E-mobility revenues continue to grow // Rising demand for fuel cell manufacturing technologies // TRUMPF CEO LT Schmitz urges openness to new technologies to successfully address structural changes
TRUMPF benefits from mobility revolution
Ditzingen, February 13, 2020 – High-technology company TRUMPF is benefiting from increasing demand for electric vehicle components and alternative drive technologies. For the third year in a row, the company has recorded a rise in revenues from products and solutions that play a direct role in the production of batteries, electric motors and power electronics for e-mobility. These revenues now account for over 25 percent of the value of automotive OEM orders. TRUMPF has also seen an uptick in inquiries about manufacturing technologies for fuel cells, primarily from automotive suppliers, which receive comprehensive support from TRUMPF in developing these kind of processes. “The mobility revolution is giving rise to new fields of technology that we and the rest of German industry can benefit from if we act quickly,” says Christian Schmitz, Chief Executive Officer Laser Technology at TRUMPF, speaking at a press conference held at the Automotive Photonics technology conference in Ditzingen. For TRUMPF, these fields of technology include fuel cells as well as the e-mobility components mentioned above. “We’re continuously improving our laser systems and adapting them to the specific requirements of each powertrain technology. And we regularly embark on new development projects,” says Schmitz.
E-mobility continues to gather pace
Fuel cells must meet high safety standards – and that means processes such as gas-tight welding of cell components are key. “We learned a lot from developing the manufacturing process for this application, and now we can apply that knowledge directly to other applications, too,” says Schmitz, explaining how the synergy effects of the mobility revolution are multiplying the benefits for TRUMPF.
The company is witnessing steady improvements in its e-mobility business, with a quarter of its automotive revenues now derived from electric vehicle components. The majority of these e-components – some 80 percent – are related to battery production. A total of 1,500 TRUMPF lasers are already up and running in lithium-ion battery production plants worldwide, and their popularity is only increasing.
Battery-electric, hydrogen and combustion engines
TRUMPF is addressing the structural changes in the auto industry by remaining open to diverse technologies. “We will continue to offer industry-ready manufacturing processes for all the different drive technologies, from combustion engines to battery-electric and hydrogen,” says Schmitz. “Our two key goals are to maintain the flexibility of the manufacturing technologies we use for the various powertrains and enter new fields of technology early on. This approach gives us the best chance of mitigating the effects of the structural changes affecting the auto industry. The important thing to remember is that these changes represent a huge challenge, especially for small and medium-sized companies.”
The Automotive Photonics conference was held as part of the Technology Days event organized by the Laser Technology business division. It was the sixth technology conference in succession that offered auto industry representatives the opportunity to present new technologies and manufacturing methods for the future of mobility. The event was attended by around 180 TRUMPF customers, partners and suppliers.
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Chief Executive Officer Laser Technology, TRUMPF
The battery module consists of several battery cells. The contacts and housing are welded by laser.