Network in Research and Industry

  Graphic of the FFB in Münster Copyright: © Artur Krause/ARTVISU  

The chair "Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components" (PEM) of RWTH Aachen University operates in a strong network with numerous partners from research and industry. In many different projects on specific issues of electric vehicle production, the PEM team cooperates with institutes of different disciplines throughout Germany. In addition, the RWTH chair maintains higher-level collaborations with other universities and scientific institutions on a national and international level – for example, with the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Battery Cell Production FFB in Münster, Germany, as well as with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) in Coventry and with the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico.

Technology development for domestic battery cell production research

The innovative concept of the Fraunhofer FFB facility is reflected in the novel collaboration of its numerous partners. In this context, 14 Fraunhofer institutes are cooperating with the PEM chair of RWTH, with the Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology (MEET) of the Westphalian Wilhelms University of Münster, and with the Forschungszentrum Jülich. The contents of the partnership include the planning of future testing and production lines as well as the cell formats to be developed. Since the earliest stage of Fraunhofer FFB, the PEM chair has been involved in the implementation of the FoFeBat research project in the form of strategy and technology development as well as building and production planning. In parallel, the PEM team provides support in communication with current and future industrial partners.

Co-development of Great Britains' battery industrialization center

The RWTH chair PEM is also strongly networked far beyond national borders. PEM's experts assisted the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre in Coventry in the early planning phase and helped design the facilities and buildings for the 150 million euros project. Close ties to the facility also exist through former PEM employees who now work at UKBIC, which – from mixing to formation and end-of-line testing – is home to a complete cell production facility, including module and pack manufacturing, with its own laboratory. The unique facility provides the missing link between battery technology, which has proved promising at laboratory or prototype scale, and successful mass production. The publicly-funded battery product development facility welcomes manufacturers, entrepreneurs, researchers and educators, and is a key part of the Faraday Battery Challenge (FBC), a UK government program to accelerate the development of cost-effective, high-performance, durable, safe, low-weight and recyclable batteries.

Collaboration with industry and the VDMA

PEM also maintains productive partnerships with numerous companies from the nationwide and international industry. These include machine and plant builders, subsystem manufacturers and cell producers, as well as automotive manufacturers and component suppliers. In addition, PEM works closely with the Association of German Mechanical and Plant Engineering VDMA: With the VDMA Battery Production Department, PEM regularly produces joint brochures on key findings from research and development several times a year.

PEM is always open to new ideas and partnerships. An exchange with the RWTH chair is therefore always welcome.