Introduction

M-C Power is taking a power generation technology that has been proven in the laboratory and is making it a commercially competitive product There are many areas in which this technology required scale up and refinement to reach the market entiy goals for the IMHEX® molten carbonate fuel cell power plant One of the primary areas that needed to be addressed was the manufacturing of the fuel cell stack. Up to this point, the fuel cell stack and associated components were virtually hand made for each system to be tested. M-C Power has now continuously manufactured the repeat components for three (3) 250 kW stacks.

M-C Power's manufacturing strategy integrated both evolutionary and revolutionary improvements into its comprehensive commercialization effort. M-C Power's objectives were to analyze and continuously improve stack component manufacturing and assembly techniques consistent with established specifications and commercial scale production requirements. Evolutionary improvements are those which naturally occur as the production rates are increased and experience is gained. Examples of evolutionary (learning curve) improvements included reducing scrap rates and decreasing raw material costs by buying in large quantities. Revolutionary improvements result in significant design and process changes to meet cost and performance requirements of the market entry system. Revolutionary changes often involve identifying new methods and developing designs to accommodate the new process. Based upon our accomplishments, M-C Power was able to reduce the cost of continuously manufactured fuel cell repeat components from the first to third 250 kW stack by 63%. This paper documents the continuous improvement accomplishments realized by M-C Power during IMHEX® fiiel cell repeat component manufacturing.

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