AVL Opens New Battery Innovation Center
The new production development center for batteries is an AVL competence center, which provides the automotive industry with optimal support as it goes through the current change to e-mobility. As well as the functional development of new high-voltage batteries for electric vehicles, the main focus is on the development, implementation and validation of new, highly efficient production processes. Using various simulation tools, these processes can be flexibly adapted to meet new demands and implemented in large-scale production at customers at an early stage. This allows module prototype, pack prototype and small batch production under large-scale conditions. The whole process, from commissioning to start of production at the customer’s facility, is reduced significantly by the experts and methodologies applied by the Battery Innovation Center (BIC). At the same time, a new level of product quality and process reliability is achieved.
Graz, Austria, September 23, 2021: The opening of the Battery Innovation Center marks the addition of an important future platform to the AVL portfolio. The 1,600-m² facility is incorporated in the company’s headquarters in Graz and supports all of AVL’s expertise in innovative battery concepts around the world. In launching the new center, the engineering service provider is applying the principle and expanding the scope of simultaneous engineering.
In the AVL Battery Innovation Center, functional battery development is closely linked with the expertise of production planners and input from parts and machine manufacturers. The result is that batteries developed by AVL display a far higher degree of maturity across all phases of development. Furthermore, the process through to market maturity is also significantly quicker, as function, manufacturability and costs can be balanced and optimized at an early stage. This improves the reliability of the validation and ensures a consistently high quality.
The BIC is designed for a wide range of battery developments. All the current core processes of module and pack production can be mapped at the various stations, some of which are fully automated. Regardless of cell type, target voltage and integration level, it will be possible to reproduce all the steps involved in module construction and, in the future, pack construction. Furthermore, the industrial robots in the BIC enable AVL to meet requirements in the areas of Cell-to-Body and Module-to-Chassis, which are increasingly important for automobile manufacturers.
The improvement of production processes is accompanied by advanced Virtual Reality (VR) methods. Augmented Reality (AR) is increasingly used in the field of assembly processes. This makes it possible to develop products parallel to the industrialization of batteries to a degree previously unattained. This, in turn, reduces the times-to-market.
Other highlights of the Battery Innovation Center include the validation of manufacturing technologies in real large-scale production conditions. The production processes designed can be tested thoroughly in real conditions in the pilot line. This makes it possible to industrially process all the cell types currently available on the market, with sizes right up to Cell-to-Pack dimensions. Furthermore, batteries – ranging from individual A-sample production to batches of several hundred batteries – can also be manufactured in the BIC, whilst comprehensively monitoring defined quality characteristics.
Work on the AVL Battery Innovation Center in Graz began in 2018. The project is being supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the European innovation programme Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI). Prof. Helmut List, Chairman and CEO of AVL List GmbH: “The technology for affordable high-voltage batteries for electric cars, which are suitable for customer use, is already very advanced. In contrast, there is still a lot of potential when it comes to production. This is what we are addressing here with our Battery Innovation Center, as optimizing production procedures is a key factor on the road to e-mobility. We started to radically rethink assembly processes over five years ago. With the BIC in Graz, we are now offering our customers an innovative center for all modern battery development needs.”
The Battery Innovation Center is a clear commitment towards a greener future. AVL takes the responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for sustainable mobility solutions.
The impact of the Battery Innovation Center:
- Expected 60% increase in battery development turnover at local Graz facilities within the next three years.
- More than 110 new jobs are created by the Battery Innovation Center.
- In addition to the investment, AVL is also running reskilling and upskilling activities to ensure the necessary qualification at all levels.
- More than ten students’ theses have already started within the accompanying research projects with AVL academic partners: Graz University of Technology, Virtual Vehicle, MontanUni Leoben and Pro2Future.
- Strengthening the regional automotive battery cluster with AVL partners Rosendahl Nextrom and Varta Micro Innovation.
- AVL continues to lead the way when it comes to green batteries throughout the entire life cycle.
With more than 11,200 employees, AVL is one of the world’s leading mobility technology companies for development, simulation and testing in the automotive industry, and beyond. Drawing on its pioneering spirit, the company provides concepts, solutions and methodologies for a greener, safer and better world of mobility. AVL’s passion is innovation. Together with an international network of experts at more than 90 locations and with 45 Tech and Engineering Centers worldwide, AVL is supporting customers in their mobility ambitions. In 2022, the company generated a turnover of 1.86 billion Euros, of which 11 % are invested in R&D activities to ensure continuous innovation.
Markus Tomaschitz, Company Spokesman
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