SIEMENS says its planning and design software and technology can help manufacturers automate the production of large-scale batteries.
With the growth in alternative power generation, automation and electric automotive trends, the future will see increased demand for large-scale lithium-ion batteries.
In devising its battery manufacturing solutions, Siemens combined its expertise in the production of energy-storage devices and its technological know-how in the field of automation and control systems.
For current technological trends to continue, energy-storage devices need to become cheaper to produce – especially lithium-ion batteries – while offering high quality.
According to Siemens, the process for manufacturing batteries (some of which can be the size of a shipping container) has not progressed much.
The chemical processes in the battery cells are complex and highly sensitive. The foil coating of the electrodes must not deviate from regulation thickness by more than one micrometer across the entire coated surface.
Siemens says it is possible to make the production large-scale lithium-ion batteries more efficient. Its software creates digital models of planned production facilities, determining the required size of the plant, calculating the maximum potential throughput, and optimising efficiency.
These simulation results can then be applied without further modification to real live plants. Similarly, quality-control systems can be directly integrated within fully automated production machinery.
Siemens’ ideas are being put to test in the real world. The company has signed a cooperation agreement with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to develop a primary control system.
In 2013the system is to be installed in the first production facility for lithium-ion cells of the KIT, where it will highlight the benefits in terms of product quality and reduced costs.