axis articulated robot is engineered to efficiently automate applications with stringent requirements. Its contaminant-free design is ideal for battery cell assembly and the cleanroom assembly of microelectronics, allowing manufacturers to enhance precision and reliability while maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness and performance.

Similarly, Comau’s in.Grid data management platform allows companies to manage the vast amounts of data that need to be collected and analyzed to control process and product quality along the battery manufacturing line. The sophisticated data management tool facilitates real-time data collection and analysis, helping battery manufacturers maintain optimal quality control and process efficiency.

Comau’s vast portfolio of products, processes, and technologies for electrification enables us to manage everything from prototyping and pre-production to mass manufacturing and end-of-life battery recycling. This holistic approach ensures that we can deliver comprehensive solutions tailored to meet the diverse needs of our clients all over the world. In tandem, the company continues to make substantial investments in research and development, focusing on next-generation technologies. In doing so, Comau intends to pave the way for more efficient, sustainable battery technologies.

The company’s dedication to innovation extends to its involvement in multiple pan-European e-Mobility projects. In one such project, Comau is developing a more compact cell formation chamber layout and warehouse management strategy that optimizes the recuperation and reuse of electric energy and heat. Moreover, Comau has pioneered a robotic system for the automated dismantling of used batteries. This system employs a flexible, repeatable, and standardizable process, enabling companies to reduce waste and maximize the reuse of raw materials from battery packs. This innovative approach aligns with the growing emphasis on sustainability and circular economy principles in the battery industry. These types of forward-thinking initiatives not only enhance efficiency but also contribute to more sustainable manufacturing practices.

To further help companies achieve their sustainability goals, Comau’s technology design and deployment strategy includes concrete energy and ESG objectives. Indeed, sustainability, both in terms of energy and consumption efficiency, is a common denominator that extends across Comau’s  360° portfolio of cutting-edge technologies. All this, together with its commitment to continuous innovation, allows Comau to meet the current needs of its customers while helping shape the future of the industry.

Comau Flex BD


*Comau’s internal estimates – including battery cells, modules, packs and e-motors – are corroborated by various market studies.