With a new facility featuring over 3,000 m2 of production halls and office space in Langen, as well as an additional 700 m2 of halls at the headquarters in Darmstadt, lithium-ion battery system pioneer AKASOL is launching two further production sites at once. Starting in 2018, up to 150 members of staff will begin series assembly of lithium-ion battery systems for leading European bus manufacturers, in what will be the largest plant in Langen. By the end of 2017, the automated and automotive-focused series production line will be set up and put into operation.
In a second new plant at the Darmstadt headquarters, small-scale series production for numerous orders in the commercial vehicle, railway and marine industries has already begun. “We are delighted to have found the ideal production and working conditions for series manufacturing in the direct vicinity of our Darmstadt headquarters thanks to the Multipark Langen. Our second plant in Darmstadt will allow us to add further capacity for small-scale series production. In short, our customers will benefit from the scalable and industry-specific production capacities of our new facilities. This move marks a new chapter in our company history,” says Sven Schulz, CEO of AKASOL GmbH.
As part of an initial expansion step in 2018, AKASOL will begin large-scale series production of battery systems for electric buses with a total capacity of up to 300 MWh at the new plant in Langen. This should be enough to equip about 1,500 e-buses annually. “In the second step, we plan on expanding the capacity to up to 600 MWh per year. We can also add further capacity by using additional halls on the premises,” says Schulz. In addition to large-scale series production at the Langen plant, the Darmstadt production halls will focus on small-scale series manufacturing, prototypes and samples for customers from the commercial and construction vehicle, railway, and marine fields. AKASOL will then have a total of over 5,000 m2 of production and logistics halls as well as 1,200 m2 of office space.
AKAZEM can be put together to meet small (from 25 kWh) to larger energy requirements. It is thus very scalable and easily replaceable and can be customized to connect to many applications. „The unique modularity opened a wide range of applications, from use for the all-electric or plug-in hybrid operation by winches, cranes and pumps“, says Sven Schulz. AKASOL has developed modular solution for buses and trains, and will produce a rapidly increasing number for several large customers. "The quality and good engineering expertise, which we found in the AKASystem OEM is in our opinion the best basis for a first-class maritime energy storage system for smaller vessels" said Jan-Olaf Willums. ”Therefore, we decided to work with AKASOL and develop a fully self-contained modular system that can pass all maritime certification tests and, thanks to its IP67 rating, can be placed in all kinds of vessels.”
The AKAZEM modular systems will be used in the world's first battery-driven freefall lifeboats, a joint project with the company Norsafe, which had its world premiere at Nor-Shipping. Moen Marine will also announce a partnership agreement to use the AKAZEM solutions in its new series of aquaculture and fishing vessels. ZEM adapts the AKASystem OEM - to be produced at a new factory in large quantities for international bus manufacturers – to maritime requirements, including validation and certification of the classification society DNV-GL and the Norwegian Maritime Authority. The Norwegian specialist will be responsible for the final assembly, electrical integration and customer acceptance test in its production facilities in Karmøy on the west coast of Norway.
These facilities were designed to be sustainable, and were completed in 2016 in compliance with the latest standards for industrial production halls. The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e.V.) in Stuttgart certified the building according to the 40 DGNB Gold criteria, which represent the greatest possible level of transparency and quality with regard to sustainability, economy, socio-cultural and functional aspects, technology, processes, and location. According to Sven Schulz, “the new location in Langen not only meets our demands in terms of bright, well-lit and welcoming workstations, it can also be quickly and easily reached by employees and customers thanks to its location near the S-Bahn and direct connections to the A5 and A661 motorways.”