Circular production for highly integrated electromobility components
3 years (10/2021-09/2024)
Funding: 935.854,85 € (TUBS)
Total Project Volume: 3.897.457 €
Institute of Machine Tools and Production Technology
Institute for Particle Technology
Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST
Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology
DECKEL MAHO Pfronten GmbH
ASCon Systems GmbH
The global mobility revolution and the associated use of sustainably produced energy storage systems and converters require shorter product development cycles, innovative production processes and consistent recycling strategies to close material cycles. In today's and also in the future electromobility sector, the energy storage systems and converters used differ in terms of, for example, cell chemistry, structural design and the passive components used (battery management system, thermal management, housing structure, etc.). Due to this high diversity of variants of energy storage systems and converters, the recycling process chain is characterized by complex manual and thus often uneconomical work. This is where the ZIRKEL research project addresses the issue of developing production technology for the recycling economy using the example of highly integrated electromobility components.
The aim of ZIRKEL is to sustainably increase the productivity and economic efficiency in the dismantling, separation and disassembly process of traction battery systems and electric motors in order to identify the ecologically and economically optimal recycling route for specific products and, as a result, to completely close the material cycles.
For this purpose, different dismantling depths and disassembly stages are analyzed and the associated process steps are developed, adapted and automated as well as trained and optimized by means of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning methods in order to quickly and flexibly adapt the corresponding systems to the input products and to recycle them efficiently.
As processes, non-destructive disassembly methods are used (e.g. automated detection and loosening of screw connections) furthermore, intelligent, minimally invasive separation methods are developed and destructive methods for material-selective disassembly are investigated.
In addition to developing automated solutions for component disassembly using AI algorithms and computer vision, the project will also develop strategies for vehicle reuse, repurpose, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling. Depending on the component condition of the selected recovery route, different processes for disassembly and material-selective cutting up to sorting are thus evaluated and combined in a holistic process chain for optimal recovery. The recyclability of the dismantled components and the recycled materials in the production cycle is investigated both on the process side and in the form of recommendations for action for a design for recycling. In addition, a holistic evaluation of the different recycling routes is carried out.