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  • Electrode Coating

Manz, GROB-WERKE, and Dürr are entering into a unique European partnership in the field of production technology for lithium-ion batteries

Reutlingen / Mindelheim / Bietigheim-Bissingen, September 15, 2022 — Manz AG, GROB-WERKE GmbH & Co.KG, and Dürr AG have formed a strategic partnership for the joint acquisition and execution of projects for equipping entire battery factories. Their aim is to take advantage of the huge growth potential for business involving production technology for lithium-ion batteries, and to cover the entire value chain. The most important trigger for the rapidly growing demand for battery production technology is electromobility. The more electric cars come onto our roads, the more high-quality and high-performance batteries are required. This is why several battery and automotive producers are currently investing in battery factories or have announced plans to this effect. At present, there is not yet enough production capacity in Europe to meet this growing demand.

Under their partnership, the companies are planning to join forces and establish themselves as a European systems provider of battery production plants. They will thus offer customers a powerful alternative to existing suppliers, who are mostly based in Asia. The three companies want to set innovative machine standards “made in Europe”. Access to the market and to customers will thus be combined and technical expertise will be pooled. The partnership’s particular target market is the automotive sector. Combining their complementary skills will enable the cooperation partners to offer automotive customers the entire value chain in lithium-ion battery production from a single European source, and to support them in meeting the significant increase in demand for high-quality and high-performance batteries in Europe. Furthermore, the companies are targeting projects in the field of stationary storage units and consumer electronics.

A global high-tech mechanical engineering company, Manz AG brings its development skills to the partnership. In addition, it provides extensive experience in key production stages for both the manufacture of different lithium-ion cell types and their assembly into a battery module. They range from wound button cells and prismatic cells through to stacked pouch cells.

For more than 95 years, GROB has been a trendsetting pioneer in the construction of production and automation systems. It boasts strength of implementation in the conception, planning, and commissioning of highly complex and customer-specific plants for large-scale production, especially for the automotive industry, with a strong emphasis on e-mobility, focusing on e-drives and battery technology.

Dürr AG, one of the world’s leading mechanical and plant engineering firms, completes the alliance. Dürr has expertise in the field of electrode manufacturing and further production stages in cell and module assembly. Among other things, Dürr provides coating systems for electrodes to Cellforce, the Porsche joint venture. Dürr also brings to the partnership its skills in large project execution as well as in automation and digitalization.

Dr. Jochen Weyrauch, CEO of Dürr AG, says: “Battery production is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the European industry landscape. The rapid building of production capacity is a prerequisite for European automotive manufacturers to maintain their leading market positions in the age of electromobility. Our customers want reliable, local partners to implement their battery factories. We are taking on this challenge and are joining forces. The combined technology offering of Dürr, GROB, and Manz, stands for highly efficient manufacturing processes with maximum digitalization, a high level of availability, and excellent product quality. This enables both mass and premium manufacturers to produce exactly the right battery types for their requirements.”

Martin Drasch, CEO of Manz AG, comments: “Manz has carved out an excellent position for itself in the battery market. We see fantastic opportunities to benefit from the dynamic development of electromobility, so we have focused our business model accordingly. We firmly believe that, based on the trendsetting alliance with GROB and DÜRR — an alliance that is unique in Europe — we have reached another important milestone toward fully harnessing the huge market potential. The cooperation agreement enables us, together with our partners, to cover the entire value chain in battery production and to considerably speed up the development of system technology for manufacturing the next generation of batteries. We are thus also helping to make Europe independent in this strategically important market of the future.”

German Wankmiller, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the GROB Group, adds: “We are delighted to be cooperating with Manz and Dürr, two such well-respected partners. GROB is a family-owned company that has gained comprehensive knowledge of machines, system technology, and process flows for the entire e-mobility portfolio in a very short space of time. It has now become world market leader in the manufacture of production systems for electric drives. Furthermore, in the field of battery storage technology with a focus on systems engineering, we have developed process knowledge for battery module and pack systems with pouch and hard-case cells, and we have already delivered several large-scale plants. In a further consistent move, GROB has also started developing system technology for the production of battery cells. Through our cooperation with Manz and Dürr, we see ourselves in an even better position and can quickly implement large-scale plants for the international automotive industry and its suppliers. This enables us to offer solutions from a single source along the entire value chain, from coating through to pack assembly. Customers thus enjoy advantages such as high throughput, low production costs, and maximum innovative strength.”

Company profiles

Manz AG — engineering tomorrow’s production

Manz AG is a global high-tech engineering company.

Focusing on the automotive industry and electromobility, battery manufacturing, electronics, energy as well as medical technology, Manz develops and builds innovative and efficient production solutions: From customized single machines for laboratory production or pilot and small series production, to standardized modules and systems, to turnkey lines for mass production.

Technologically, Manz's production equipment is based on many years of experience in the fields of automation, laser processing, inspection systems, and wet chemistry.

With currently around 1,400 employees, the Manz Group develops and produces in Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, China and Taiwan. Sales and service subsidiaries also exist in the USA and India.

Manz AG was founded in 1987 and has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since 2006. In fiscal year 2021, the group generated revenues of around 227 million euros.

GROB-WERKE GmbH & Co. KG — Shaping the future of manufacturing

For more than 95 years, our company has been one of the global players in the development and manufacturing of machines and production lines. Our customers include the world`s most prestigious car manufacturers, their suppliers and many other renowned companies from various industries. With five production plants in Germany (headquarter), USA, Brazil, China and Italy, and 15 worldwide service and sales subsidiaries, GROB is represented around the globe. The GROB Group generates a worldwide output of 1.2 billion euros (fiscal year 21/22) with a workforce of about 7,500 employees.

The portfolio ranges from 4- and 5-axis universal machining centers to highly complex manufacturing systems with own automation solutions to production plants for electric motors and assembly systems for battery and fuel cell technology. The GROB-NET4Industry software developed in-house for the digitalization and networking of production processes rounds off the GROB product portfolio.

Dürr AG — Leading in Production Efficiency

The Dürr Group is one of the world's leading mechanical and plant engineering firms with extensive expertise in automation and digitalization/Industry 4.0. Its products, systems and services enable highly efficient and resource-saving manufacturing processes in different industries. The Dürr Group supplies sectors like the automotive industry, mechanical engineering, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical technology, and woodworking industries. It generated sales of €3.54 billion in 2021. The company has around 18,000 employees and 120 business locations in 33 countries. The Dürr Group operates in the market with the brands Dürr, Schenck and HOMAG and with five divisions:

  • Paint and Final Assembly Systems: paint shops as well as final assembly, testing and filling technology for the automotive industry, assembly and test systems for medical devices
  • Application Technology: robot technologies for the automated application of paint, sealants, and adhesives
  • Clean Technology Systems: air pollution control, noise abatement systems and coating systems for battery electrodes
  • Measuring and Process Systems: balancing equipment and diagnostic technology
  • Woodworking Machinery and Systems: machinery and equipment for the woodworking industry
  • New cooperation in European battery production technology: The CEO´s of Grob (German Wankmiller, left), Dürr (Dr. Jochen Weyrauch, middle) and Manz (Martin Drasch) signing the contract. The three German machinery companies intend to jointly equip complete battery plants in the future.

  • Electrode Coating

    Dürr offers a unique process for the dual-sided coating of battery electrodes.

  • The automotive industry needs more and more batteries for electric vehicles. This is why additional battery plants are being built in Europe. Dürr offers, for example, coating systems that are used in electrode production.

  • Dürr, Manz and Grob cooperate in order to establish themselves as a European full-line supplier of battery production technology.

  • Dürr, Manz and Grob want to take advantage of the huge growth potential in business with production technology for lithium-ion batteries, and to cover the entire value chain with their technologies.