The company has expanded its capabilities as demand for all-electric and autonomous vehicles and hybrid cars has increased in recent years.

October 29, 2020

ALGONQUIN, Ill.— Kenmode Precision Metal Stamping reported that it has been adding new technical capabilities in recent years to produce custom busbars that transmit power in all types of electric vehicles, whether hybrid, all-electric, or autonomous (self-driving). Kenmode, founded in 1960, has produced precision metal stamped parts for the automotive and electronics industries for decades. To meet the need for new busbar designs, including larger parts, Kenmode recently added a 300-ton press for metal stamping, the company said in a release.

For the automotive and transportation markets, custom metal stamped busbars of different sizes and complexities are required to transmit current from high-powered battery packs to a variety of electrical applications. These applications include the engine itself and such electric-powered features as sunroofs, sensors, communications, windows, remote control, and anti-lock braking systems.

Kenmode said that it provides comprehensive services to take new busbar designs from concept to completion. Its services include prototyping and design assistance, tool design, and precision metal stamping, as well as coordinating specialized finishing services to produce the complete busbar assembly.

“At Kenmode, we take pride in helping our customers get their new products to market as quickly and cost effectively as possible,” said Kurt Moders, president, in a company release. “That means we invest in new technology ahead of the curve to meet new requirements for our customers. This is absolutely critical as the demand for electric vehicles grows exponentially.”

According to Bloomberg NEF market forecasts, electric cars are expected to grow from 2.7 percent of all global passenger vehicle sales in 2020 to 10 percent by 2025, rising to 28 percent in 2030 and 58 percent in 2040.

For electric vehicles, busbars must be strong and lightweight, which allows vehicles to extend their range before recharging. The most used materials for automotive metal stamped busbars are conductive alloys, such as copper, bronze, and aluminum.

Due to the complexity of busbar assemblies for electric vehicles, many automotive OEMs and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers choose to start with a prototype busbar. Kenmode’s Tech Center provides rapid prototyping services and fast turnaround on approved designs, according to the release.

“Every busbar design is different from one battery to the next because of fit and function,” said Kurt Meissner, the company’s sales manager for key accounts, in the release. “We work with our customers’ engineers to find the most economical way to produce the busbars needed. One recent project for an electric vehicle required 13 new tool designs for the metal stamped busbars, which were sourced and built quickly by our in-house tool design team to a very successful and on-time launch.”

Kenmode also offers value-added finishing services, whether handled in-house or coordinated with its approved supply base. The company’s services include complex busbar bending to metal plating, welding, hardware insertion, plastic injection molding, specialty coating for insulators, and cleaning. The goal is to “deliver complete busbar assemblies on time and on budget,” the company said in the release.

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