Comau has been selected by the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) to develop and deploy a semi-automated module and pack assembly line for the publicly-funded ‘open-access’ production development facility.

UKBIC is part of the UK’s Faraday Battery Challenge programme, designed to fast track the development of cost-effective, high-performance, durable, safe and recyclable products.

The Comau-developed Module and Pack assembly line is the first of UKBIC’s battery manufacturing equipment to have been installed, commissioned and available for its customers to use.

One of the elements of the project was the requirement for flexibility, which will allow a range of Modules & Packs to be manufactured at a single premise.

Working in collaboration with engineers from UKBIC, Comau provided technology and know-how to manage the battery Module & Pack manufacturing process, from cylindrical cell preparation and pouch cell stacking to the battery pack assembly. The project leverages the company’s 45-plus years of experience in automation and digitalisation technologies.

To meet the demand for UK-produced batteries, which is expected to reach a total of 440 gigawatt-hours per year by 2040 (Source: McKinsey, June, 2019), the 18,500 m2 UKBIC facility with its new Module and Pack manufacturing line, will allow British companies to determine whether their prototype technology can be manufactured at the required volume, speed, performance and cost to be commercially successful.

The facility is located in Coventry, England, around 30 miles South East of Birmingham and 20 miles from Comau’s UK facilities in Rugby. Comau’s assembly line supports a range of sizes and specific product variances and has scalability to handle greater production volumes when required.

By integrating its technology, such as robot assembly modules, smart cameras and thermal imaging, pick and place grippers and End-of-Line leak test technologies, the solution will help ensure the safety and reliability of the manufactured batteries.

In addition, Comau can help validate battery-related technology and design parameters.

“We are honoured to be at the forefront of technology development efforts that will expand the UK electrification market by bridging the gap between basic research and product development,” said Comau Automation Systems and Electro-Mobility Business segment leader, Andrew Lloyd.

“Being selected as the main technology partner by UKBIC for its Module and Pack assembly line is a direct result of our proven ability to support our customers in every step of the electrification process.”