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Electric Vehicles

Cap Welding Inspection

Assess low-heat battery cell welds with deep learning solutions

Cognex deep learning inspection weld seams after the EV battery cap is attached to the cylinder

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A poorly manufactured battery cell reduces efficiency, creates an uneven load between cells that makes battery management more difficult, and decreases the lifespan of the battery pack as a whole. Errors in cell manufacture are difficult to remedy once they have been combined into modules and packs.

Once the electrodes and separator are packed into the housing of a cylindrical cell and it is filled with electrolyte, the housing is sealed by a cap. To avoid damaging the delicate electrical parts in the housing, a low-heat welding method, typically laser, is required. Such welds must be precise to ensure a secure seal around the cap. The resulting welds must be examined and passed before the cell is used inside a battery module or as a single cell. Any leakage of electrolyte through a flawed weld will lower cell efficiency and could lead to short circuits within the battery.

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Proper assessment of the cap welds is key to the functionality and lifespan of the entire battery. All of these welds can vary significance in appearance, and can show a wide range of defects, but also a wide range of variation that does not affect performance. It is almost impossible to separate cosmetic from functionally significant variations with a traditional vision system because their appearances overlap.

Cognex Deep Learning defect detection and classification tools are trained on a wide range of weld variations. The system then ‘learns’ to accurately classify and distinguish different defect types despite the object and weld variations.

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