Research & Development as the Basis for Innovation

Research & development at VARTA focuses on new materials and technologies for products and systems as well as on production technology and quality management processes. The basis for this is constant observation of changing market requirements and a permanent exchange with customers. The result is the optimisation of existing products and the development of new products and systems.

VARTA AG is a partner in national and international research projects



In-house chemical laboratories, prototype construction and safety laboratories support the international VARTA development team in its daily work. The process development team implements newly developed products and technologies in highly automated large-scale production. The electronics and software of the battery packs are also developed in-house in order to react as quickly as possible to changing market requirements.

At the headquarters in Ellwangen (Germany), in the Innovation Tower, VARTA's central research and development department, more than 200 employees work on new products and the optimisation of existing energy solutions. The pillars of VARTA's success are that the innovative developments are manufactured with the help of the company's own machine and tool construction - this always ensures VARTA's competitive advantages.

Research Focuses

Further development of existing technologies

  • Rechargeable lithium-ion cells
  • Zinc-air cells
  • Silver oxide cells
  • Lithium-mass cells
  • NiMH cells

Technologies of the future

  • Post-lithium systems
  • Printed batteries
  • Rechargeable zinc-air cells

Materials Research

Research into new materials for various electrochemical systems with the aim of improving fast-charging capability and optimising energy density.

Research Projects

  • Exploring innovative nanotechnology for more efficient energy storage
  • Nanomaterials and inks in battery printing
  • Lithium-sulphur battery

  • Formation strategies to increase the lifetime, reliability and safety of lithium-ion cells
  • Silicon-based materials
  • Energy-efficient, maintenance-free lithium-ion-based energy storage system

Examples of Research Activities

Research Project: INNPAPER

Printed Zinc-Carbon Battery

The aim of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of the paper-based common electronic platform, using paper as both substrate and active component, by developing real-world use cases (smart labels and PoC bioplatforms).

The configurable paper-based common platform consists of a printed battery, a printed electrochromic display and an antenna integrated into a hybrid electronic circuit.

Use cases:

For the generation of the INNPAPER use cases, specific components and sensors for each specific application will be integrated on the common platform. In particular, the following use cases will be developed in the project:

 

  • Self-contained multiplex disposable smart labels
  • Paper-based quantitative PoC immunoassays
  • Self-contained PoC genetic tests

Research Project: BEWELL

Printed Lithium-Ion Cell

The aim is to develop integration and manufacturing technologies needed for smart skin patches and wrist-worn electronic sensor applications. Wearable sensors will be used to monitor and promote physical and emotional well-being.

Skin contact of the applications is necessary to be able to measure and evaluate results of the sensors at different activity levels. Controllable skin contact would be another improvement in sensor applications. Therefore, skin patches and related technologies to improve the user-device interface are also of particular importance for other types of products, such as applications worn on the wrist.

Research Project: OxiFlexIT

Development of a Monitor/Oximetry Patch to Individualise Therapy for Arteriosclerotic Vascular Aiseases:

  • In the outpatient setting
  • During and after an intervention/surgery 
  • During rehabilitation 
  • Development of new fields of application

The proximity to our customers in different markets as well as the on-going optimisation of existing products and the development of new products and systems - across the entire value chain - guarantee tailored to customer products with high quality.

Production

VARTA implements innovations along the value chain quickly. This enables us to react quickly and flexibly to all eventualities at any time. Nevertheless, a high degree of planning reliability is immensely important for VARTA AG due to the high level of vertical integration and global purchasing and supplier networking. This is ensured with the most modern tools and permanent process analyses.

Thanks to its technological expertise, VARTA's strength lies in transforming innovations into market-driven products that are successfully manufactured in large-scale production to the highest quality standards.


Production Process

VARTA produces housing parts and cell electrodes according to its own patents. As a technology leader, VARTA processes raw materials until they become the perfect component of the products. VARTA has a high vertical range of manufacture and therefore has a large share in the added value of the products. This makes possible that:

  • the highest and most consistent quality is ensured
  • innovations can be introduced quickly, even at component level
  • a high degree of flexibility is guaranteed
  • independence from international procurement marketing is given

Production Technology

The basis for the highly automated production is VARTA's own tool, machine and plant construction. Equipment developed there with patented know-how guarantees highly precise and reliable production lines. State-of-the-art image processing and imaging systems ensure that the production lines operate with consistently high VARTA quality. The manufacture of innovative battery systems requires state-of-the-art production facilities and a high degree of automation in order to meet market requirements in terms of flexibility, short implementation times and high quality.

hearingaid battery factory
Hearing Aid Battery Production at VARTA AG

VARTA's hearing aid battery production is fully automated. Each production step is controlled and permanently monitored. The visualisation of the process on displays and acoustic signals always inform about the status.

Quality Management

The quality management process already starts with product development and accompanies the products in all manufacturing stages up to after-sales service.

Quality Management Process

Quality planning

In quality planning, the quality characteristics as well as the required and permissible specificationfor batteries are defined and procedures are established.

Value engineering

Quality control includes the specification of product and execution requirements as well as the monitoring of the fulfilment of these requirements.

Quality control

Quality control or quality testing involves a variance analysis to determine whether VARTA batteries meet the quality requirements placed on them 100%.

Certifications

  • ISO 9001 Quality Management System
  • ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
  • ISO 50001 Energy Management System

  • ISO/TS 16949 Quality Management System
  • ISO 13485 Quality Management System for medical devices
  • ISO/IEC 80079-34:2011 (explosive atmospheres) Quality Management System for individual batteries and/or customers

Guaranteed Quality and Reliability

Quality Responsibility
The VARTA AG board of directors and all employees are jointly responsible for quality and continuous improvement.

Product Safety
The safety of products in production, transport, use and disposal is of paramount importance.

Quality is Planned
VARTA AG aligns processes to the highest quality, flexibility and efficiency to ensure customer satisfaction.

Quality is Created
Quality is created and ensured through appropriate process control in each individual production step.

Customer Service
Even after delivery, customers are supported by customer service.