Navigating the Future of Battery Cell Housing Production in Europe and North America

by | Jun 28, 2024 | Extreme Lithium Battery Manufacturing, Cell case manufacturing and handling, Monitoring line performance, Sustainable manufacturing | 0 comments

Partner contribution: Schuler Group ; Expert: Markus Rover


The rapid growth in demand for lithium-ion batteries, driven by the proliferation of electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy storage, necessitates the development of robust supply chains in the EU and NAFTA markets. Innovative and efficient production solutions for prismatic and cylindrical battery cell housings are essential to meet this demand.

The Landscape of Battery Cell Housing Production

Let’s explore the current and future landscape of battery cell housing production, focusing on key aspects of the manufacturing process and supply chain challenges.

Manufacturing Process Overview

The production of battery cell housings involves several critical stages:

1. Cupping (Blank and Draw) for Cylindrical Cans: The initial stage where coil material is formed into cup shapes.


Impact Extrusion for Prismatic Cans: The initial stage where an aluminum slug material is formed into a pre-form.

2. Drawing, Ironing, and Trimming: These processes refine the shape and size of the battery cans.

3. Washing: Essential for removing any residues from the manufacturing process.

4. Vision Inspection: An optional but crucial step to ensure quality and consistency.

5. End-of-line: Packing the finished good into trays for transport

Challenges in the Supply Chain

The supply chain for battery cell production in Europe and North America faces numerous challenges:

– Non-Existent Supply Chain: Building the supply chain from scratch to meet high production demands.

– Ramping-Up Scenarios: Difficulties in starting with high-efficiency but high-investment production solutions.

– Frequent Product Specification Changes: Keeping up with rapid advancements in battery technology.

– High Costs: Addressing the rising costs of labor, energy, construction, and logistics in EU and NAFTA markets compared to Asia.

The supplier with the lowest cost per unit will be in the best position to secure supply contracts with cell manufacturers. Therefore, let’s analyze the production cost of a cell housing using the example of a large cylindrical can.

Cost Analysis and Optimization

Our detailed cost analysis reveals significant insights:

– Direct Materials: Steel and other materials constitute a major portion of the costs (steel 50%).

– Operational Fixed Costs: Labor and building costs also contribute significantly.

– Non-Operational Costs: Depreciation of the initial investment adds to overall expenses.

Leading the Way on Cost

To address these financial challenges, Schuler proposes several solutions:

– Material Utilization: Optimizing material usage by employing wide coil cupping systems or using aluminum slugs for prismatic cans.

– Building Footprint: Reducing space requirements in gigafactories by using multi-out diesets.

– Labor Efficiency: Minimizing labor costs by enhancing automation and operational efficiency.

Managing Production Ramp-Up and Flexibility

Our approach to scaling production involves:

– Modular Expansion: Starting with smaller production capacities on high-end machines with reduced investment and scaling up as demand increases.

– Flexible Production Lines: Adapting production lines to handle multiple products simultaneously, ensuring versatility and responsiveness to market changes.

Key Success Factors

To achieve success in battery case production, we can identify several critical factors:

– Machine and Line Integration: Partnering with dedicated technology providers.

– Human Resources: Investing in training and launch assistance for workforce competency.

– Process Support: Utilizing simulation tools, sampling, and selecting the right direct materials.

– Operational Support: Implementing local and remote services, fully digitized operations, OEE monitoring, and Track & Trace systems.


Schuler Pressen GmbH’s comprehensive approach to battery cell housing production sets a benchmark for efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and adaptability. As the demand for lithium-ion batteries continues to soar, Schuler’s innovative solutions ensure that manufacturers can meet these demands while maintaining high standards of quality and sustainability.

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