Battery performance, life and quality is always going to be determined by how the battery is manufactured. We all are aware about the EV fires which include leading automotive players which costed them millions to billions of dollars just due to defects in Battery due to Manufacturing defects.
Battery manufacturing is complex and has many intermediates and over 600 influencing variables and parameters in the process right from Mining of Raw Materials to the final packaging of finished battery cells, only advance technology and data driven manufacturing can help achieve the highest quality of manufacturing in each process.
European Union is also aiming to produce green batteries, meaning batteries produced with least effect on Environment and lower the energy consumption data driven manufacturing can help in optimizing battery manufacturing process.
General steps include Collect, Analyze, Store, and understand data. Batteryline.com member CIM.AS are having experience and experts in data driven Battery manufacturing lines.
Data collection in Electrode Manufacturing:
Raw materials are mixed in this process hence quality of infeed raw materials is always checked some of the important data to be collected and analysed are particle size, composition of slurry, homogeneity, viscosity.
Data collection for the mixing equipment: Time of mixing process per batch, Speed of spindle in the mixer, temperature inside the mixing chamber. The data must be collected on machine performance too to optimize the machine power consumption.
Coating and drying:
Once the slurry is made the coating process. Coating thickness, Coating Uniformity, Defects/cracks, Solvent content, Variation in particle distribution, Dryer temperature, humidity, and also electrode weight is checked and analyzed.
Data collection for coating and drying equipment: Coating speed, Power consumption, NMP collection per batch variations.
After coating the coated electrodes are put in to calendaring process. Data collected: Electrode density after calendaring, Thickness, Pressure applied by rollers, Temperature, Cracks/defects in electrode.
Data collection on Calendering equipment: Calendering Speed, Roller Temperature of roller and pressure application is checked and analysed to get process optimized.
In slitting electrodes are basically cut longitudinally according to size of the battery cell to be manufactured.
Here data is collected on: Quality of Electrode, checks for burrs/defects, weight of each electrode rolls, thickness and width of electrode.
Data is also collected on cutting speeds, to check whether the knife is sharp enough to get quality electrodes. Analysis is done and cutting tool is changed accordingly.
The electrode rolls are now transferred to dryer to remove all moisture/NMP if any in the electrode rolls.
Data collected on: Drying Temperature, Time, Weight of Electrodes, Cracks, Pressure inside the vacuum drying chamber. Initial moisture content and final moisture content to be collected and analysed.
Data to be collected on: Winding speed, Tension on daughter rolls, thickness/diameter/geometry of winded jelly roll, Winding accuracy, weight of the jelly roll after the winding process.
During the winding process the usable electrode material after cutting is noted down and analysed so that the electrode can be optimized for maximum yield/output.
Tab welding and packaging:
Data to be collected on: Welding Speed, Current, Voltage Temperature, Weld Quality(Vision system), Pulling test and speed of assembly process( Insertion of jelly roll in the can Prismatic/Cylindrical), Defects on Cans.
Data to be collected on: Electrolyte Temperature, pH, Viscosity, Filling speeds, Weight of cell before and after filling, Variation in Electrolyte composition.
Formation and Aging:
Process in which cell is charged and Discharged for the first time.
Data to be collected: Cell surface inspection, IR,EIS, Impedance, Gas detection, Temperature of cell, Voltage, Capacity, Temperature of Chamber, Time, Variation Charge and Discharge Cycles.
Hence Data driven and Data collection helps in overall successful running of the battery giga factory, by collecting the data for each process you can optimize line performance, resources spent on battery manufacturing and ultimately manufacture batteries in the most sustainable way.
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