© scanrail dreamstime.com Electronics Production | July 02, 2018
Voltabox acquires lithium-ion battery systems maker Navitas Systems
Germany-headquartered Voltabox AG decided to purchase all shares in Navitas Systems, LLC, US specialist for battery systems in the intralogistics market segment, for the equivalent of EUR 37 million.
Navitas Systems LLC, with headquarters in Woodridge (Illinois, USA) and founded in 2010, is a manufacturer of battery systems and lithium-ion battery cells. This company, which expects to report revenue in the range of USD 25 million in fiscal year 2018 with around 80 employees, operates a 50'000 square-feet research, development, and manufacturing centre in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In addition to battery systems for the intralogistics market, Navitas produces standard and starter lithium batteries for clients in various industries. The company utilises a fully automated system from the German manufacturer Manz for the manufacturing of various cell types. This production line was installed just at the beginning of 2018, a press release states. The company’s cell production capacity currently stands at 600'000 units per year. In the near future, this will increase to 1.5 million units per year. While Voltabox will continue to meet most of its battery cell needs through its long-term partners in China, South Korea, Japan and the USA, it expects direct access to battery cell technology to provide it with substantial benefits when special demands are made of an application. Cell researchers at Navitas are working on projects including innovative solid-state battery cells and Lithium Sulfur cells with increased power density and a longer service life. “Through Navitas Systems, we will considerably accelerate our growth in the market for intralogistics,” says Jürgen Pampel, Chief Executive Officer of Voltabox AG. “We will gain very valuable resources and production capacities. Moreover, our entry into cell R&D and production represents a significant expansion of our value chain, enabling us to align our battery systems even more closely with our customers’ requirements. We will thus take a major step closer to our goal of becoming the world market leader in the mass market for intralogistics.” Alan ElShafei, the founder of Navitas Systems, will serve on the board of Voltabox’s American subsidiary and advise the company. In the future, Voltabox will supply the global market for intralogistics from its three sites Delbrück (Germany), Austin (USA) and Kunshan (China). At the company’s Ann Arbor site, it will step up its battery system development activities along with the cell production. The company will expand its existing cable and electronics production facilities at this location, which will also supply its Austin site. Ann Arbor remains also the site to produce Navitas’ standard and starter lithium batteries. The acquisition of Navitas is still subject to the approval of various US authorities.