Comparison of different intralogistics solutions in the field of e-mobility

The manufacture of electric cars and the battery production required for them are an important future market for ecological reasons. Because the production of batteries for e-cars requires the highest quality standards, only a high-performance intralogistics solution is capable of meeting these demands.

There are several intralogistics solutions that support battery production in the e-mobility sector. montrac compared to linear conveyor systems (or linear conveyors).

The demand for electric cars will increase significantly in the coming years. The reasons for this include:

  • Rising cost of gasoline
  • High CO2 pollution in the air
  • Climate protection
  • Rising global warming

This means that the internal combustion engine is on the brink of extinction. The EU Commission wants to ban new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035 and become climate-neutral by 2050. According to the plans of leading car manufacturers, only vehicles with electric drives will be available from 2030. In the area of battery production for e-cars, this means annual growth rates of 50 percent by 2025.

Since almost 90 percent of battery cells have so far come from the Asian region, the EU Commission is increasingly focusing on European battery cell production. The aim is to reduce dependence on the Asian market and shift at least one third of battery production to Europe, especially Germany. The advantages are clear:

  • No long transport routes (to date, the majority of battery production (90 percent) takes place in Asia)
  • Easier compliance with hazardous goods regulations for batteries due to shorter transport routes
  • No dependence on battery suppliers from the Asian region
  • Less space required for temporary storage of batteries, as production and battery assembly can take place "on demand" on site

The electric motor including the associated battery systems are the core components of an e-vehicle. In the manufacture of battery systems, the production of the battery cells is the most significant cost factor. Battery cell production is in turn divided into three factors:

  • Production of the electrodes
  • Assembly of the battery cell
  • Finishing of the battery cell

In this sensitive production area, high demands are placed on the manufacturing processes and intralogistics. The most important conditions include:

  • Air purity
  • Air humidity
  • Room temperature

Foreign particles in the air during production can lead to a loss of quality, a reduction in performance and, in the worst case, to a defect in the batteries. For this reason, the highest requirements are also demanded of the transport system in the production of batteries within the framework of clean room classes according to ISO classes 6 to 8.

The montrac intralogistics system from montratec is a cost-effective acquisition for your battery production and is characterized by low operating costs in power consumption.

Battery production 4.0 - How today's intralogistics support battery production

The manufacturing process in the production of batteries is complex. Here, many individual battery cells and modules are combined to form a compact battery pack. For example, the battery of a BMW i3 consists of a total of 96 battery cells. Given the large number of components, a long-distance conveyor belt would be suitable for transporting the individual parts for assembly. There is no space for this in most production halls. At the same time, such a system would not be efficient and would not be very flexible.

To ensure that the high quality and hygiene requirements in battery production are met at all times, certain intralogistics systems are not suitable from the outset. These include:

  • Conveyor belt systems
  • Chain conveyor systems
  • Roller conveyors

Due to the high abrasion during transport and additional wear, the hygiene requirements in accordance with cleanroom classes ISO standardization cannot be met. At the same time, there is a risk of a stop in production when the belts, chains or rollers are replaced.

A possible transport solution for battery production would be a linear motor system or a magnet-driven transport system. Due to the transport distances of several hundred meters required in battery cell production, these alternatives are not cost-efficient for the manufacturer. This is shown by a comparison with the intralogistics system montrac.

How battery production is carried out with linear conveyor systems

Linear conveyor systems can be either oval, rectangular or square in design. This makes flexible integration into existing production lines difficult. To overcome height differences in production, the rigid system would have to be rotated vertically. This makes it difficult to adapt it to spatial requirements. In the event of maintenance work or malfunctions, it is necessary to interrupt the entire transport system. This leads to downtime in battery cell production and thus to considerable delays in the entire manufacturing process.

In practice, modular linear motor systems are usually subject to complete enclosure and are therefore difficult to access.

Due to its mode of operation, the entire system is susceptible to possible contamination, which increases the risk of equipment failure. At the same time, contamination during the transport process prevents compliance with the clean room classification regulations for the production of batteries.

How battery cell production takes place with montrac

The montrac intralogistics system links all production areas in battery cell manufacturing. Intelligent, autonomously controlled transport shuttles operate on a branched monorail system and transport battery cells to the assembly of battery modules. The battery modules, in turn, are transported to final battery assembly, which is carried out by robots in a precise cycle and predominantly fully automatically. After final assembly of the finished battery, the battery weighing several hundred kilograms is transported for installation in the electric car. This is done using a driverless transport system (AGV) that is suitable for heavy loads.