Panasonic Energy to launch new R&D facility for battery production development in Japan

Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., a Panasonic Group Company, has announced it has completed the construction of a new production development facility within its Suminoe factory in Osaka, Japan. The cutting-edge facility, dedicated to next-generation manufacturing, is aimed at bolstering the company’s manufacturing competitiveness and expanding its global production capacity, and will serve as a hub for the development of production process technology.

This new facility, by being adjacent to the production site, is designed to facilitate collaboration between manufacturing functions. It will also support initiatives such as shortening lead times for equipment verifications for mass production using large-scale validation equipment, as well as addressing the development of manufacturing technologies to enhance competitiveness and the expansion of production technology resources.

With a total floor area of 7,900 square meters, the new facility contains a pilot production and validation area equipped to spur the development of technology aimed up scaling up next-generation processes. Additionally, it has resources allowing the large-scale pre-verification of mass-production equipment. Around 400 production engineers are expected to be based at the new facility. Including those due to be deployed at a new R&D facility for battery cell development scheduled for completion in Nishi- Kadoma, Osaka in April 2025, approximately 1,100 personnel will be engaged in battery-related research and development, making it the largest battery R&D hub in Japan.

The new facility will also serve as a base for the development of digital transformation, where company-wide data will be consolidated and digitized. A “data analysis platform” will centralize and manage battery data from across all the company’s factories and the material handling will be simulated in order to assess optimum factory layouts.

Additionally, the facility will be a hub for promoting green transition, aiming to accelerate the deployment of high-efficiency equipment through winding and welding technology development, as well as the validation of the emerging dry coating technology to optimize energy productivity. Further product development initiatives in collaboration with the company’s new R&D facility for battery cell development in Nishi-Kadoma are also planned.

The overall Suminoe factory, which produces automotive lithiumion batteries, with a major focus on eco-friendly manufacturing, achieved a net-zero CO2 emission status in January 2024. The factory maximizes its use of renewable energy by means of such initiatives as the use of rooftop solar panels and off-site corporate power purchase agreements.¹

Leveraging its expertise in battery development and manufacturing, Panasonic Energy will continue to contribute to the growth of the lithiumion battery industry and the development of manufacturing technology, while pursuing its mission of helping to create a sustainable society.