For smart energy production and application to become a reality, stakeholders from every aspect of the value chain must be committed to sustainable innovation that supports efficient production processes.

The Nordic battery cluster is attracting leading global companies and Senior is completing a part of the puzzle with their high-performance wet-process base film, ceramic and polymer surface coating technologies, and lithium-ion separators. These materials are part of the complex production process of battery production and ongoing innovation is needed to ensure that the immediate and long-term goals of the sustainable energy industry are met.

A global player supporting European goals

The European Climate Law established in 2021 outlining the aim of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 2050 has been a catalyst for investment in countries and companies who can deliver solutions. These targets include 55% reduction of emissions from cars by 2030, 50% reduction of emissions from vans by 2030, and zero emissions from new cars by 2035. To do this, green battery production is imperative.

But the materials and technology needed for the smart energy shift need to be brought together in regional supply chains to meet these non-negotiable sustainability targets. For Senior, Sweden is a natural base for them to be part of the European solution. Senior’s European Key Account Manager, Leia Deng explains:

“Sweden and the Nordics have the greenest and most cost-effective energy, as well as a good manufacturing base. The good social consensus about energy saving and emission reductions means our local workforce will be aligned with both our company mission and the wider agenda. Sweden is also a good end-consumer market for new energy so being part of the ecosystem here is important for us on many different levels.

“The rapid development of the lithium-ion battery manufacturing industry in Sweden and the Nordics drew us here and our base in Eskilstuna, our first location in Europe, is perfectly situation with convenient transport links to our customers, as well as providing timely access to supplies that we need to produce our products.”

Sustainable innovation business imperative

Senior have always had innovation at the core of their business operations, which is imperative in the fast-paced, cutting-edge battery sector. They were the first dry separator breakthrough company in China with independent development and commercialisation of dry separators using a new technical process and self-developed production lines. They set new standards in the Chinese market with the successful launch of a dry product that was adopted by BYD blade battery application and have continued to push the boundaries with research and development in wet PE production line and have launched mass production lines in a dedicated plant which has the highest unit capacity in the world.

This approach to R&D is in high demand and fits into the rapid innovation that is driving growth in the Nordic battery cluster. Being close to the end customer means Senior can react swiftly to the needs of the market as well as contribute knowledge to the ongoing innovation process.

Leia Deng continues:

“Cost effective and high efficiency production systems, developing new materials, and improving battery life, safety, and reliability are big challenges for the energy sector. At the heart of this is sustainable innovation – common goals for both Sweden and Senior.”

Digitalisation the new normal

Battery production and material development has been accelerated by rapid digitalisation, changing the trajectory of growth in Sweden, the Nordics, and globally. Sweden’s advanced digital infrastructure and workforce are playing a major role in Senior’s ability to build on their digital heritage and future ambitions.

Looking to the future, Senior sees digitalisation as a cornerstone of their growth ambitions:

“Factory visualisation, innovation and creativity have all changed beyond recognition over the past decade. Many of the small changes that we take for granted that improve efficiency are still relatively new. Embracing digitalisation is not just about innovation, it is about business security; if we aren’t at the forefront of change, we won’t be competitive. We need to continually explore all possibilities and deliver new solutions, materials, and production methods so the energy industry can continue to evolve and meet emissions targets.

Challenge

Cellink recognised the global demand and growth potential for their biotech printing solutions and wanted to identify partners and expand their distributor network in key markets in Japan and Korea, and then to the US.

An overarching challenge was to grow through inorganic channels including M&A with the goal of building a stronger, complimentary product portfolio.

Solution

Identify and access local stakeholders that could deliver on regional distribution requirements and connect with industry actors who would act as door-openers and valued partners. Define a sales strategy that would meet local demand and facilitate short- and long-term growth goals, both in Japan and Korea and then in the US.

Created and implemented an M&A strategy that would enhance the business portfolio and impact in the biotech printing and associated segments.

Result

Shortened time to market in the APAC region with successful a partner engagement strategy which facilitated the creation of a robust distributor network.

Value impact

Delivering the M&A strategy was a catalyst for growth with the purchases of significant companies that contribute to building a stronger offer within the biotech printing ecosystem.

Created and delivered a sales strategy in the US which contributed to the set-up of a local production hub.

About Senior

Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co., is a leading global supplier of separators used in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries. The company is headquartered in the tech hub Shenzhen and supplies the world’s largest battery manufacturers with patented separator solutions.  

The company is listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange and plans to expand in China and internationally to meet growing demand for battery components. The investment in Sweden and Eskilstuna represents the first establishment of a production facility overseas.