Diary of the »FFB PreFab«

On February 2, 2023, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia ceremoniously handed over the "FFB PreFab" building to the Fraunhofer Research Fabrication Battery Cell FFB facility. Since then, interior construction has been progressing in great strides. The construction site diary records the progress and provides information at regular intervals about what is currently happening on the construction site.

September 2023

Offene Kabelbahnen in der FFB PreFab zeigen an, dass dort nun der Strom Einzug hält
© Fraunhofer FFB
With the fall, the cables of the technical building equipment move into the clean and dry rooms.
© Fraunhofer FFB
Now that all the pipes and ducts for the drying and heating systems have been installed, the ceiling modules are gradually being installed in the clean and dry rooms.
© Fraunhofer FFB
The cell finalization is located in the "FFB PreFab" in a separate building. Since the charging and discharging process alone can take several days, cell finishing is one of the most energy- and time-intensive processes in battery production.
© Fraunhofer FFB
In order to better control and maintain the temperature in the ducts, they are covered with an insulation layer.
© Fraunhofer FFB
© Fraunhofer FFB
A look over the shoulder shows that the technical building equipment is currently being installed everywhere in the PreFab.
© Fraunhofer FFB
The FFB PreFab is having a new addition! The building where the cells will be finalized in the future can be seen on the right in the picture. This completes the battery production line of the PreFab.

August 2023

© Fraunhofer FFB
On August 21, 2023, NRW Minister for Home Affairs, Municipal Affairs, Construction, and Digitalization Ina Scharrenbach and Münster's Lord Mayor Markus Lewe visited the PreFab construction site. From left to right: Mayor Markus Lewe, Fraunhofer FFB Plant Manager Stefan Löher, Institute Director Prof. Achim Kampker, Minister Ina Scharrenbach, in the background Dr. Steffen Krätzig, MKW NRW.
© Jana Windoffer
Visited the "FFB PreFab" f.l.t.r.: Prof. Dr. Jens Tübke, Anabelle Schepp, Prof. Dr. Simon Lux, Lia Kirsch, Svenja Schulze, Prof. Dr. Achim Kampker, Matthias Günnewig, Dr. Florian Degen.
© Fraunhofer FFB
During battery production, the third step involves charging the cells in a process called formation. For safety reasons, we have decided to outsource this step to a neighboring building of th "FFB PreFab". Construction on this building began in the past few weeks.
© Fraunhofer FFB
There are escape and service routes available that lead around the fourteen clean and dry rooms.
© Fraunhofer FFB
The technical floor is gradually filling up: 4000 m² of air ducts are being installed here.
July 2023
The three battery researchers Dr. Pieter Jansens, Prof. Dr. Simon Lux and Prof. Dr. Martin Winter visit the construction site of the FFB PreFab. The group photo shows them in front of the entrance to a clean and dry room.
© Fraunhofer FFB
Dr. Pieter Jansens, Director of the Scientific Business Unit II of Forschungszentrum Jülich, was given an insight into the current research work of Fraunhofer FFB on 17.07.23 before visiting the construction site of the Fraunhofer "FFB PreFab" in the afternoon with Prof. Dr. Simon Lux and Prof. Dr. Martin Winter from the MEET Battery Research Center. During the tour, he was able to get to know the planned infrastructure and exchange views on the challenges and opportunities of battery cell production.
© Fraunhofer FFB
© Fraunhofer FFB
© Fraunhofer FFB
There is a service area located behind the back-end of the electrode manufacturing zone, which can be accessed through a separate outside gate. The screed for this area was completed in early July.
© Fraunhofer FFB
Upon examination of the room designed for electrode production, it is evident that all walls have been erected and ventilation ducts have been successfully installed.
© Fraunhofer FFB
Sie erhielten einen Einblick in der Fortschritte auf der Baustelle der »FFB PreFab«. V.l.n.r.: Joachim Neuser (MWIKE), Prof. Dr. Simon Lux (Fraunhofer FFB), Robin Korte (MdL), Silke Krebs (MWIKE), Michael Wessels (Fraunhofer FFB).
© Fraunhofer FFB
On July 7th, we were delighted to host the Institute of Business Management's young researchers from the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Münster
© Fraunhofer FFB
This is where electrode production will start: The clean room area, where mixing will take place both continuously and in batches from next year.
© Fraunhofer FFB
June 2023
© Fraunhofer FFB
During his visit on June 16, 2023, Dr. Michael Metzger was briefed on the progress and objectives of FFB PreFab's construction site by Site Manager Frederic Bovenschulte and Dr.-Ing. Christoph Baum, the Division Manager for Digitalization of Battery Cell Production.
© Fraunhofer FFB
Von links nach rechts: Frederic Bovenschulte, Dr.-Ing. Christoph Baum und Dr. Michael Metzger
© Fraunhofer FFB
In January's end, only drones or lifting platforms could access the area. However, as of March's end, taking pictures with a regular camera is now possible. Once an empty hall, the PreFab has transformed into an advanced factory construction site, complete with clean and drying rooms, ventilation, and drying units. The construction is advancing quickly.
Innovationsmodul
© Fraunhofer FFB
This is a space where upscaling takes place later: The innovation modules of the FFB PreFab provide space for our partners to test their innovations behind closed doors and bring them to industry level.
Outdoor air units
© Fraunhofer FFB
The air that is drawn in from outside must be prepared and preconditioned for the dehumidifiers as well as the ISO-8 cleanroom units, as the air conditions outside can always vary greatly. The units guarantee a consistent air standard.
ISO-8 Reinraumanlage
© Fraunhofer FFB
The ISO-8 cleanroom system prepares and filters the air for the cleanrooms. It also brings the air to the right temperature.
© Fraunhofer FFB
The screed moves into the clean and dry rooms.
Metallrohr
© Fraunhofer FFB
The drying system is gradually connected with the underlying rooms.
Elektrodenfertigung
Meanwhile, the back-end of the electrode production is a room under construction with a pipe connection to the technical level.
Mai 2023

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Ventilation pipes in the battery factory
© Fraunhofer FFB
The ventilation pipes, which will in future transport the moisture from the clean and dry rooms, were installed in May.
Dehumidification system
© Fraunhofer FFB
In addition to low air contamination, low humidity is also necessary for cell production. The electrolyte must be filled in a dry environment to prevent the lithium hexafluoride from reacting with water vapor in the air to form hydrogen fluoride.
Technology level in the battery cell factory
© Fraunhofer FFB
In May, all heavy-duty components were placed on the technical platform. These can now be connected to the rooms below by pipes and cables.
© Fraunhofer FFB
Am 16.05.2023 besuchte der niederländische Botschafter gemeinsam mit der niederländischen Botschaftsrätin für Bildung und Wissenschaft Ellen Ipenburg-Tomesen sowie dem Münsteraner Honorarkonsul der Niederlande Dr. Eduard Hüffer die Baustelle der »FFB PreFab«, um sich über den Entwicklungsstand sowie das Gesamtvorhaben zu informieren.
© Fraunhofer FFB
Stefan Löher, the site manager at Fraunhofer FFB, explains to the guests, among other things, how the clean and dry rooms work.
© Fraunhofer FFB
From left to right: Prof. Simon Lux, Director of Fraunhofer FFB; Dr. Eduard Hüffer, Consul of the Netherlands in Münster; Ronald van Roeden, Dutch Ambassador to Germany; Ellen Ipenburg-Tomesen, Counsellor for Education and Science; Stefan Löher, Plant Manager of Fraunhofer FFB.
April 2023
In the hallway between the back end and the lab.
In the meantime, a two-part division of the hall can be seen: the first shell for the electrode production rooms and the first innovation laboratories as well as the corridor in between can now be clearly seen.
The drying units move in on the steel frame above the clean and drying rooms. Due to their very high weight of over 7 tons, this is done with a rope hoist and a specially manufactured device.
The last walls of the back-end of the electrode production are being raised.
Construction of the heavy-duty platform over which the technology is brought in on the second level of the steel scaffolding.
The exits to the individual clean and dry room cabins can already be clearly seen here
March 2023

March 2023

A lot has happened on the FFB PreFab construction site over the last month. While the steel construction was completed, the floors were sealed and the first metal walls surrounding the clean and dry rooms were put in place. Thus, piece by piece, the room layout is becoming apparent and the large hall is becoming several air-conditioning rooms.

The steel frame is now completely erected and fills more than three quarters of the hall area. The wall and ceiling modules are currently stored underneath it, ready for installation.
The second, somewhat larger cabin, can now also be seen. In the future, the calendering process step will take place here on 390 square meters.
The corridor between the clean and dry rooms is now also recognizable.
February 2023

February 2023

Currently, the steel platform is being installed throughout the hall in three construction stages, two of which have already been successfully completed. It is already so stable that it is safe to walk on it. At the same time, the construction of the cabins has begun, with the outer wall of the areas already taken down and being erected first. As soon as the rooms are in place, the screed will be laid, followed by the interior walls. In addition, the extension of the hall technology is being carried out in parallel by NRW.Urban.

leere Fabrikhalle
Early February: The empty hall of »FFB Prefab«.
The steel construction work begins, and everything is laid out ready.
Over the month, the hall gradually fills up. The second floor becomes visible, and clean rooms and drying rooms are built underneath.
End of February: The steel platform fills the hall as far as possible.
The steel platform is already stable enough to walk on.
At the same time, the construction of the cabins has begun, with the outer wall of the areas already taken down and being erected first. As soon as the rooms are in place, the screed will be laid, followed by the interior walls.

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