Lead battery manufacturing equipment firm Sovema has been bought by German metal forming company Schuler Group.
Schuler aims to use the sale as a stepping-stone to increase its ability to equip lithium-ion gigafactories beyond its current offering of production lines for manufacturing prismatic and cylindrical battery cell housings.
Sovema, with headquarters in Italy and additional branches in the US and China, is a leading international supplier of battery cell production equipment for pilot and laboratory projects as well as the automotive sector and other industries.
The buy-out of the Italian engineering firm Sovema includes its US testing and formation firm Bitrode Corporation.
Domenico Iacovelli, Schuler’s CEO, said: “With Schuler as owner, we can now combine Sovema’s technological expertise with our know-how in the production of complex lines for the mass manufacturing of parts and components.
“This gives us the potential to develop Schuler into a turnkey supplier of technology for the core process steps of cell assembly and cell formation for existing or planned gigafactories dedicated to manufacturing lithium-ion battery cells.”
Battery industry buy-in
Schuler was founded in 1839 in Göppingen, and has production sites in Europe, China, and America, as well as service companies in more than 40 countries.
The company is part of the international technology Group Andritz.
Sovema was founded in 1969 as a supplier of automated turnkey plants for the mass production of lead-acid batteries.
It has subsidiaries that supply testing equipment (Bitrode), and brand names Solith— equipment for lithium-ion batteries— and Sovel— battery formation and charging production.
Sovel (Sovema electronics) was established as a business in 2005; Bitrode was aquired in by Sovema in 2008; and Solith (Sovema Lithium) was established in 2011.