AUTOMATICA 2012 Shows Cost-Cutting Potential
Due the currently highest petrol costs of all times, consumers, industry and politicians are increasing demanding affordable alternatives. AUTOMATICA is now taking up a core topic of electric mobility: battery production. In collaboration with the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), special Productronic Division, and the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of the Rhineland-Westphalia Technical University (RWTH) Aachen, the International Trade Fair for Automation and Mechatronics, which will take place on the grounds of the New Munich Trade Fair Centre from 22 to 25 May 2012, is organizing the special exhibition "Battery Manufacturing and Automation Technology". Twenty leading companies from the automation industry and battery mechanical engineering are going to use the platform to demonstrate inexpensive production of batteries live.
Electric energy storage devices, above all high-capacity batteries, play the key role in the big topic of the day, because they have a decisive influence on the performance, reliability and price of the system. This applies to purely battery-driven mobile vehicles as well as to hybrid cars. Dr. Eric Maiser, Deputy Managing Direction of VDMA Productronic and head of the battery production industry group in the VDMA E-Motive forum, emphasized the contribution of battery production engineering to market success:
"Driving electric cars is fun; the inner workings of the 400 HP electric racing cars, which we are showing at the special exhibition, provide you with a glimpse of this. Previous innovations in battery technology have produced acceptable ranges for purely electric cars and fuel cost reductions. We now need innovation in production to cut costs; this is a task for mechanical engineering."
Substantial Business Potential
The forecasts are good: according to the study "The Future of Electromobility – Chances and Challenges for Mechanical Engineering" conducted by VDMA and Roland Berger, approx. 40 percent of newly registered vehicles will have a hybrid or completely electric drive by 2020. Thanks to new factories for batteries, a substantial new business potential will be created for new machines with a volume of 4.8 billion euros in 2020. Mr. Maiser estimates: "In addition to electromobility, there is certainly a similarly high machine need for producing stationary storage devices in the renewable energies field.
Despite Asia's predominance in manufacturing consumer batteries, there are good chances for German mechanical engineers to score in the area of high-capacity batteries with their know-how from other sectors such as photovoltaics." Thilo Brodtmann, Managing Director of VDMA Robotics + Automation added: "There is a lot of pent-up demand for battery factories worldwide, especially in the automation sector. We are dealing with this topic at AUTOMATICA, and it is also an interesting one for Asians."
The special exhibition will take place in Hall A2.
Companies such as Reis Robotics, Siemens Industrial Automation Systems, Bosch Rexroth, Schunk, Manz Tübingen and ISRA Vision are going to show impressive possibilities, which production automation provides. The complete process chain will be shown, including critical process steps such as mixing and coating chemicals as well as forming cells. Visitors can also put together a battery production facility in the "virtual factory" of the WZL of RWTH Aachen with support from experts and even elaborate cost scenarios.
In addition, RWTH Aachen and companies involved in the special exhibition are presenting current topics in production technologies and automation expertise dealing with all aspects of battery production at the lecture forum of the VDMA North Rhine-Westphalia State Association in Hall B1. A panel discussion with top-rate experts and the title "Battery Production in Germany – How Does Automation Help" will enhance the battery competence of the program on the second day of the AUTOMATICA forum in Hall B1.
Competitive Battery Production
Manufacturers and mechanical engineers have to manage the balancing act between marketable series production and further development of production engineering. Prof. Achim Kampker, holder of the chair for Production Management at the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen, cites the contribution of German research to the competitiveness of battery production:
"Commercial factories for innovative lithium-ion high-capacity batteries are just starting to get established. Pilot lines, which are currently being created in collaboration with manufacturers, mechanical engineers and applied research in Germany, are creating the necessary qualification of process developments under realistic production conditions without the necessity of immediately producing competitively. Within the context of the special exhibition, we are going to demonstrate the German competency network from industry and research to the international trade visitors of AUTOMATICA."
Dr. Michael Wenzel, Managing Director of Reis GmbH & Co. KG in Obernburg and Chairperson of the VDMA trade association Robotics + Automation, is very pleased:
"We think it is great that Messe München has made the key topics of battery production automation technology into one of the special topics of AUTOMATICA 2012. Showing the automation potential for the complete process chain is the special feature of the special exhibition: from material manufacturing to the cells and modules and all the way to battery packs. We are creating an overall context for setting up a complete factory with the overlapping topics of measuring, inspecting, security, control, building engineering and factory planning. This has never been shown at a trade fair in this way in the past."
Mr. Maiser ad: "Following the special exhibitions at productronica and AUTOMATICA , the further development of the topic on a separate trade fair platform Electrical Energy Storage (ees) http://www.ees-munich.com/ from 13 until 16 November 2012 is a logical step of Messe München, which VDMA Productronic supports."
Companies, which are participating in the special exhibition at AUTOMATICA:
- ATS Automation Tooling Systems GmbH
- batteryuniversity.eu GmbH
- Bosch Rexroth AG
- Deprag Schulz GmbH und Co.
- ERSA GmbH
- Feinmetall GmbH
- Herding GmbH Filtertechnik
- Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products GmbH
- ISRA VISION AG
- KMS Automation GmbH
- Manz Tübingen GmbH
- Maschinenfabrik Gustav Eirich GmbH & Co KG
- M.Braun Inertgas-Systeme GmbH
- Preh GmbH
- REIS ROBOTICS, Reis GmbH & Co. KG Maschinenfabrik
- Robert Bürkle GmbH
- Siemens AG, I DT CC F
- SCHUNK GmbH und Co. KG
- ULT AG
- Zimmermann & Schilp Handhabungstechnik GmbH
You can find additional information about AUTOMATICA 2012 at