The expanded production capacity is expected to support the manufacture of up to 1,500 complete zero emission vehicles and powertrain systems annually by the end of 2022

Lightning eMotors cobot welder

A collaborative welding robot for automated production of volume parts at Lightning eMotors newly expanded production facility

The company says it has completed the expansion of its manufacturing campus in Loveland, Colorado by 102,000 square feet to a total of over 226,000 square feet and reconfigured workstations throughout the plant to incorporate advanced automation and augmented reality systems across multiple workstations and assembly areas.

The investment of more than $5m includes the addition of collaborative robots (cobots) to assist technicians with the fabrication and welding process. The company is also using projected augmented reality (AR) software to support the manual assembly and manufacturing processes. The projected AR platform projects virtual step-by-step work instructions directly onto an employee’s work surface, which the company claims will deliver immediate benefits to quality and productivity.

An additional 3,700 square feet on the campus is also being renovated to become Lightning’s new vehicle research and development annex and battery testing centre with a commercial vehicle rated dynamometer and advanced battery testing equipment.

The company says its retooled and expanded manufacturing operations will increase the production capacity up to 1,500 zero emission complete vehicles and powertrain systems annually by the end of 2022 and keeps it on track to its previously announced plan to produce up to 20,000 vehicles and powertrain systems by 2025.

Lightning eMotors’ CEO Tim Reeser says: “This expansion at our headquarters here in Loveland not only helps us increase our production capacity – but the additional tooling and automation enables our technicians to do their jobs more safely, more efficiently, and with a focus on quality and consistency.”

“As we expand Lightning eMotors’ production capacity we are incorporating advanced manufacturing processes,” said Brian Barron, Lightning eMotors’ chief manufacturing officer. “We have also built a manufacturing and operations team that includes a number of talented executives who bring a wide range of experience and expertise from some of the world’s best manufacturers including BMW, Nissan, and Tesla.”

Watch the video of operations at Lighting eMotor’s production facility