Siemens Opens Robotic Battery Module Plant in Norway
Ian Palmer posted on March 11, 2019 |
 Marine solutions from Siemens. (Image Courtesy of Siemens.)
Marine solutions from Siemens. (Image Courtesy of Siemens.)

Siemens AG, the German conglomerate with headquarters in Berlin and Munich as well as the biggest industrial manufacturing business in Europe, has invested into furthering the electrification of shipping in Norway and elsewhere.

The company recently opened a robotic battery module plant in Trondheim, Norway. According to the company, the move comes on the heels of a trend that has seen Norwegian companies readily embrace the electrification of shipping. It also comes at a time when Siemens, which is no stranger to investing in maritime battery systems, has seen international interest in its battery solutions.

"In Trondheim, we have established a competence center for electrical and hybrid solutions with years of experience,” said Anne Marit Panengstuen, CEO of Siemens AS, a subsidiary of Siemens AG, in a statement. “This has impressed global management so much that we are now responsible for the development of new battery systems.”

The plan is to assemble 55 battery modules each shift daily for the marine and offshore market. The factory includes a robotized and digitized production line consisting of eight robotic stations capable of as many as 300 megawatt hours annually. As well, the fully automated factory will handle everything from unpacking production parts to quality control on the finished module.

Although the market has mostly been driven by electric ferries up to this point, Siemens believes that there is the potential for the market to extend to fishing boats and workboats intended for aquaculture and offshore plants in the future.    

The company confirmed that the factory not too long ago received its first order to assemble batteries intended for a drilling rig. Siemens AG explained that Northern Drilling’s West Mira drilling platform will be the first-ever drilling rig to be operated using a modern battery solution. Using a battery solution for its West Mira drilling rig, Northern Drilling can cut annual fuel consumption, annual carbon dioxide emissions and annual nitrogen oxide emissions by, respectively, 12 percent, 15 percent and 12 percent.

For a look at how a fully automated manufacturing process is working out in another sector, check out This is What a Smart Factory Looks Like.

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