Economically and ecologically superior EV battery production and traceability driven by additive-free laser marking and intelligent machine vision

by | Dec 8, 2023 | Sustainable manufacturing, Cell case manufacturing and handling, Extreme Lithium Battery Manufacturing | 0 comments

The electric vehicle battery industry is at a critical junction. The demand for EV batteries is expected to increase by more than tenfold by 2030. At the same time, the European Union pushes manufacturers towards zero emissions and a circular economy by adopting a new regulation that strengthens sustainability and traceability rules for batteries and waste batteries. To ensure survival and stay ahead of the competition, battery manufacturers require comprehensive laser marking and machine vision solutions that are faster, more cost-efficient and offer a reliable road towards a greener future.

On July 10, 2023, The Council of the European Union introduced a new regulation that applies to the entire life cycle of all batteries from production to reuse and recycling. The new rules will ensure that batteries are safe, sustainable, and competitive by issuing extensive sustainability targets for battery manufacturers. The numerous targets include waste recovery and increased recycling efficiency that applies especially to lithium from waste batteries and enforces extended manufacturer responsibility.

The tightened regulations and incentives counted in the 10s and 100s of billions of Euros in green transition grants and loans aim to establish a circular economy within the EU and attain net-zero climate neutrality by 2050. To help manufacturers reach these targets and lower emissions, the new regulation introduces labelling and information requirements, for example on battery components and recycled content, and a digital battery passport with a QR code. The labelling marking requirements will apply to all EU member states and economic operators by 2026 while the QR code for the battery passport is required by 2027.

(IMAGE 1 EV Battery production)

High-quality laser marking and Intelligent machine vision enable fast and reliable EV Battery production for full traceability and data verification. Picture credits: Cajo Technologies

EV battery manufacturers need comprehensive automation solutions to be able to provide more quantity without compromising quality. High-quality and additive-free laser marking technology combined with intelligent machine vision is the solution that enables battery manufacturers to mark products reliably with permanent product identification data for the full traceability required for waste retrieval and the digital battery passport. Reliable and fully machine-readable product markings by laser guarantee full traceability even on high-speed production lines improving manufacturing efficiency.

Integrable Cajo Tailor™ laser marking unit with integrated CajoVision™ machine vision solution powered by Cognex enable high-quality machine-readable traceability and product identification markings.
Picture credits: Cajo Technologies

Only a high-quality laser can meet the growing demand for increased battery production efficiency. Additive-free laser marking technology enables precise and permanent 2D codes for coated and uncoated aluminium and copper foils in high-speed marking on-the-fly over 100 m/min. When coupled with intelligent machine vision, this comprehensive and highly sustainable traceability solution has the power to verify the markings reliably for maximum cost-efficiency and improved product safety.

CajoVision™ by Cajo Technologies integrates intelligent machine vision and code reading solutions into Cajo Laser Systems. Machine vision solutions use cameras, image processing algorithms, and specialized software to analyze and interpret visual information. By combining marking, reading and verification, added value can be created for customers. With CajoVision™, it is possible to find the location of the object and determine the exact position for the marking. Cajo’s cutting-edge technology helps manufacturers achieve more streamlined production processes.

After the marking process, the quality of the marking can be read and verified. CajoVision™ brings flexibility and adaptability to the manufacturers’ production processes while increasing quality, accuracy, performance, and efficiency. CajoVision™ combines high-quality laser marking and intelligent machine vision into the most user-friendly marking, reading, and verification solution on the market.

The solution for greatly enhanced battery production offers manufacturers:

Cajo Hercules for Foil Marking™ with CajoSmart™ embedded laser marking software and a sample data matrix marked on aluminium foil using a Cajo Laser. Picture credits: Cajo Technologies
  • Precise and permanent 2D codes and markings for coated and uncoated aluminium and copper foils
  • High-speed marking on-the-fly over 100 m/min for dry and wet coating lines
  • Multiple laser units with synchronized control per customer need
  • Each laser can mark over 20 unique data matrix codes per second for maximum efficiency
  • Seamless MES integration for industry 4.0 compliant Smart Factories and expert technical support
  • High availability embedded software with a user-friendly HMI
  • Automatic code verification via intelligent machine vision to enable automatic scrapping of bad electrodes
  • Customizable according to factory requirements for example for foil width, electrode type, and marking placement

The high-speed on-the-fly 2D laser marking of electrode foil enables full traceability in battery manufacturing. Combining process data with individual electrodes gives an unforeseen insight into the manufacturing process to sustainably improve yield and minimize scrap. The outcome is superior to traditional marking methods, such as inkjets, and to outdated lasers designed solely for marking without intelligent software to guide the process and the reliable vision systems used for accurate verification. In addition, Cajo Laser enables manufacturers a 90 % reduction of carbon footprint of industrial labelling when compared to inkjets. The flexible traceability solution can be installed and integrated seamlessly on new battery production lines under construction and also on existing battery lines.

IMAGE 4: 90 % honeycomb + green leaf

The cost-effective and additive-free solutions of Cajo Technologies help manufacturers save costs and the environment. Picture credits: Cajo Technologies

Reliable traceability made possible by high-quality markings and product identification, takes battery manufacturing to the level required to reach the new EU targets. In the very near future, improving yield in lithium-ion battery production and minimizing scrap is not just a goal anymore, it is the whole requirement of business in EV battery manufacturing.

Battery manufacturers who want to be part of a sustainable future can contact experienced global laser marking industry pioneer Cajo Technologies and receive free consultation on how to enhance EV battery production with comprehensive traceability and product marking solutions.

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Janne Makela

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