Sweden’s Cell Impression scales circulation plate manufacturing with distinctive know-how

Cell Impression Forming™ is a high-velocity manufacturing course of for gas cell circulation plates.

The best problem within the gas cell and electrolysis {industry} is the present lack of scalable manufacturing processes and the excessive element value for circulation plate manufacturing. Scaling up manufacturing with standard progressive stamping know-how is prohibitively pricey and difficult. As well as, the traditional stamping gear required could be very giant and usually requires a pricey manufacturing unit lodging, making this know-how much less appropriate when circulation plate manufacturing volumes improve.

Now, there may be an out there resolution – Cell Impression Forming™. It’s a cost-efficient manufacturing technique, pleasant to the atmosphere, versatile for prototyping and decrease volumes, and simply scalable for high-volume manufacturing because of the small gear dimension and low tooling prices.

What’s Cell Impression Forming™?

Cell Impression Forming is an revolutionary know-how rooted within the defence {industry}. It makes use of a one-stroke high-velocity course of to make the most of a steel’s bodily properties when uncovered to a big impression power.

As an alternative of slowly urgent and stretching a sheet of steel right into a most popular form, Cell Impression Forming’s high-velocity device impacts the sheet steel. The vitality switch makes the steel stiffen momentarily in high-strained areas, drastically decreasing undesirable thinning of the fabric. The result’s a circulation plate with an unsurpassed uniform materials thickness and design accuracy.

Higher nonetheless, this technique of forming doesn’t require any lubrication. The method is totally dry and eliminates giant investments in water-based oil removing, avoiding hazardous waste. As well as, Cell Impression Forming requires solely a fraction of the vitality utilized in standard know-how to type a plate.

The qualitative and environmental features, together with its small gear dimension, makes this know-how probably the most cost-efficient, inexperienced, and scalable manufacturing technique for steel circulation plates.

A brand new tooling commonplace

Tooling is a crucial a part of steel forming. Cell Impression has collaborated with main European device makers for over ten years to develop processes, supplies, and coatings for high-precision device manufacturing. Our instruments haven’t any transferring components, considerably decreasing put on and upkeep. The instruments allow the next wonderful high quality outcomes:

  • Uniform depth: The device distributes the impression vitality uniformly, leading to a really constant depth – a important function for circulation plates;
    •   Minimal wall thinning: Because of the excessive velocity, pressure price hardening reduces materials thinning in important areas;
    •   4 to 5 instances longer device life: Our instruments have been verified to be inside tolerance even after two million circulation plates.

Cell impact

Compact and simple to scale

Cell Impression Forming is a really totally different know-how in comparison with legacy forming strategies, however it’s shortly gaining recognition as the popular technique for mass-producing steel circulation plates.

The forming gear is compact and light-weight and now has a footprint of just one.5 x 1.5m. To assemble or set up the gear takes every week, and it could actually usually be put in on a normal manufacturing unit ground with none ground reconstruction.

Fast demand response

The forming machines are additionally straightforward to keep up – an important value benefit when producing even larger volumes of circulation plates. With round 400 bipolar plates in a gas cell stack, even small stack volumes require important manufacturing capability. With the power to reply to demand by quickly including extra manufacturing capability, Cell Impression Forming can considerably contribute to shortly getting gas cells to the market.

A whole bipolar plate manufacturing line

Cell impact

Since 2018, Cell Impression has carried out over 50 circulation plate initiatives, which has created substantial utility and course of engineering know-how. Along with our companions, we now have continued to innovate and develop equipment and strategies for bipolar circulation plate manufacturing. Immediately, we now have an in depth vary of processes for bipolar plate mass manufacturing.

Design for manufacturing (DFM) providers

With our in depth expertise in bipolar plate manufacturing, we work carefully with our clients to optimise their designs to realize the most effective value and high quality. Through the DFM course of, required instruments and fixtures are designed, typically involving enhancements in circulation plate geometry based mostly on expertise and outcomes from our superior simulation instruments.

Excessive- and low-volume slicing strategies

After the plate has been shaped, the outermost edge and holes are reduce from the sheet. Cell Impression’s philosophy is to separate the forming and slicing into totally different processes to maximise every course of’ functionality and gear sturdiness. Relying on the requested quantity and the maturity of the design, we provide two options that produce wonderful slicing high quality with minimal burr:

  • Laser slicing: For small to medium volumes and for designs which might be much less mature, laser slicing is
    probably the most economical various. The slicing path can simply be modified in laser slicing, and no pricey high-precision instruments are required; and
  • Mechanical slicing: For bigger volumes, mechanical slicing must be used for mature designs and bigger volumes to scale back the associated fee per plate. Cell Impression makes use of an revolutionary high-precision slicing device with a relatively lengthy life, offering value and high quality benefits just like the tooling in Cell Impression Forming.

To create a bipolar circulation plate

Cell Impression usually makes use of laser welding to hitch an anode and a cathode plate right into a bipolar plate. Excessive-precision fixtures and welding patterns are essential parameters for weld high quality and course of stability. Through the years, we now have accrued in depth expertise in designing our personal fixtures and optimising welding patterns for leak-proof welding.

Leak-testing bipolar circulation plates

Bipolar plates are examined utilizing a co-developed industry-first automated helium leak-testing system. It’s going to confirm materials and welding seam integrity by precisely testing for coolant, reactant, or overboard leakage.

Cleansing – mud or particle removing

Cell Impression provides non-obligatory dry and moist cleansing strategies for mud and particle removing. Relying on necessities, these cleansing steps will be positioned at varied levels throughout the manufacturing course of.

High quality management

To make sure constant, high-quality circulation plates, we use inspection with excessive accuracy measurement gear.


A extremely appreciated aspect of Cell Impression Forming is that it really works effectively with pre-coated metals because the coating stays intact in important areas throughout forming. As well as, Cell Impression Forming yields a uniform floor roughness on uncoated materials, simplifying post-coating as this course of will be tailor-made to a better diploma to optimise coating integrity.

Karlskoga manufacturing centre

Cell Impression’s manufacturing facility in Karlskoga, Sweden, is rising into one of many world’s largest factories for bipolar plate manufacturing. Positioned about the identical distance from Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Oslo metropolis centres, Karlskoga is definitely accessible from wherever on this planet.

The manufacturing unit area of 6,000 sq. metres can include upwards of ten Cell Impression Forming traces with downstream course of gear, doubtlessly enabling one of many world’s largest manufacturing outputs of circulation plates.

A rising worldwide market

Cell Impression serves a worldwide market with a number of the largest gas cell firms on this planet as its clients. A key buyer phase is gas cell producers provide hydrogen-powered gas cells to impress forklifts, vehicles, ships, plane, and vehicles. Different purposes for gas cells embrace reserve energy utilized in cell networks, hospitals, and information centres. Bipolar plates for electrolysers symbolize one other rising market phase for Cell Impression.

Reducing the price of gas cells

The price of the stack continues to be a considerable a part of a hydrogen gas cell system. Cell Impression’s mission is to clear the way in which for elevated utility of hydrogen know-how by reducing the price of high-quality bipolar plates. This consists of making Cell Impression Forming manufacturing know-how a pivotal contributor to the scaling up of the inexperienced hydrogen {industry} to scale back fossil gas dependence and battle local weather change.

What does the longer term maintain?

The hydrogen {industry} is accelerating, and demand for circulation plates is rising, doubtlessly a lot faster than we anticipated just a few years in the past.

This represents a singular alternative for Cell Impression in that Cell Impression Forming will be shortly put in so as to add manufacturing capability. As well as, we are able to quickly set up regional or native manufacturing centres or factory-in-factory options for purchasers who want much more versatile sourcing choices.

Cell Impression is an revolutionary firm that’s taking up the problem to fulfill clients’ value, high quality, and scalability necessities worldwide.

Cell Impression Forming™ – highlights:

A value-efficient and inexperienced know-how – fixing the large scaling-up problem for circulation plate manufacturing:

  • Weapons know-how transformed to a high-velocity machine aspect;
  • Compact gear that may be inbuilt giant numbers in a short while;
  • Simple to put in straight on the economic ground; no manufacturing unit lodging;
  • Low complexity means low CapEx and OpEx;
  • Low life cycle tooling value with 4 to 5 instances longer lifespan or two million forming cycles;
  • Wonderful high quality outcomes in pre- or post-coated chrome steel or titanium materials; and
  • Lubrication-free, zero water cleansing with low energy consumption = inexperienced efficiency.

Please notice, this text may even seem within the thirteenth version of our quarterly publication.

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