BMW Group to Open Cell Manufacturing Center this Fall

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on BMW Group to Open Cell Manufacturing Center this Fall

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The BMW Group said today it will open its so-called Cell Manufacturing Competence Center (CCMC) in the fall. With the emission control approval procedure now completed, the necessary conditions are in place for commissioning of “near-standard production” of lithium-ion battery cells at Parsdorf, outside of Munich.

In an area of ~15,000 square-meters, the BMW Group claims it will demonstrate industrial feasibility of future generations of high-performance battery cells. The pilot line will make it possible to analyze and fully understand cell value creation processes. “This will enable future suppliers to produce cells to the BMW Group’s own specifications and thereby further optimize battery cell production with regard to quality, output and costs. The company is currently ruling out the option of establishing its own large-scale battery cell production,” BMW said.

“The Cell Manufacturing Competence Centre in Parsdorf is the next logical step towards penetrating all aspects of the battery cell value chain. Following successful implementation of the Battery Cell Competence Centre (BCCC), we are now focusing on the production processes. We are validating the manufacturability of lithium-ion battery cells for large-scale standard production, with regard to quality, efficiency and costs,” said Markus Fallböhmer, head of Production Engines, E-Drives at the BMW Group.

Investment in the initial development phase totals ~170 million euros. About 80 employees will work at the Parsdorf location. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy are supporting the project within the framework of the European funding process IPCEI (Important Projects of Common European Interest).

Battery cell production will be commissioned in stages, with production due to start in the autumn as stated. In the initial phase, systems for electrode production will be installed and run in. During this stage, raw materials, such as graphite and nickel oxides for battery electrodes, are metered and mixed. This is followed by coating of the metal foils and final compression.

In the second phase, the systems for subsequent cell assembly and formation will be installed. During this step, the electrodes are processed with the other sub-components to create battery cells and are formed and checked for quality. The entire ramp-up process will take about a year. Over the course of the following year, near-standard battery cell production will transition to regular operation.

The BMW Group sources battery cells from leading cell manufacturers. The remaining value creation, i.e., cell preparation, and production of modules and high-voltage batteries, takes place at the automotive manufacturer. Electric powertrain components are manufactured at multiple locations across the BMW Group production network. For example, high-voltage batteries, battery modules and components are produced in Germany, at Plants Dingolfing, Regensburg and Leipzig. Other electric powertrain components come from Plant Spartanburg in the US and the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture in China.

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