Germany’s SMS engineering group has won an order from US-based Johnson Controls (JCI) for three tandem cold mills to roll lead for automotive batteries.
SMS said on 21 November the first mill had passed all functional tests in a pre-assembled state and was being prepared for shipment to JCI Power Solutions in China.
The mills will be manufactured and tested in China and are scheduled to be commissioned at three of the US tech giant’s international sites in 2018.
The mills have been designed to roll lead strip in the narrow strip range, with the finished strip “used to make environment-friendly, high-performance automotive batteries”, SMS said. The supply scope “includes a roll coating that SMS group has designed specifically for lead rolling”. “The automation system will be laid out in close cooperation with JCI.”
JCI Power Solutions is the world’s leading producer of automotive batteries, shipping around 152 million batteries every year to automakers and aftermarket distributors and retailers.
JCI said earlier this year, that strong shipments of stop-start batteries boosted fiscal third-quarter figures. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes for the Power Solutions division, including the lead-acid battery recycling business, rose 8.6% to $304 million.
The chief executive of JCI Power Solutions operations in China, Kenneth Yeng, has said the firm’s production of AGM batteries is expected to reach three million units this year.