KOMVAR FUNDING PROJECT
Starting signal for innovative series production
The series production operation in Tübingen was established as part of the KomVar funding project. The project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) was officially approved on 01/09/2019. With total investment of 8.2 million euros (including 4.7 million euros of funding) over a period of 24 months, KomVar is driving the development of ‘Competitive Variant Production for Lithium Accumulators’ with a service-based character for lithium-ion cell development and for the series production of small and medium-size batches for niche markets. The project officially ends on 31/12/2021.
The KomVar consortium contributes existing knowledge in the field of cell development to the project and enhances it. MANZ AG possesses in-depth production knowledge and has contributed part of its existing production facilities at the company's site in Tübingen to the KomVar project. In the context of the project, MANZ AG functions solely as a subcontractor and is not involved as a partner. The company’s own development activities are particularly focused on large-scale production and strong standardisation and modularisation rather than on the production of development-based systems. The production platform will cover all steps from electrode separation to packaging the cell body in the pouch.
For the purposes of completing certain project-related tasks, (electrolyte filling, pre-ageing and degassing of the cells), Manz AG is subcontracted by CUSTOMCELLS® Itzehoe GmbH. This allows the entire process chain to be modelled. Furthermore, the presentable aspect of the KomVar approach can be guaranteed and demonstrated, especially with regard to technical feasibility and competitiveness. Manz is thus responsible for developing the KomVar systems in accordance with the specifications of CUSTOMCELLS® Itzehoe, which are based on the company's own experience of the market situation and on the existing insights and known customer requirements of the P3 Group in the market. Following the development of the concept and the construction and conversion of the systems in Tübingen, the newly founded CUSTOMCELLS® Tübingen GmbH performed the corresponding test runs on the systems using materials from CUSTOMCELLS® Itzehoe. The ZSW assisted in the test runs in order to work out and evaluate corresponding quality concepts under these special new conditions.
The cells produced from the test runs are examined and characterised by both the ZSW and CUSTOMCELLS® Itzehoe in order to compare them with the previous standards of CUSTOMCELLS® and other manufacturers in terms of cost, quality and flexibility. Practical information about the costs of changing formats and cell chemistries is generated alongside the test runs, which has been incorporated in the development of a comprehensive economic feasibility concept produced by CUSTOMCELLS® and P3.