Milestone reached after years of continuous improvement and expansion of our range for electric mobility components, a sector with enormous global development potential. Technological quality and versatility, reliability and outstanding service form the foundations on which we’ve built solid business relations with the industry’s leading players. We now look ahead to more ambitious challenges that include managing the entire life cycle of exhausted batteries.
The world’s leading provider of technology for the heat treatment of Advanced Materials such as technical ceramics and Battery Materials, Riedhammer has now reached the milestone of its 300th roller hearth kiln, specifically configured to calcine and fire components for the lithium-ion battery industry.
With the worldwide expansion of electric mobility, this relatively new sector has grown enormously both in terms of volumes and technologies: with Riedhammer it’s found a valuable partner capable of developing a product range that offers outstanding quality, technological versatility, reliability and scope for customization.
From this perspective, the Riedhammer range of thermal machines provides a comprehensive set of solutions for both anode and cathode battery components. More specifically, RHK roller hearth kilns respond to the industry’s need for the state-of-the-art active cathode/anode materials used in next-gen lithium batteries (CAM, AAM, pCAM) and include specific solutions for our customers’ process requirements.
Our machines offer ‘gas-tight’ design and the ability to manage different atmospheres with maximum accuracy and precision, allowing users to configure hyper-oxidizing atmospheres (high oxygen saturation), inert-gas atmospheres (nitrogen, argon, CO2 or others) and special atmospheres, with oxygen contents of less than 20 ppm (parts per million).
In each proposed configuration, optimal temperature distribution ensures maximum firing uniformity. The size range can provide the highest capacities on the market (roller hearth kilns up to 100 meters long, Extra Large Capacity kilns), thus responding to all production needs.
The Riedhammer kiln design philosophy means high-quality structural components and advanced process control. This ensures long-lasting reliability and optimizes all the key factors: quality, productivity and low specific consumption. Then, of course, there’s the excellent service, another Riedhammer global hallmark: customers can count on a prompt spare parts service, continuous technical assistance before, during and after the sale, and the availability of customized maintenance plans.
The backdrop to all this is the continuous technological evolution of the lithium-ion battery manufacturing sector. This has run parallel with Riedhammer’s continuous refinements to its kiln design, from the powder dosing and feed system to accurate control, plus improvements to the roller conveyor system. Alongside these developments, we’ve been expanding our range for some years so that producers can handle all components, both anode and cathode.
These advances have driven the industry forward, allowing Riedhammer to intercept the market growth that is taking battery production into new realms, from Asia to Europe and the United States, with major orders from key players in the sector.
And future challenges? Alongside the continuous upgrading of our product range, there are clear LCA (life cycle assessment) and circular economy opportunities in the e-mobility field; these will involve the recycling of exhausted batteries and the recovery of the precious components they contain, an area for which the company has developed special rotary kilns for pyrolysis.
Last but not least, our customers can revamp existing kilns by making use of specific efficiency kits.
“Our philosophy is to act as a partner for our customers”, stated Mr. Matthias Uhl, General Manager of Riedhammer. “We accompany our customers every step of the way and provide support to improve both process and production. In addition to this comes the special satisfaction of achieving this milestone with Riedhammer, which confirms the SACMI Group’s excellent positioning in a sector that now has the highest growth potential in the world and will continue to be at the core of our development plans in the coming years”.