E-Power for North America

Published on Aug 14, 2023


E-Power for North America

Assembly line for high-performance battery modules

Through their expertise, PIA Automation's North American sites supply a wide variety of industries with innovative production and testing systems but has recently finished a project that offers the automotive industry in particular benefits. PIA Automation USA, based in Evansville, Indiana, developed an innovative line for the field of e-mobility: Assembly lines for lithium-ion battery modules characterized by a high energy density and cost-efficient production.

Simply put, with its worldwide locations, PIA Automation is the right partner for companies that are looking to develop or manufacture e-mobility products. The locations are connected through their shared Business Segments, which ensures that PIA can provide customers with the best possible solutions, regardless of their location. The North American entities have particular specialties in powertrain components, electrical components, and battery.

PIA’s recently launched battery module line, which is a scalable and flexible system that can be used to produce battery modules for a variety of electric vehicles, utilizes a number of innovative solutions for the production of battery modules and packs, automated assembly systems, test equipment as well as manual and automated processes with parts being delivered to each station via a roller chain conveyor. The two lines, each 250 ft in length, feature eleven manual stations, 12 fully automatic stations, including dispensing and screwing, and are running at a 240 second cycle time module to module.

The assembly lines also include a station for high-speed laser welding that is the heart of this system. The laser welding station was developed to ensure that the process can be implemented quickly and precisely- a total of 32 cells are lasered at once. In addition, PIA has developed a special finger geometry that holds the components in position during lasering. David Kerbeck explains: "For the battery assembly system, we have created a proof of principle in part as a service but also as a tool to further develop ourselves." A wide variety of American end-customers, including a hybrid truck development companies and manufacturers of zero-emission vehicles, could benefit greatly from battery modules made by PIA Systems. PIA has also developed solutions for the production of inverters and power electronics, thermal management systems, and electric motors.

The battery modules, with a total capacity of 10 kWh, as well as high packaging efficiency of 576 cells per module and performance, are manufactured at PIAUSA with support from PIA’s European locations:

"The site in Bad Neustadt, Germany, handles the design and construction of some modules, which are then used in Evansville for the commissioning of the machine," explains David Kerbeck, Senior Account Manager, PIA North America. "Our location in Bad Neustadt has already hosted a similar project by a customer from Italy as a solution supplier. Therefore, the entire global team benefits from collaboration during these experiences."

Along with automation expertise in battery assembly, PIA's cooperative approach also persuades their customers: The PIA Automation collaborative approach is reflected not only in the cooperation within the global PIA network, but also in the fact that PIA attaches great importance to a partnership relationship with its customers. PIA has a strong history of working with suppliers in the automotive industry and its commitment to its customers has provided innovative products and solutions to improve production processes.

To further emphasize those partnerships, the PIA Service Organization offers service contracts to customers designed to give customers immediate support and assistance with any unforeseen issues that may arise during day-to-day operations. In addition, PIA's Industry 4.0 solutions are used, which enables the customer to conduct a wide range of analysis and optimization measures. The PIA Industrial App Suite is PIA's digital product portfolio and the I4.0 tools offer extensive functionalities to master the challenges of plant operation and line optimization. Using these tools, all assembly systems can be monitored worldwide, their potential for improvement identified and their productivity optimized.

The market for new energy vehicles is developing rapidly, and the requirements for battery systems are constantly increasing, as well as the demand for assembly lines. According to David Kerbeck, "PIA Automation is making a significant contribution to the expansion of e-mobility in North America and the rest of the world." If you are looking for innovative automation solutions for your e-mobility project, begin your battery production and assembling with PIA Automation’s globally experienced team. Its technology, resources, infrastructure, and comprehensive offerings allow PIA to help customers bring their products to market quickly and efficiently.Find out more at Assembly lines for automotive and mobility - PIA Group.

You can also visit PIA Automation at Booth# 3221 at The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo North America in Novi, Michigan on September 12-14, 2023. In addition to seeing PIA's solutions for the production of battery modules and packs, you will also have the opportunity to meet with company experts and discuss your next challenge, market trends and initiatives.