Manz AG has signed an agreement with China’s Shenzhen Yinghe Technology for strategic cooperation in lithium-ion cell and module production.
Manz, known in solar PV industry circles as a supplier of manufacturing equipment to production lines, also has other lines of business including flat panel display and a segment dedicated to energy storage industry solutions primarily with lithium-ion batteries in mind.
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The German company said that together with Yinghe, established in 2006 with divisions focused on R&D, production and sales of “intelligent automation solutions for the manufacture of lithium battery cells,” the pair will be able to “jointly offer their customers the best production technology from the respective product portfolio within the framework of a licensing model”.
The two companies will also cooperate by supporting one another’s efforts in R&D relating to lithium-ion battery manufacture. Each will retain its existing intellectual property (IP), while jointly developed solutions will belong to the pair together.
The deal is perhaps indicative of a couple of recently observed industry trends: one of those trends being plans by diverse names in the battery and wider energy industries to set up manufacturing plants close to existing or expected future demand centres (Northvolt and Tesla in Europe, Kore Power and others in the US, for example).
The other trend is for Chinese battery companies to move to establish an interest in manufacturing on other continents, particularly in Europe, as evidenced by plans and proposals by CATL and others.