Battery manufacturing: A special challenge

Car manufacturers and suppliers are facing new challenges due to increasing electro mobility. Suddenly they have to produce products whose materials are difficult to manufacture and in some cases highly dangerous. Expert knowledge and innovation are required, which EDAG PS can provide. An example is the production of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

Author: Robert Wilschrey

Anyone who wants to build electric cars does not only need motors, but also storage tanks for electrical energy. As the market for electric vehicles is currently growing rapidly and offers a lot of potential for large sales, it is certainly a good decision not to buy these batteries from other suppliers, but to develop and manufacture them in-house. This creates the necessary know-how to gain a technological advantage.

After the prototype development of a lithium-ion battery for electric cars, an automotive company was looking for a partner who would design and implement the entire manufacturing process. EDAG PS was chosen for various reasons because we have a very good reputation among automobile manufacturers as planners for factories and production. The following competencies and skills were decisive

1. Holistic factory planning with development of production, buildings and the entire infrastructure.
2. Collaboration of very different departments in the project:  
         - Product development for production-oriented design of the product
         - Involvement of employees from the realisation engineering department for construction and simulation                           - Involvement of employees from car body construction and material flow simulation

3. Take Advantage and use of the many years of planning expertisefrom industrialization and optimization projects  in the field of chassis and drive components
4. Special knowledge of the joining technologies required for battery production
5. Methods of factory planning such as factory current design and potential analyses

 

UNUSUAL MATERIALS

The challenges for the planning were not an easy task: Lithium in metallic form is an extremely flammable material that starts to burn even in contact with normal air (at temperatures above 1000 degrees Celsius). The materials used are in some cases highly toxic and the batteries generate high currents at high voltages: all this requires special safety precautions in production.

For the customer and us, the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries was new territory, both in terms of manufacturing technologies and production standards. On the other hand, thanks to our large pool of excellently networked experts and engineers from a wide range of specialist areas and the wide experience gained from 40 years of industrialisation and engineering, we have the know-how to implement such a project.

As there was no battery production at the customer's site, planning finally started on a "white sheet of paper". However, as a general and production planning company, we have sufficient experience in setting up a new production facility. So we were able to draw up the concept planning in the shortest possible time and subsequently secure the various concepts. The advantage for the customer: the investment security was quickly achieved and the planning of the new factory and production could be started and implemented on schedule.

This also applied to the realisation: The plant manufacturer was able to set up the battery production for the customer on time - without any adjustments to our planning documents. In the meantime, the customer is already producing the next generation of lithium-ion batteries in manufacturing. He was highly satisfied with our design and was thus able to secure an excellent position in the growth market of electro-mobility in the production of batteries.

 

CONCLUSION

Even when it comes to techniques that are new territory for EDAG PS, our expertise and know-how in the field of production planning and industrialisation enable us to achieve outstanding results that immediately prove themselves in practice. As our project engineers work in a highly networked environment, this leads to innovative solutions for manufacturing - not only for the automotive industry.

Do you have a similar application? Just get in contact with me: robert.wilschrey@edag-ps.com

On our reference page you can also get a first impression of which projects we have already successfully implemented together with our customers.