Automotive supplier establishes plant in Novi Sad as new Competence center for inverter production in Europe
Kelsterbach, 4. July 2023 – Kelsterbach, xx. Juni 2023 – The development of new technologies and the creation of a corresponding infrastructure is essential to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles. The NIDEC Group is therefore expanding its capacities in Serbia – among other things with a plant for the production of automotive inverters and control units. There, the automotive supplier is using the scalable FUJI placement machine NXTR, handled by FUJI EUROPE CORPO-RATION GmbH (www.fuji-euro.de). The NXTR aims to optimize product preparation and maintenance processes as well as the automation of manual placement processes for the purpose of comprehensive networking and self-optimized production.
“Inverters in electric vehicles play an essential role in increasing energy efficiency. They enable precise control of the flow of electricity by converting the direct power from the batteries into the alternating power needed for the electric motors. This enables optimal use of the available energy and reduces the loss of power during conversion,” explains Aleksandar Nestorov, Plant Manager at NIDEC ELESYS CORPORATION.
Recovering braking energy also involves the use of inverters. In conventional internal combustion engines, most of the energy generated during each braking process is lost as heat. Inverters make it possible to recirculate this braking energy back into the batteries and reuse it. This increases the vehicle’s range and the efficiency of the entire drive system.
As a logical consequence of the increasing demand for in-vehicle inverters, partly due to the tightening of environmental regulations in Europe and CO2 emission standards for automobiles, NIDEC Group has expanded its production capacity with two plants in Novi Sad. NIDEC ELESYS CORPORATION produces automotive inverters and control units on an area of 25,000 square meters.
“Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia and has a well-developed infrastructure that meets the needs of the automotive industry. Furthermore, the Serbian government is very interested in promoting the automotive sector. In addition, Novi Sad has a labor force of professionals with experience in the automotive industry. This is why we decided to build a plant here for the production of automotive inverters and control units, among other things,” explains Aleksandar Nestorov.
New production line for inverter production
For the construction of a new production line in this plant, NIDEC ELESYS CORPORATION has chosen different suppliers. ASYS automation systems solutions are used for the laser, printing and board handling. The Rehm Group reflow oven is also part of the line. FUJI acts as the general contractor and provides the NXTR smart factory platform for placement processes. NIDEC is the first company in Serbia using the NXTR. The state-of-the-art placement solution offers a wide range of options and scalability. It can also handle increasing volumes without any problem – even with limited space in production.
A special sensor system ensures stable and high-quality placement. The NXTR platform fully automates the feeder exchange process. Heads and other units can be replaced without tools. Predictive maintenance is enabled by self-diagnostics that prevent sudden machine stops from affecting the production schedule.
“The plant in Novi Sad is to become a major new center of competence for inverter production in Europe. At present, 50 employees are working here, later it will be 200. Solutions for automated, efficient processes – especially for repetitive tasks – are a key building block for us. FUJI’s NXTR is easily scalable and supports our goals by enabling more efficient production and providing growth prospects,” says Aleksandar Nestorov.