Battery manufacture

© Fraunhofer IPA

Drive batteries account for a large proportion of added value in the manufacture of electric cars. The battery cell is a key technology and thus of central importance. Manufacturing battery cells in Europe and Germany in the future is both a political aim and an economic necessity. This can only be attained by planning and constructing climate-friendly giga-factories for producing high-quality battery cells. Digitizing the value chain end-to-end will not only provide decisive competitive advantages but also be a unique selling point. At the Center for Digitized Battery Cell Manufacturing, methods and tools for this are being developed and extensively tried and tested on a laboratory line.

Digitizing the entire value chain in battery cell production is one of the tasks of the Center for Digitized Battery Cell Manufacturing (ZDB). Research services support the certification and scaling of existing (lithium ion) and future battery cell concepts and manufacturing processes. The focus is always on stabilizing and improving product quality while considering strict economic and ecological constraints. To achieve this, ZDB optimizes individual production processes and complete interlinked production lines as well as higher-level process and building infrastructures. In the future, the Center for Digitized Battery Cell Manufacturing at Fraunhofer IPA will contain an entire, fully digitized production chain for lithium-ion battery cells.

Services and expertise

Our services range from consulting through to research and development projects in the following fields

    • Design and evaluation of resilient production networks and supply chains
    • Planning value-stream driven, versatile and energy-efficient factories
    • Design of climate-friendly energy supply concepts for production sites
    • Design of cleanroom, clean zone and dry room technologies in line with requirements
    • Design of energy-efficient equipment for process and factory infrastructures
    • Design of minienvironments for battery cell manufacture
    • Development of handling and logistics solutions for cleanrooms and dry rooms
    • Development of automated assembly solutions for battery production (module, pack)
    • Dispersion and analysis of slurries, pastes and inks
    • Wet and dry coating processes for active materials (anode and cathode)
    • Development of automation solutions for battery cell assembly
    • Examination of laser welding processes for contacting battery cells
    • Research into demand-based processes for filling battery cells with electrolyte solutions
    • Development of time-efficient forming programs for battery cell manufacture
    • Production of customized battery cell prototypes and small series on the laboratory line
  • IT architectures, data acquisition, and handling

    • Design and plug-and-play integration of modern sensor solutions
    • Post-crosslinking of individual processes and process chains incl. edge data processing
    • Analysis and redesign of existing corporate IT architectures
    • Development of service-based architectures for cyber-physical manufacturing systems
    • Design of service-based architectures for big data acquisition and processing
    • Development of middleware-based integration solutions for orchestrating IT services

     

    Traceability

    • Development of traceability solutions for electrode production using fingerprint sensors
    • Development of traceability solutions for cell assembly via intelligent workpiece carriers

     

    Modeling, simulation, and optimization

    • Design and development of digital twins based on combined modeling approaches
    • Development of multi-scale and multi-physics simulation software for battery cell manufacture
    • Model-based optimization of individual processes and process chains for battery cell manufacture

     

    Development of services, use and feedback of information 

    • Design of services for digitized production planning and control
    • Development of services for model-based quality management
    • Development of services for model-based maintenance and repair management
    • Analysis and model-based identification of sources of interference in interlinked manufacturing systems
    • Development of user interfaces and front ends to support employee decision-making processes
    • Model-based evaluation of alternative closed-cycle strategies for batteries (repair, reuse, repurpose, remanufacturing, recycling)
    • Modeling and simulation of disassembly factories
    • Design of safety technologies for dismantling and recycling batteries
    • Metrological analysis of return battery modules and cells
    • Design and integration of sensor systems for reliable component detection
    • Development of flexible automation solutions for dismantling battery systems
    • Development of separation processes for dismantling battery systems
    • Analysis and chemical characterization of recycled materials from return battery systems