Image: PowerCell

Swedish product development consultancy Semcon AB is expanding its partnership with fuel cell maker PowerCell, to help it scale up production by deploying robots and automation. The robots are being installed at PowerCell’s facility in Gothenberg, Sweden, following Semcon’s virtual simulations which visualize the entire production process.

PowerCell expects to streamline its manufacturing, reduce costs and enhance quality thanks to this automation, which will enable it to meet the increased demand that it expects for hydrogen-powered fuel cells, primarily from the automotive sector. Semcon technical project manager Thomas Lydhig said in a statement: “As part of this partnership, Semcon is supplying test concepts, production equipment, installation and commissioning for semi-automatic trial production of fuel cells. This is an incredibly exciting project with fantastic potential.”

A partner in the German Autostack Industrie project part-funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transportation and Digital Infrastructure, PowerCell has the responsibility in this programme to design a vehicle fuel cell stack for mass production, and to develop an assembly line for its production. Other partners in this project are BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen and Ford of Europe.

An industrial spin-out from the Volvo Group, PowerCell was founded in 2008. It has also recently announced an order for engineering services from “a leading European vehicle manufacturer”, to help this OEM adapt the interface between its platform and the fuel cell stack, and is the supplier of fuel cell stacks to the American truck maker Nikola Motors.

-Farah Alkhalisi