Techno Smart and Dürr Partner for Automotive Battery Growth

October 22, 2020 by Alessandro Mascellino

Automotive industry giant Dürr and industrial coating specialist Techno Smart have entered a partnership to work on coating lithium-ion battery electrodes technologies.

Following the partnership, producers of EV batteries will be able to purchase complete packages from a single source at Dürr, which will also integrate Techno Smart solutions.

Commenting on the news, Dürr and Techno Smart said the partnership is aiming for a sales volume in the high double-digit million range in the battery manufacturing technology business.


Image used courtesy of Dürr.
Image used courtesy of Dürr.


Dürr Technologies

Dürr is a mechanical and plant engineering firm focusing on automobile manufacturing. 

Founded in 1895, the firm is one of the oldest industrial manufacturers in Germany and has so far raised over $750 million in fundings.

With the acquisition of US Company Megtec/Universal in 2018, Dürr generated sales of €2.1 billion that year and added battery manufacturing technology to its expanding portfolio.

Dürr Megtec, which is now part of the Clean Technology Systems division, builds coating, drying, and solvent recovery systems for lithium-ion batteries.


Techno Smart

Originally founded as Inoue Kinzoku Kogyo Co in 1912, the company changed its name to Techno Smart in 2012.

In the early 1990s, the firm launched solutions for coating lithium-ion battery cells and supplied its high-precision technology to major battery manufacturers in the Asian market.

By 2019, Techno Smart employed around 250 employees and achieved a turnover of €130 million. Today, the company specializes in the design and manufacturing of lithium-ion battery electrode manufacturing devices, LCD polarized film manufacturing devices.

Techno Smart also produces film manufacturing devices and precision instruments for coating and laminating.


Partnering on Coating Lithium-ion Battery Electrodes

When coating lithium-ion battery electrodes, anode or cathode active material is applied on both sides as a thin slurry onto a metal foil. 


Image used courtesy of Dürr.
Image used courtesy of Dürr.


The drying process that ensues creates a solid composite material, which role within the lithium-ion battery cell is to store the energy. The metal foil, on the other hand, ensures the dissipation of current. 

The solvents that are used in the manufacturing process can then be recovered for reuse with Dürr technologies.

Since both sides of the metal foil need to be coated simultaneously to increase operational efficiency, Dürr Megtec has developed a special coating process.

The procedure utilizes slot dies to coat both sides of the electrode foil one after the other, and getting dried in a horizontal air flotation dryer afterward.

According to Dürr, the biggest growth driver in the market for battery manufacturing technology now would be electromobility. 

To keep up with the increasing demand of electrodes required for e-car batteries, Techno Smart has increased the efficiency of both-sides-coating processes. 

The Japanese company’s method has the slurry applied on the first side by a slot die over a backing roller, increasing the speed at which the part dries. 

The foil is then immediately turned and the second side is coated and dried following the same process.

The new partnership will merge the companies’ expertise, and enable Dürr and Techno Smart to produce lithium-ion battery electrodes quicker and more efficiently, while also reducing footprint and increasing revenue.

“With our cooperation, we combine our market-leading drying and solvent recovery technologies with the proven coating solutions of Techno Smart for e-car batteries,” said Dr. Daniel Schmitt, CEO of Dürr’s Clean Technology Systems division. “That way, we create a unique portfolio in the market, where we can effectively support the development of battery manufacturing for e-mobility as an experienced partner of the automotive industry.”