Cognex Enters the EV Battery Market With Full Lifecycle Application Solutions
Caroline Smart, 03-01-2019
Of all the technologies in an electric vehicle (EV), lithium-ion batteries are arguably the least standard, with significant differences in development and manufacturing practices. Regardless of design, manufacturers are uniformly focused on achieving greater energy density, cycle life, and safety. During production, stable manufacturing processes are essential to prevent degradation and minimize waste. Unsurprisingly, machine vision is critical throughout the 4 phases of EV battery production to inspect materials for quality and consistency and to guide, align, and identify components. Cognex machine vision and barcode reading technologies help manufacturers adhere to the highest quality standards and ensure high performance.
During the electrode manufacturing process, electrode material is coated onto copper and aluminum foil for electric flow. It is essential to check the metal surface, separator, and coating for any surface or edge defects as well as uniform shape and thickness. Cognex provides quality inspection and gauging solutions to ensure that electrode sheets meet exacting specifications.
In cell assembly, the joined cell of cathode and anode is either wound, rolled, or stacked. Lead tabs are attached to the folded cells. The process is complete when the cells are filled with electrolytes, vacuum-sealed, and dried. Cognex offers gauging, 2D code reading, alignment, guidance, and inspection solutions to ensure that lithium-ion cells can meet high energy density and performance demands. Cells manufactured with Cognex technology are well-suited to mobile energy storage applications, including as automotive batteries for electric vehicles.
During formation, individual cells are charged to become EV batteries and tested for voltage, current, and cosmetic appearance. Completed EV cells are graded and tracked using barcodes before they are shipped to EV module and pack manufacturers. Cognex offers code reading, pouch surface inspection, cell stacking height measurement, and optical character recognition (OCR) solutions to help manufacturers ensure their lithium-ion cells can meet the demands of large-format battery pack manufacturers and energy storage system developers.
Module and Pack System
Multiple battery cells are assembled into a module, wrapped in steel plates, and have their poles welded together to produce the correct voltage. Inspection during the assembly process ensures that both cells and packs are in the correct position, have strong contact, and are properly welded. Cognex offers machine vision solutions for module inspection, busbar welding inspection, module and pack (M&P) assembly, cable connector guidance, and code reading to guarantee proper function before EV modules and packs flow into general assembly.
See how Cognex machine vision systems, barcode readers, and industry-leading software help EV battery manufacturers and automakers ensure quality and traceability throughout the supply chain by downloading the EV Battery Solutions Guide.