18th Mar 2024
Life in Billy-Berclau

All the machines in the mechanical division are in place in Block 1 of the Gigafactory

The mechanical engineering division has 112 machines

The creation of France's first battery Gigafactory is a vast and complex jigsaw puzzle. The construction of the first of the three blocks, which began in January 2022, has been followed by the equipment phase, in a well-established order.

To put it simply, there are four production lines in each block. Each one follows a process that crosses several divisions: starting with chemistry (Mixing, Coating, Calendering), then mechanics (Notching, Stacking, Cell assembly), electrical treatment (Baking, Filling, Electrical formation) and finally module assembly.

En août 2023, au Step 1 du pôle mécanique, dans une salle blanche équipée.

The machines for line 1 were introduced on 2 January 2023, preceding a whole phase of on-site installation, levelling, connections and finally fine-tuning before production began. In parallel and almost simultaneously, the same scheme was deployed to equip the other three lines, according to a meticulously studied schedule. 

La construction d'une salle blanche, avant la réception de l'équipement.

Due to various technical and production organisation parameters, not all departments can be equipped at the same pace. But the time has come for the teams in the mechanical engineering division to take stock, having introduced their entire fleet of machines in the first block. 

The figures for this department alone are already staggering: almost 700 metres of conveyors lined up, 112 machines installed, representing "more than 2,650 tonnes of high-tech concentrate handled with skill and precision", sums up Lucie Huard, Cell Assembly line manager. The teams had to deal with the constraints of the building, a vast array of beams, posts, exoskeletons and partitions. Transporting the machines down the logistics corridor to their final locations is always an admirable sight, with the "shipments" handled to the last centimetre.

Les introductions de machines doivent se faire avec adresse et précision.

"The team's professionalism, a bit of resilience at times, but always solidarity between the ACC, Lead, Eiffage Métal and building teams enabled us to meet this first challenge together", insists Lucie Huard, who points out that all the installations in the mechanical division were completed in one year: "On 23 January 2023, the first machine, an anode notching machine, was installed in Block 1. On 23 January 2024, the last machine, our forty-sixth stacke machine, walked on the floor of Block 1." 

While production has started on all the processes on line 1, fine-tuning and production start-ups are continuing on the other lines, in mechanical engineering as elsewhere.  

Les stackeuses alignées au Step 2.1.