Fuel cell assembly

Stack quickly with the correct assembly line

Electric drives with fuel cells as energy suppliers will play a major role in the emission-free vehicles of the future. The advantages are long ranges and short refuelling times, similar to combustion engines. When it comes to making freight and passenger transport more eco-friendly, the fuel cell is superior to a battery in terms of availability of raw materials, weight and size. We can provide you with the right production system for your requirements in terms of component variance, variable or fixed production quantities. With our assembly and test solutions for fuel cells, you can safely process up to 10,000,000 cells per year. Based on our experience from projects implemented worldwide, we will find the right solution for you.

The alignment of the MEA to the bipolar plate and the fast, precise stacking of these cells represent the challenge in the assembly of fuel cells. We have optimized these processes.

Thomas Kuschel, Head of Sales Fuel Cell Assembly & Testing, thyssenkrupp System Engineering
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Our solutions for fuel cell assembly

Our concepts are based on delivering finished bipolar plates and MEAs (membrane electrode assemblies) to the line. Time-optimized component handling in ½ Hz technology (one cell every two seconds) enables us to remove the components from the storage, visually check them for quality and cleanliness in cycle time, and then stack and press them. In this way, up to 25,000 stacks are produced annually per system, whereby one stack consists of at least 400 cells.

For prototype and small series assembly, we offer our customers scalable and individually tailored solutions. Product understanding and variant competence are our top priority. The selection of the required test processes and technology is part of our DNA.

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Test and conditioning

A defective part in the stack can lead to a total failure of the system in the vehicle. Our test benches and in-process test concepts monitor the quality of production and ensure the performance of the fuel cell stacks.

The current conditioning times of the stacks of up to 12 hours require extensive technical equipment in the manufacturing process. One focus of our development work is on new concepts to reduce these.

Schlüsselfertiges Linienportfolio
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We don’t stop here

In order to enable the entry into large series production, we are optimizing the existing solutions. A 1 Hz cell stack technology (one cell per second) for up to 50,000 stacks in 2020 is our next milestone. Flow production is the key to the production of fuel cell stacks with quantities significantly larger than 50,000 units.

To enable to provision of materials, partial productions, for example of the MEA, become part of the assembly processes. The CCM (Catalyst-Coated-Membrane), the GLD (Gas-Diffusion-Layer) and the Sub-Gasket as parts of the MEA are being supplied to the line as roll material and then processed.

Our concept for your needs

DemandTechnical solutionQuantities per year
Production of prototype components and small series for entry into the new technologyManual and semi-automatic stations for laminating, stacking and pressing adapted to the development status and product variantsUp to approx. 500 stacks
Series assembly in scalable quantities and variable design
Automatic assembly of stacks, including stacking and pressing. Provision for product variants and generation changesUp to approx. 25.000 stacks
Test technology for quality assuranceOptical inspection of the cells in the production process.
Electrical testing of the cells, end-of-line and leakage test of the stacks, conditioning of the stacks