Bosch Rexroth Shares Newest Battery Production Tech

The company’s Battery/EV Customer Innovation Center opening offered a look at their latest solutions prior to the 2024 Battery Shows.

Ray Chalmers

June 6, 2024

3 Min Read
Bosch Rexroth lab illustration
Bosch Rexroth’s new Battery Customer Innovation Center (CIC) in Farmington Hills, MI offers collaborative lab space and production demos for cell and pack assembly.Bosch Rexroth

On May 21, global factory automation, motion control, and mechatronics giant Bosch Rexroth celebrated the grand opening of the company’s Battery/EV Customer Innovation Center (CIC) in Farmington Hills, MI. Company leadership addressed customers, business partners, and many guests, describing the facility as a platform for interested parties to explore, collaborate, and optimize battery production systems, electric drivetrains, and associated components for various applications, including automotive, industrial machinery, and renewable energy systems.

Enabling such collaboration and optimization for battery systems are Bosch Rexroth’s automation technologies on live display at the Michigan CIC, highlighted by a centrally located Battery Module Demonstration Room on the new center’s second floor. Resembling a pilot line, the new battery module demonstration room features a broad spectrum of Bosch Rexroth technologies across its automation portfolio for encompassing and customizing cell production, modular assembly, and end-of-line testing, among other functions.

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Process reliability

Different batteries employ different production methods for processing electrode films into cell elements. From pouch cells to prismatic and cylindrical cells, all require high dynamics and precision when separating or stacking the cathodes/anodes.

Bosch Rexroth cites deep expertise in dry room and clean room production,

including long-term component testing, leading to high quality standards and reliable production processes.

Rexroth technology on display for cell production includes the VarioFlow plus, what it calls a powerful and versatile conveyor system highly suited for high-density automation and tight spacial constraints. Highlights include:

  • Fast and efficient cell transport within process stations and between machines

  • Tight turn radius for minimized tool footprint

  • Product can be transported on pallets or directly on the conveyor media

  • Configurable for utmost design flexibility, including running high-volume product horizontally, vertically, and around obstacles.

Additionally, there is the Rexroth Flexible Transport System Pallet Boost, described as a highly dynamic magnetically propelled transfer system for high-throughput machines and assembly lines. Such systems are marked by:

  • Synchronous and asynchronous bi-direction transfer

  • Can be used with standard TSplus modules to create a complete loop or as a stand-alone section

  • Precise motion profile and stopping control

  • Acceleration max. 30 m/s2

  • Speed max. 5 m/s

  • Positioning repeatability down to ±20 μm

Battery pack assembly

Process-reliable smart conveyor and positioning systems also come into play for battery module assembly. Here the new Battery Customer Innovation Center showcases additional company automation technology including linear modules and cartesian systems for precise positioning; advanced resistance welding systems; and more.

Bosch Rexroth linear modules and cartesian systems are pre-configured components designed for reducing engineering, assembly, and start-up. Their LinSelect system configurator quickly connects to the latest BOM and CAD models. Marked by high stiffness in its system dynamics, linear modules and cartesian systems are repeatable to ±50 μm and are dry-room compatible.

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Resistance welding systems

Further highlights of the Battery CIC include a resistance welding lab, featuring Bosch Rexroth modular system that include advanced welding controls, either AC or MFDC inverters, and control software, as well as interfaces for all popular fieldbuses. Designed to add to overall system and process reliability, such systems include Weld Spot Analytics software for assisting welding engineers in making better and more assured decisions that, together with adaptive control, increase high-quality welds and keep inefficiencies to a minimum in high-production environments.

Passing the test

Battery packs are complex devices required to meet ever-growing safety standards, which is why end-of-line (EOL) test systems are also part of the Battery CIC. These test systems feature the company’s scalable IndraDrive ML and fastPLC system ILC, marked by:

  • Effective use of common hardware for power supply, drive inverter, and DC/DC Converter

  • Efficient line regeneration and lowest harmonics

  • Up to 1000V DC, and high power, e.g. 500kW

  • Lowest ripple of DC voltage and current

  • Small footprint, cabinet size, and system weight

  • Future-proof open connectivity (PROFINET, EtherCAT, Sercos, Ethernet/IP, Sercos, Modbus TCP, Ethernet, OPC-UA, LabView, Simulink, Java and more.)

NOTE: Bosch Rexroth is exhibiting at The Battery Show Europe in June and The Battery Show North America in October.

About the Author(s)

Ray Chalmers

Ray Chalmers is a Detroit-area-based freelance writer with an extensive background supplying technical features and news items on manufacturing, engineering, software, economics, and the myriad paths of knowledge representing human progress.

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