Issue: May 2006


New and intelligent energy-storage systems for the automotive industry



iQ POWER Decides to Build New Factory in Dortmund to Manufacture Innovative Energy-Storage Systems for the Automobile Industry

by John Larkin

Swiss iQ POWER AG has decided to build its own factory in Dortmund to produce innovative energy-storage systems.

The decision in favor of the Dortmund business region as the production site was made after carefully considering a number of other interesting potential offers. The city of Dortmund came out on top as the most attractive location to meet iQ POWER's corporate objectives. This location stands out because of its existing automotive cluster, a first-class research and development infrastructure with a lively and intensive exchange of expertise among industry, the University of Dortmund and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML). A center for manufacturing and production technology, which the city of Dortmund is building as an infrastructure asset next to iQ POWER's factory, will provide an outstanding foundation and resource for a technology company like iQ POWER. "This decision eliminates all the other alternatives," said Peter E. Braun, president of the iQ POWER AG board of directors.

This new iQ POWER factory will be established at what is called Phoenix, a venue of the future that will rise upon a 200-hectare former coal and steel property in the Horde part of Dortmund. Phoenix is one of Europe's most ambitious urban development projects designed to provide a home for high-tech companies and groundbreaking industries, as well as create highly qualified new jobs.

iQ POWER intends to manufacture new and intelligent energy-storage systems for the automotive industry at this site in Dortmund. Production capacity will total 500,000 units per year. "Dortmund will be much more than just a run-of-the-mill factory," explains Dr. Gunther Bauer, the chief of development at iQ POWER. "What we are looking at is establishing an ultra-modern production facility with model character." This includes iQ POWER occupying its own offices, laboratory and hall within the center for manufacturing and production technology that is being built right next to the new factory. The company will enjoy access to the center's infrastructure, to include cutting-edge computer technology, tooling machines, systems and personnel. Working very closely with the Fraunhofer Institute and the University of Dortmund, iQ POWER will design and develop the most modern procedures and technologies for use in its production operations. All of the procedural and process steps will be depicted as a computer-based digital factory and be perfected using simulations for later mass-production operations.

"The infrastructure that will be available ideally supports our goals," emphasized Peter E. Braun and continued, "Besides manufacturing intelligent energy-management systems for the European market, we will also develop the best-possible production and process technologies attuned to our products in Dortmund, which, as a part of our licensing strategy, we can then sell together with our product technologies to other companies as licensing partners."

Building a proprietary production capability in Europe and the marketing of product licenses are part of iQ POWER's resolute growth policy that includes a number of ambitious milestones. It was only in December of last year that the ground was broken for constructing a factory in the South Korean city of Gwangju. This is where iQ POWER Asia Inc. is building a facility for manufacturing innovative, electronically managed energy-storage systems for the Korean motor vehicle industry.

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