The manufacturing of lithium batteries will go through a big transformation based on increasing demands and other world trends. Besides the demand for storage of electrical energy in vehicles, the production of batteries will also be influenced by the development in digital production technology and the requirements on product improvement and recycling. The product improvement will be more driven by data collection and analysis of battery systems which will change types, shapes, used materials and other features of the battery.

Besides the lessons learned from the mass production of EV batteries in the new factories, the development will also speed up through the availability of platforms for high computing and simulation. This will make new technology more reliable and through emulations more time is saved in shortening the commissioning and learning curves.

Further innovation of intelligent manufacturing will guarantee more flexible, efficient and high-quality smart factories. These requirements were for a long time interfering with each other but other principles will empower the combination more and more.

Battery packs will be for multi-use as they will serve other purposes when the electrical vehicle is end of live. The cascade utilization will mean that the industrial chain will closely cooperate to lengthen the economic life time of the battery pack and individual cells.

In the process of extreme manufacturing the production will be data driven. Data from the process and it’s supply chain itself, but also by the data from battery packs in the field. Loops for collection, analysis and improvements will be shorter and shorter. Artificial intelligence and big data will give the opportunity to modify battery pack executions immediately.

Intelligent extreme manufacturing should have the following mean features:

  • addition to traditional quality, cost, flexibility and efficiency, there must be a response speed to the market, the ability to resist various interferences, be reconfigurable and reusable.
  • The main production equipment shall be capable of self-perception, self-adaptation and self-compensation to response to changes in various production environment
  • Predictive automatic problem source tracking to achieve zero defects
  • Engineering immunity and zero faults
  • The first piece is successful, and the followings are excellent.

There are unique opportunities for industrial big data with self-perception equipment, zero-fault production, intelligent workshop scheduling, automatic line care system and real-time factory operation indicator display. These elements can be used for production of the battery cells and packs but also for re-use analysis and recycling processes.

Of course in that improved technology is applicated. Vision (image recognition), traceability systems, augmented reality, machine learning, data mining and predictive maintenance are all used to realize the future production and recycle lines. Big data from the process itself but also from R&D and after-sales will be more available and processed.

Careful estimates give a significant reduction of time and costs. Expected business operation costs go down with more than 20%, product development time with more than 50% and production rates will be 5 times higher. Only an wide expertise network will be able to accomplish this.

The final product battery pack will reach a zero defect. Meaning at least 2 million kilometres and 16 years life cycle in a one of billionth failure rate. With full-range tracing and intelligent collaboration in the industry and users chain.

Power battery manufacturing is full of challenges. and het partners will contribute to the development from traditional manufacturing to a new generation of intelligent/extreme manufacturing.