Johnson Controls expands advanced battery lab

Johnson Controls, Inc., (NYSE: JCI) today opened its newly renovated, state-of-the-art Battery Technology Center and Battery Test Facility at its Power Solutions headquarters in Glendale, Wis. The facility is the largest energy storage technical center in North America.

"Our Battery Technology Center and Battery Test Facility will ensure that we not only have the best products on the road, but that Johnson Controls will be a forerunner in developing the next generation of energy storage solutions for energy efficient vehicles," said Alex Molinaroli, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions.

More than 46,000 square feet of existing labs and office space was redesigned in the Battery Technology Center (BTC) to enhance labs used to support mass battery production for our customers. The renovation was supported in part by the $299 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act matching grant Johnson Controls received in 2009. In addition to the expansion enabled by the stimulus matching grant, Johnson Controls also made significant R&D equipment and scientific investments, including new labs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"Here, our engineers are testing, validating and readying for production the batteries that will go in the most energy-efficient vehicles that are on the road today," said Ray Shemanski, vice president and general manager for Johnson Controls Advanced Battery and CEO for Johnson Controls-Saft. "This includes a full technology range from advanced lead-acid batteries through Li-ion and alternate cell chemistries."

The newly renovated facility features the most high-tech equipment available, including a CT Scanner, X-ray Diffractometer and Dry Room. The renovation marks the first time the facility has been majorly overhauled since 1983.

"Technology advancements in the automotive industry to improve internal combustion engine fuel efficiency and emissions are driving demand for advanced batteries to support Start-Stop, hybrid and electric vehicle applications," said Mary Ann Wright, vice president for Power Solutions Technology and Innovation. "With the cutting-edge work we are doing here, we strengthen our position as the global leader in the energy storage industry."

The Battery Test Facility, which was built in 2007, was also re-designed. Its size increased by 50 percent to 9,000 square feet and state-of-the-art equipment was installed for testing of advanced batteries in extreme conditions such as heat, cold and vibrations.

The ARRA grant and Johnson Controls’ matching investment have so far created 60 jobs at the company’s Power Solutions headquarters in Glendale, as well as 75 jobs in Holland, Mich., at the company’s Johnson Controls-Saft Lithium-Ion manufacturing and pack assembly facility for hybrid and electric vehicle batteries. At full capacity, that facility will employ more than 320 people.

Johnson Controls Power Solutions is the global leader in lead-acid starter batteries and advanced lead-acid batteries for Start-Stop vehicles. Our 35 manufacturing facilities supply more than one third of the world’s lead-acid batteries to major auto makers and aftermarket retailers. Through our innovations we are building the advanced battery industry for more fuel-efficient and sustainable vehicles. Our commitment to sustainability is evidenced by our world-class technology, manufacturing and recycling capabilities.

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in over 150 countries. Our 142,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; automotive batteries; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2011, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #1 company in its annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list.