NEW CASTLE, Pa., March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Axion Power™ International, Inc. (OTC QB: AXPW), the developer of advanced lead-carbon PbC® batteries and energy storage systems, announced today that it has completed, and begun operating, its new improved continuous roll carbon sheeting line. The carbon sheet is a critical component of Axion's proprietary negative electrode and, to date, it has been manufactured by hand utilizing several identical stations to provide enough carbon sheet to satisfy existing PbC® battery production needs. However, manual carbon sheeting production has never been viewed as the long-term solution necessary to meet Axion's projected PbC product sales growth, its cost improvement targets or its quality control specifications. Rather, an automated production system was the long established goal and this second generation continuous-roll carbon sheeting production line, when coupled with Axion's robotic negative electrode production line, completely automates the manufacturing process. It becomes scalable, with the capability of being replicated at the Company's New Castle facility or at any other facility throughout the world. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100119/AXIONLOGO) "This is a giant leap forward for us and allows us to make a better product at a reduced cost," said Axion Power's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Granville. "It's the final step in automating our complete activated carbon negative electrode manufacturing process and it brings us tighter quality control, better production yields, meaningful production quantities and significant labor cost reductions. On behalf of the entire Company, I'd like to specifically congratulate our project leader for spearheading this effort, as well as congratulate our entire team – we have advanced far into the next level of PbC electrode production as evidenced by this recent progress. In the last 30 days alone we have increased finished carbon sheet throughput by more than 25 percent." Granville added that, "Now a crew of two, running the new manufacturing line, can produce 300 percent more finished carbon sheet product than could a crew of 10 operating the previous manual process, and can do so with less waste and improved quality. Additionally, the new process has resulted in a modest gain in carbon sheet 'energy capacity' due in part to better homogeneity throughout the manufactured sheet."