1D and 2D Code Reading
Barcode readers identify codes at the degassing, jig formation, testing, and logistics stages
Degassing and Jig Formation
Before degassing and after jig formation, a barcode reader reads the DataMatrix codes on a cell battery pouch’s surface as well as its electrode tabs, making sure they match earlier stage codes and that the material going into one station matches the one coming out. Both the lead tabs and the pouch’s surface are very shiny and cause reflections which can interfere with the code reading process. The width-height ratio of the DataMatrix codes on the pouch itself often vary due to speed variations during inkjet printing. These unevenly-printed and distorted codes often register as “no-reads,” slowing down production.
To read the electrode tabs as well as the cell pouch and avoid glare, manufacturers need a barcode reader that uses a very high exposure instead of external lighting. The DataMan150/260 series fixed-mount barcode readers meets this need. The DataMan 150/260 also provides outstanding code reading on the cell pouch’s surface thanks to its industry-leading algorithms, which can read the most challenging codes. 1DMax with Hotbars and 2DMax with PowerGrid technology are able to read the inkjet printers’ unevenly-printed DataMatrix codes—even those without visible perimeters or quiet zones.
During testing, manufacturers categorize cell performance with a letter grade, which is encoded in a 2D DataMatrix code. Code reading at this stage confirms that a cell has been tested and assigned a grade, indicating that it is ready for shipment. The DataMan 150/260 performs well under glare and maintains high throughput.
Once tested, many cell batteries are put into a magazine box or container. These EV cells are destined to become battery modules during the module and pack system assembly stage. Magazine boxes which are ready to leave the cell manufacturing plant are labeled with 1D barcodes and placed into a large plastic shipping bin. The DataMan 70 reads simple, label-based 1D codes quickly and cost-effectively in a small form factor so that the bins can be shipped from the factory to end-users.