At Nuvera, our commitment to clean energy drives us to create cutting-edge solutions that power a sustainable future. We take pride in manufacturing heavy-duty, zero-emission fuel cell engines for many motive and stationary applications, leading the way toward a greener world. With facilities in the US, Europe, and Asia, we are dedicated to meeting the surging demand for fuel cell products, while maintaining our unwavering focus on quality and innovation.
Our state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities incorporate advanced automated assembly and control equipment, enabling us to expedite production without compromising on the quality of our products. We understand that in our customers’ product development cycles, time is of the essence, especially in a rapidly evolving market.
To gain insights into our efficient and innovative manufacturing process, we sat down with Neil Gillen, Nuvera’s Chief Operations Officer. Neil plays a pivotal role in overseeing Nuvera’s manufacturing and supply chain teams, and is the driving force behind ramping up our fuel cell stack and engine production capabilities.
Over the last several years, Nuvera’s manufacturing operation has undergone a remarkable transformation, according to Neil. What was once primarily a product development company with limited production capabilities has now become a leading-edge manufacturing company with state-of-the-art production capabilities. Throughout this journey, Nuvera has successfully integrated automation into fuel cell and stack assembly.
Neil acknowledges that this transition was no easy feat. There are challenges dealing with the properties of various materials used in fuel cells, as well as the assembly environment itself.
Nuvera operates from four locations worldwide: Its main product development and manufacturing facility in Billerica, Massachusetts; a product reliability and durability testing facility just outside of Milan, Italy; and two applications and sales support facilities in Fuyang, China, and Nijmegen, Netherlands. The primary facility in Billerica spans approximately 110,000 square feet, with 60,000 square feet dedicated to manufacturing and development laboratories.
Automation: The Path to Fast Delivery
The assembly process for building fuel cells is repetitive and time-consuming when performed manually. It requires a keen eye for proper placement of the several components that must be layered or stacked in a certain sequence and orientation. “With the introduction of fuel cell automation, we have been able to reduce the time required to build a fuel cell from minutes to a few seconds, while at the same time improving the reliability and product consistency,” said Neil.
Nuvera’s adoption of Kanban stock management has allowed us to deliver products in as little as three weeks or less. This approach, combined with our commitment to building products to order, enables us to promptly respond to customer requirements.
As Nuvera’s fuel cell product line expands to incorporate technology advancements and a wider range of power systems, changes in manufacturing processes and equipment are required.
“Nuvera has a great team of engineers who are dedicated to supporting manufacturing,” said Neil Gillen. “They are constantly looking at opportunities to improve product and manufacturing process quality and efficiency. I believe in continuous innovation – as our products advance, so must our manufacturing processes, tools and skill level.”
The growing adoption of hydrogen fuel cell technology is creating tremendous potential and opportunity. Neil envisions a future where the industry moves towards localized production centers, catering to specific regions and customers as demand for hydrogen fuel cell products increases.
A Passion for Quality
Neil emphasized that Nuvera’s commitment to quality is clearly evident in every aspect of company operations, from product development and validation to supplier selection, employee training, and overall company culture. Nuvera aims to ensure that the highest standards of quality are met for the materials and components used in our products, and that manufacturing processes produce the best possible end-products.