The deal with the Japanese equipment maker allows manufacturers of batteries for electric cars to receive a complete packages from one supplier with technology for double-sided coating and drying electrodes and established systems for solvent recovery. Tesla's Battery Day highlighted the importance of the battery manufacturing process for improving the performance of electric vehicles and reducing the cost.
“This provides us with a convincing all-round package for major projects in the automotive sector. In the medium term, the Group is aiming for a sales volume in the high double-digit million range in battery manufacturing technology business,” said Dr. Jochen Weyrauch, Deputy CEO of the Dürr Systems.
Dürr's 2018 acquisition of Megtec in the US provided important capabilities in battery manufacturing technology. With its coating, drying and solvent recovery systems, Dürr Megtec supplies systems for three essential steps in the production of lithium-ion batteries.
In the coating process, anode or cathode active material is applied on both sides as a thin slurry onto a metal foil. The drying process then creates a solid composite material. Within the lithium-ion battery cell, the role of the active material is to store the energy, while the metal foil ensures the dissipation of current. Solvents used in the manufacturing process can be recovered for reusage with Dürr technologies.
Both sides of the metal foil are coated in one pass to provide an efficient process. Dürr Megtec developed a special coating process for simultaneous two-sided coating. Slot dies are used to coat both sides of the electrode foil directly after one another and getting dried in a horizontal air flotation dryer afterwards. Benefits of this unique process are, among others, smaller overall manufacturing footprint and high cost efficiency.
With its simultaneous two-sided coating solution for battery electrodes, so far Dürr has been successful mainly in niche segments. For example, the mechanical and plant engineering firm