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New Battery Plant Planned for Drone Power Solutions

Packet Digital has announced a roadmap to build North Dakota’s first battery cell plant to increase domestic drone battery production By William Mackenzie / 23 Apr 2024
New Battery Plant for Drone Power Solutions
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Provider of power management solutions for autonomous systems Packet Digital has unveiled plans to build North Dakota’s first battery cell plant in north Fargo, less than six months after opening its battery assembly facility. 

Packet Digital’s batteries, chargers, battery management systems, battery fleet management systems, and maximum power point trackers enable UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) to extend flight times and increase payloads with reliable operation over a longer lifetime.

The new manufacturing plant will become the third Fargo location for Packet Digital to produce and manufacture its high-performance batteries for drone platforms.

Packet Digital state that as the U.S. government pushes to increase domestic production of battery cells, the new battery plant will place the company in a position to accomplish this goal by manufacturing high-performance battery cells for the autonomous systems industry.

The Clean Sustainable Energy Authority (CSEA), a branch of North Dakota’s Industrial Commission, recently partnered with Packet Digital to bring battery cell manufacturing to North Dakota. To reach the CSEA’s goal of supporting technological advancements that increase sustainability of energy production, Packet Digital was awarded with $17.4 million, as part of the collaboration.

The Pentagon Replicator Program

Packet Digital explain that with the introduction of the Pentagon’s Replicator program, an initiative to rapidly produce and deploy thousands of autonomous weapons systems within a two-year window has arisen.

A primary goal of the Replicator initiative is to reduce reliance on international parties for U.S. military autonomous systems. Packet Digital seeks to bring battery cell manufacturing to American shores, limiting supply chain issues and reliance on adversarial parties. With the roadmap set for a battery cell plant in North Dakota, the company state that it is on track to make the U.S. a more prominent player in drone battery manufacturing.

Packet Digital assert that its track record of successfully combining high-power, high-efficiency and safe power solutions for its users makes it the ideal choice for manufacturing battery cells in the U.S.

Packet Digital’s goal is to manufacture battery cells for customers by the end of 2025, with the facility running at maximum capacity by 2028.

Packet Digital CEO Terri Zimmerman commented; “Packet Digital has been a trusted leader in the drone battery industry for years. We are grateful for the support from CSEA and from North Dakota, which has played an important role in our growing manufacturing footprint in the state. Opening North Dakota’s first battery cell plant will create high-paying manufacturing jobs here in Fargo, for one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

“In the past couple of years, multiple military confrontations around the world have highlighted the changing landscape of the modern battlefield, with drones taking a more prominent role. The Department of Defense has taken notice, and has put out the call to the U.S. manufacturing base to ramp up domestic production of critical U.S. components, and the high-energy density cells that we’re going to produce here in Fargo couldn’t be more critical for U.S. defense and our national security.”

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Posted by William Mackenzie Connect & Contact