What are the challenges in battery pack and battery module assembly?

Marcus Braun

There is already rapid growth in the demand for EV modules, which will expand significantly over the coming years. Whether in EV or in renewable energies. Battery modules are facing a powerful demand.

And so the manufacturers are faced with major challenges in assembly and throughput of often less than 4 minutes per battery pack.

Starting with the lack of skilled workers in development, designing an efficient production, up to the availability of the necessary materials, there are many significant key processes.

In addition, there are topics such as reducing the CO2 footprint, time-to-market, increasing production costs, product flexibility, as well as reducing rejects and possible recycling.

The reliability, safety and function of the battery modules is one of the top priorities.

These factors are already influenced at the start of production planning. Parameters such as production costs, product flexibility, throughput, traceability, intralogistics, quality and system availability are determined from the first concept of a product plant. The design of the manufacturing process has a significant impact on ROI, market position and product quality.

Not to be neglected is the design of the intralogistics, which can account for up to 70% of the production time and thus also determines the utilization of the production facilities.

Other influencing factors and challenges are efficient manufacturing processes, software/communication/programming and control, assembly tolerances, production conditions/environmental conditions, traceability, product flexibility and safety.

These topics and points are in my daily discussion with the respective customers, partners and manufacturers of such products. We keep coming back to the key question of how we can design the production processes to be lean and efficient. The issue of rejects is also discussed intensively.

 

What is the situation here and what can be done?

Programming and data communication must already be in focus during the planning phase. Battery cells have a significant impact on costs. A cell alone could almost be neglected in relation to the battery module. But if you look at the number of battery cells per battery pack, this quickly adds up to a very high number of rejects and costs. Here, too, there are hardly any resources available to supply new cells. Once a battery has been glued together, it cannot be easily dismantled – the subject of process optimization and recycling.

 

What about the external conditions of production?

The external conditions are also decisive for battery assembly. Temperature, humidity, storage and purity of the raw material have a direct impact on production and product quality.

 

Are there any optimization options and what do they look like?

The answer is yes. There are possibilities for optimization.

Optimizations can already be taken into account when planning a production plant.

The overall concept must be consistent. It is also helpful if possible to have one manufacturer / partner on hand for the system planning and setup. Effective communication and interface is then ensured here, which goes hand in hand with holistic paint planning with a flexible, scalable process. Innovative manufacturing processes with digital development tools are on hand to help. Don’t be afraid of innovations! It is important to get the partners on board at an early stage.

The result is, among other things, a modular production platform with options for future adjustment and expansion of capacities and throughput times.

I face all of these topics, worries and problems of customers and partners every day.

On the basis of experience, knowledge and our technology team, suitable solutions can be offered.