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Open AccessArticle

Overcoming the Challenges for a Mass Manufacturing Machine for the Assembly of PEMFC Stacks

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Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU, Reichenhainer Strasse 88, 09126 Chemnitz, Germany
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Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH, Benzstrasse 7, 82178 Puchheim, Germany
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Aumann Limbach-Oberfrohna GmbH, An der Hopfendarre 11, 09212 Limbach-Oberfrohna, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Machines 2019, 7(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7040066
Received: 11 September 2019 / Revised: 10 October 2019 / Accepted: 14 October 2019 / Published: 18 October 2019
One of the major obstacles standing in the way of a break-through in fuel cell technology is its relatively high costs compared to well established fossil-based technologies. The reasons for these high costs predominantly lie in the use of non-standardized components, complex system components, and non-automated production of fuel cells. This problem can be identified at multiple levels, for example, the electrochemically active components of the fuel cell stack, peripheral components of the fuel cell system, and eventually on the level of stack and system assembly. This article focused on the industrialization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack components and assembly. To achieve this, the first step is the formulation of the requirement specifications for the automated PEMFC stack production. The developed mass manufacturing machine (MMM) enables a reduction of the assembly time of a cell fuel cell stack to 15 minutes. Furthermore the targeted automation level is theoretically capable of producing up to 10,000 fuel cell stacks per year. This will result in a ~50% stack cost reduction through economies of scale and increased automation. The modular concept is scalable to meet increasing future demand which is essential for the market ramp-up and success of this technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: mass manufacturing machine; automation; mass production; PEMFC stacks (polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell); fuel cell mass manufacturing machine; automation; mass production; PEMFC stacks (polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell); fuel cell
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Porstmann, S.; Wannemacher, T.; Richter, T. Overcoming the Challenges for a Mass Manufacturing Machine for the Assembly of PEMFC Stacks. Machines 2019, 7, 66.

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