Power Electronics

Fuel Cell Developer Opens Production Facility

UltraCell has opened a new manufacturing and corporate office facility that will enable the micro fuel cell company to convert from prototype manufacturing to volume production. The new site, located at Tri-Valley Technology Park, 399 Lindbergh Ave., Livermore, Calif., will use the latest in lean manufacturing practices.

“Our new facility is designed around the production line for UltraCell’s XX25 product. It incorporates unique features such as a clean room for fuel cell assembly, and a specially designed automated facility for fuel processor and stack testing. The facility also incorporates features to support automated production and lean manufacturing principles such as 5S and Six-Sigma, enabling us to deliver high quality at affordable cost,” said James Kaschmitter, UltraCell CEO. “The move validates our commercial plans to bring UltraCell’s revolutionary reformed methanol fuel cell technology to the marketplace, as scheduled, in 2006.”

According to Kaschmitter, UltraCell’s new headquarters will focus on enhancing quality, efficiency and delivery, while reducing costs through minimizing nonvalue-added activities in design, production, supply chain management and customer service.

Introduced as a prototype in August 2005, UltraCell’s new fuel cell power source for portable electronic devices has more than twice the energy density of lithium batteries when used for longer missions, but weighs just 40 oz in a unit about the size of a paperback novel. For more on the company’s technology, see “Micro Fuel Cell Developer Announces Technology Breakthrough and Defense Contract,” PETech Times, Aug. 24, 2005, available online at powerelectronics.com/news/technology-breakthrough-contract/index.html.

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