Postulating a modular and light-weight approach for fuel cell stacking via cobot vacuum end-effector gripping

Muaaz Abdul Hadi, Konrad Bahle, Markus Brillinger, Franz Haas, Martin Weinzerl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


In recent years, research in the field of fuel cells is gaining momentum. Leading automotive industries are investing in e-mobility. In fuel cell research, topics such as fuel cell durability, degradation phenomenon, catalyst performance
enhancement, etc., are mainly researched upon. However, one fails to recognize the need for innovations in the area of assembly systems for the stacking process. In this paper, a modular approach referencing the gripping of bipolar plates and the membrane electrode assembly layers for the stacking process is
postulated. A vacuum end-effector (VEE) gripper is innovated, designed, and manufactured using 3D printing methods. It is then tested in real-time at the maximum acceleration of the Cobot. The cycle time of assembly per unit cell achieved was 1.25s; for comparison, manual stacking per unit cell is averaged to
approx. 8s. Therefore, huge potential savings in assembly time was denoted. Additionally, the benefit of using a vacuum endeffector gripper mitigates the particulate matter induced via manual handling. This prevents the early degradation of the fuel cell. The assembly technology and the demonstrator postulated in this paper integrates a complete loop of design, manufacturing,
and assembly of the VEE gripping mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2023 International Conference on Mechatronics, Control and Robotics, ICMCR 2023
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9798350321555
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event2023 International Conference on Mechatronics, Control and Robotics: ICMCR 2023 - Jeju National University , Jeju, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 18 Feb 202320 Mar 2023


Conference2023 International Conference on Mechatronics, Control and Robotics
Abbreviated titleICMCR
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Internet address


  • Fuel cell assembly
  • Vacuum end-effector gripper
  • Stacking process
  • Cyclic automation
  • cyclic automation.
  • stacking process
  • vacuum end-effector gripper

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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