Festo continues to broaden its expertise and resources to support the automotive industry’s changing needs as it transforms from the internal combustion engine (ICE) towards electrification. From its comprehensive product portfolio, Festo offers coordinated solutions for the robust, safe and precise gripping and transport of battery cells, along with many years of experience to help optimise machine safety and energy efficiency.

Producing battery modules is a complex process that involves assembling costly and potentially dangerous electrochemical elements. Their production poses new challenges to the industry: for example, it is essential to avoid damaging the battery cells during handling. In the last two years, Festo has invested heavily to cover all the requirements for EV production. Festo’s research and participation in joint research projects, which focus on the handling process for producing solid-state Li-ion battery cells or recycling batteries, also contribute to their development.

“We are already engaged with and supporting a range of gigafactory investments and subsequent projects for EV production, battery research and related infrastructure,” says Pete Rogers, National Team Manager for Automotive at Festo GB. “Our specialist industry team is on hand to support the automation needs of this fast-growing sector.”

festo chassis

Festo offers many products and solutions for manufacturing machines and systems along the entire production process chain, including copper-, zinc- and nickel-free products and dry- and clean-room compatible products. Festo’s energy-efficient piezo valves and servo press, for example, are already driving equipment for producing wound battery cells. Using high-quality products pays off in this application because the batteries are costly and gigafactories run at high cycle rates, so maximising uptime is paramount.

Production facilities for batteries and EVs are currently being planned and built worldwide at short notice and high speed. The ability to train and on-board large numbers of employees very quickly is crucial. Festo Didactic offers industry-specific training concepts: from the Festo Learning Experience Platform for self-study to hands-on training.

Dr Ansgar Kriwet, Member of the Management Board for Sales: “In 2020, 70% of Festo’s top projects in the automotive industry involved investments for electromobility.” Over the next few years, Festo expects significant double-digit percentage growth in this segment.

For more information about Festo products and services for battery cell and EV production, visit: festo.co.uk/electrificationofpowertrain