PEM Supports Daimler Truck with Setup of "InnoLab Battery"


The chair "Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components" (PEM) of RWTH Aachen University will be working with Daimler Truck AG on the pilot production of battery cells. The RWTH facility is to support the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer with immediate effect in setting up an "InnoLab Battery" at their Mannheim site.

  PEM's Dr. Heiner Heimes (right) and Daimler Truck's Dr. Michael Salmen Copyright: © PEM RWTH Aachen University

"With increasing technological possibilities, the transformation from combustion engine to electric drive is also taking place in the commercial vehicle sector," says Heiner Heimes, PEM's executive chief engineer: "This makes it all the more important for manufacturers to also focus on the production of the battery cell as the key component." At the "Daimler Truck InnoLab Battery" in Mannheim, development and production departments work closely together to generate innovative market solutions for trucks and buses. In the future, the company's own lithium-ion battery cells will be developed there, produced on a pilot line, and assembled into complete battery systems. To this end, Daimler Truck plans to set up more than 60 new facilities in the approximately 10,000-square-meter "InnoLab Battery" in the coming months. By the end of 2024, the research findings are to be incorporated into the development of Daimler Truck's battery-electric product platform.



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From the planning of production lines to the design of a digital twin

"Speed and flexibility are crucial when designing and ramping up the necessary equipment," explains Dr. Michael Salmen, head of the "InnoLab Battery" at Daimler Truck: "We want to optimize product features, test different manufacturing methods and industrialize production processes in close cooperation between production and development. Our goal is to offer competitively differentiated battery systems as a pioneer in the commercial vehicle industry." The PEM chair and its "PEM Motion" spin-off will provide support in areas such as production line planning, plant design and procurement, space and building planning, and the design of a digital production twin.

"InnoLabs" shape vision for Daimler Truck's German component plants

Several "InnoLabs" are part of Daimler Truck's vision of the future, which was agreed in 2021 for the company's German component plants and sets the cornerstones for establishing a production and technology network for electric drive components and battery systems. A second "InnoLab" will be set up at the Kassel and Gaggenau sites, dedicated to the electric powertrain with its main components being electric motor, inverter, transmission, and axle system.