In order to maintain and expand production capacities of the automotive and the supplier industry in Germany against the background of alternative powertrain technologies, it is necessary to build up competencies, processes and technologies in the area of an economic production of hydrogen generators and consumers. The development of the corresponding production technologies is currently still in an early phase. Existing competencies are distributed among users and equipment suppliers and there is no common understanding of product, process and equipment across the entire value chain.
The goal is to establish a permanent network of experts and an H2 Factory in order to sustainably strengthen the competitiveness of the industrial and research location Germany. The required sustainability is achieved by the following approach.
In a first phase, an expert network is to be established. Through this main focus, the product (fuel cells, electrolyzers, etc.), process (manufacturing, testing and assembly processes) and equipment (scalable production systems) will be continuously analyzed and transparently described along the entire value chain. On the one hand, the results serve to build up competencies and exchange knowledge among all the players involved, and on the other hand, to develop a consistent understanding of future actions which will be required for the economic introduction of hydrogen technologies. Equipment suppliers as well as production system manufacturers (special machine builders) are to be networked with development / production (automotive supply industry) and research institutions in order to develop joint production systems for the manufacturing of hydrogen technologies in the long term. The solutions will serve equipment suppliers to expand their production portfolios and users to master complex production processes.
In a second step, the research project aims to establish an H2 Factory with real production systems in a production-related test environment. Based on the competence development and the gained knowledge, critical production processes in the field of production systems for the manufacturing of hydrogen technologies (e.g. fuel cell stacks and electrolysis stacks) are to be solved by complex developments in the H2 Factory.
The achieved results serve to build up competencies, technologies and networks in the field of hydrogen technologies and contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of the German automotive and supplier industry. The H2 Factory project is currently in the start-up phase. To date, critical processes have been identified in the assembly of fuel cell and electrolysis stacks as well as in manufacturing processes in the area of pressure vessels for electroylzer systems.