Partnership with automation company will allow for world-leading intelligent equipment.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

March 26, 2024

2 Min Read
ABF goes full automation on Li-Ion Phosphate battery production
The LFP battery cells produced onsite will be environmentally friendly and last up to 10,000 life cycles/30 years.Image courtesy of American Battery Factory

American Battery Factory Inc. (ABF), is partnering with Lead Intelligent Equipment (LEAD) on custom automation equipment and machinery for use in its first gigafactory up to 20GWh in Tucson, AZ.

When the factory opened last fall, ABF initiated plans to produce battery cells for numerous applications and with the intention to optimize energy storage, destress the power grid, and make true energy independence a reality. This phase is the next step on the critical path toward finalizing facility engineering details and beginning a robust construction effort in Arizona.

Produced by LEAD in collaboration with ABF, the fully automated production line will be built from the ground up to provide a tailored solution for assembly. From mixing and coating to stacking and packaging, machinery including the slurry system, cathode and anode laser chamber, and turnkey line equipment, will cover every key step of the battery cell manufacturing process. In addition to the machinery, LEAD will initially provide onsite support including system installation, commissioning and training.

"Our collaboration with LEAD allows us to secure world-leading intelligent equipment, a significant milestone as we advance toward construction in the coming months," said Jim Ge, CEO of American Battery Factory. "This brings us one step closer to our primary goal of onshoring a domestic supply chain and accelerating the growth of the country's clean energy economy. In addition to ensuring a high-quality first production line, this lays the foundation for future phases at our facility while demonstrating a long-term, strategic relationship that will benefit our gigafactory network for years to come."

In conjunction with this manufacturing equipment decision, ABF is working with other US companies to secure additional equipment, building controls, software, PLCs, cyber systems, construction, and more. The company has previously announced partnerships with Honeywell, First Phosphate, Anovion, Celgard, FNA Group, and Lion Energy to provide solutions including digital platforms, lithium sourcing, anode and separator materials, and battery pack integration.

"Accelerating global layout has long been a core strategic goal for LEAD and collaborating with ABF is a key step for our expansion into US and North American markets," said Wang Yanqing, LEAD chairman. "We will jointly build an automated, efficient, and intelligent gigafactory network, contributing to the growth of local lithium battery and energy storage industry in the United States."

Due to the size of the machinery, decisions in the planning phase have considered the impact on everything from electrical to plumbing and the related geotechnical considerations which then impact the necessary size of the foundation. With a targeted completion in 2025, the first ABF gigafactory will include the company's headquarters, a research and development innovation center, and the initial 2 x 2 GWh factory module. The LFP battery cells produced onsite will be distinct from other lithium battery chemistries, incorporating the safest chemistry and environmentally friendly design while lasting up to 10,000 life cycles/30 years.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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