Dürr Partnership Expands Market Access for EV Batteries
The Dürr Group and Osaka-based firm Techno Smart have partnered to increase EV battery production efficiency. The Dürr Group is also expanding its small-factor battery production tech business and contributing to EV production across multiple departments.
Dürr (Southfield, Mich.) is positioning itself as a key production technology manufacturer in the electric vehicle (EV) market by expanding its market access to battery manufacturers through a partnership with Techno Smart (Osaka, Japan), a leading manufacturer of coating systems. In particular, Dürr will combine Techno Smart’s technology for coating and drying electrodes with its own proven systems for solvent recovery to enhance production efficiency of lithium-ion batteries, which are key for EV production.
Dürr’s Efficient Battery-Manufacturing Technologies
With the acquisition of the US Company Megtec/Universal in 2018, Dürr expanded its portfolio with important competencies in battery manufacturing technology. Dürr Megtec’s coating, drying and solvent recovery systems offer solutions for three essential steps in the production of lithium-ion batteries. Dürr Megtec is part of Dürr’s Clean Technology Systems division.
In the coating process, manufacturers apply anode or cathode active material to both sides of a metal foil as a thin slurry
Dürr Megtec developed a coating process for simultaneous, efficient two-sided coating. Slot-dies coat both sides of the electrode foil directly, with a horizontal air floatation dryer immediately drying them. This process leads to a smaller overall manufacturing footprint and a higher cost efficiency.
With its simultaneous two-sided coating solution for battery electrodes, Dürr says it has thrived in niche segments. The company benefits from the growing demand for small-format lithium-ion batteries in hearing aids, headphones and other mobile electrical devices, and receiving a major contract in the first half of 2020.
Techno Smart Offers Solutions for the Automotive Sector
While Dürr is succeeding in its niche markets, the largest growth market for battery manufacturing is in EVs. For the large amounts of electrodes required for EV batteries, Techno Smart offers a highly efficient, proven and robust process. A slot die applies the slurry to the first side of the metal foil base material over a backing roller before operators immediately dry it. Operators then turn over the dried foil and repeat the process.
“We’ve combined our market-leading drying and solvent recovery technologies with the proven coating solutions of Techno Smart to create a unique portfolio in the market for EV batteries,” Dr. Daniel Schmitt, CEO of Dürr’s Clean Technology Systems division, says.
EV Production in Other Departments
The Dürr Group’s portfolio includes not only solutions for coating but also gluing technology for battery modules and coolant filling systems for batteries. Moreover, Dürr is supplying painting, final assembly and testing systems for EVs.
With an order intake of just under €400 million, production technology for EVs already accounted for 22% of Dürr’s order volume in the automotive business last year. The growth trend is continuing in 2020, particularly due to the strong demand in China. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Dürr significantly increased incoming orders in the EV business through the first half of 2020.
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This paper is a peer-reviewed and edited version of a presentation delivered at NASF SUR/FIN 2012 in Las Vegas, Nev., on June 12, 2012.