The world is relying on battery-powered products more than ever, from the largest vehicles to the smallest personal devices. The associated increased demand for battery manufacturing introduces numerous challenges and complexities, including quality control, production efficiency, waste reduction, and cost minimization. To help address these challenges, Siemens Digital Industries Software announced a collaboration with Enterprise Battery Intelligence (EBI) cloud-based platform provider Voltaiq to accelerate battery manufacturing by helping to rapidly scale operations from initial testing to full-scale production lines.
The collaboration aims to tackle key challenges in battery manufacturing’s:
Quality control and consistency: Consistently ensuring each battery meets the highest standards for performance and safety is challenging. Variations in manufacturing conditions can lead to inconsistencies in battery quality, so it’s important to maintain rigorous quality control throughout production. To stay competitive, manufacturers must accelerate material and design innovations and optimize battery costs while reaching energy density targets and ensuring safe battery utilization.
Increasing production: Scaling up battery production to meet increasing demand, especially for electric vehicles, without compromising quality or efficiency is a significant challenge. This includes managing larger automated giga facilities at scale with consistent machine performance, while understanding – and responding to – the influences of complex machinery to the characteristics of battery cells.
Process efficiency and waste reduction: Battery manufacturing involves complex chemical processes – a combination of batch, continuous, and discrete– that are complex to manage. This complexity can lead to waste and inefficiencies. Manufacturers strive to optimize these processes to minimize waste and improve overall efficiency, addressing both cost and environmental concerns.
High costs: Manufacturers must find ways to constantly reduce costs without compromising product quality. These include the cost of raw materials, manufacturing processes, and technology development.
The Voltaiq solution enables manufacturers to leverage Insights Hub’s closed-loop analytics, combined with signals in electrochemical and manufacturing data, to spot battery problems in real-time so they can correct upstream issues earlier in the process, improving battery quality and yield, while helping to accelerate scale-up.
The joint solution addresses the challenges faced in the critical finishing stage of battery production - which makes up a significant portion of production costs and time - by helping reduce the risk associated with discovering problems late in the production cycle where yield and profitability are most likely to decrease. Voltaiq’s technology can identify cell anomalies early in the first formation cycle – days or weeks before many cell anomalies are typically detected through traditional QA. Voltaiq’s EBI solution is compatible with existing formation cycling equipment so no complex implementation is needed, and value can be realized in less than one month.
Example use cases include:
Closed-loop factory digital twin: Inject real data into equipment/factory models to identify root causes and solutions to help reduce scrap rate with faster iteration through earlier detection and remediation of factory floor issues.
Closed-loop product digital twin: Reduction of product quality issues through faster detection and remediation of issues during end-of-line formation, aging, and product quality assurance (QA) processes.
Production visibility and experimental analysis: Evaluate production performance with trusted and automated descriptive analytics of production status. Enable rapid product development with a real-time feedback loop between testing and simulation. Increase uptime and reduce scrap with predictive analytics for equipment maintenance and production quality.
Real-time battery behavior: Achieve on-time launch by detecting issues early thanks to electrochemical analytics, rapid simulations, and improved designs.
Find out more about the Battery Manufacturing Industry in ARC’s latest report: Battery Manufacturing Machinery Market Size Trends Forecast | ARC Advisory Group (arcweb.com)