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Scaling-up Electric Vehicle Battery Cell Production with Robots

Scaling-up Electric Vehicle Battery Cell Production with Robots

Posted: 6/15/2022 11:58:56 AM by Heath Lynnes
Topics: Arc Welding, Assembly, Automotive, Dispensing, Handling, Machine Vision, New Industries, Spot Welding

Driven by the increased adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) worldwide, the EV battery market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.1% from 2021 to 20281. Manufacturers that are part of the EV battery supply chain are proactively bolstering their operations to accommodate automotive OEM initiatives to produce more powerful, long-range electric cars.

To better facilitate flat and cylindrical tasks associated with lithium-ion (li-ion) battery manufacturing, decision makers are turning to extremely reliable robots to produce high-quality EV components and battery packs at scale. Common robotic applications include:

Robust Material Handling
From cell stacking to module component pick and place, high-performance robots are well-suited for the repetitive handling tasks EV battery production requires. SCARA and Delta robot models with high speed, precision and repeatability are ideal for cell stacking workcells. The picking and placing of battery modules for tasks such as wire bonding typically require a six-axis robot with an impressive reach and sufficient payload capacity to pick up a 50 lb battery module while accounting for the end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) weight. For end-of-line actions, such as module cover pick and place, an extended reach handling robot with a small payload capacity is ideal.

To assist with the eclectic range of handling tasks EV battery production requires, awide variety of grippers and EOAT accessories are also available to help.

Concise Adhesive Spraying
Ideal for providing high-quality coverage, versatile coating robots with application-specific software offer the precision needed for adhesive spraying accuracy. Successful battery cell bonding depends on smooth, consistent adhesive application – as air pockets can occur, leading to poor insulation and potential short circuiting or overheating. High-speed Factory Mutual approved (FM-approved) robots for use in Class I, Div. 1 hazardous environments ensure the utmost safety, while facilitating high throughput goals.

Next-Generation Material Joining
Popular for automobile lightweighting, the use of aluminum alloys for vehicle and EV battery production continues to drive the need for alternative joining methods. Proven methods – capable of accommodating tight component and joining tolerances – include arc and spot welding, fixed and remote laser welding, hybrid laser welding and mechanical fastening, such as friction flow screwing and self-pierce riveting. A wide range of robots with varying arm reaches, payloads and peripherals and are available to optimize production for greater efficiency and outstanding part quality.
 
Efficient Component Assembly
Extremely fast robots and advanced technologies work together to perform multiple fastening methods such as friction flow screwing and self-pierce riveting for battery enclosures. Industrial and collaborative robots are often combined with vision capability and intuitive software to provide the process expertise required to facilitate high-volume assembly requirements. The efficient and reliable fastening of battery covers, for example, is best facilitated with a highly precise, long reach robot with exceptional torquing ability.

Safe Continuity Testing
Consistent and precise, various handling robots can facilitate efficient flow of batteries for validation testing. Moreover, for high voltage situations, a robot can assume all risk of electric shock, protecting manual workers from harmful contact situations.

Accurate Vision Inspection
High-performance robots with robust vision capability enable fast, accurate inspection. To meet exacting standards, electrical components and battery coatings frequently undergo quality inspection. Whether checking to see if battery cell holes are filled or if specialty coatings are consistent, robotic machine vision provides the utmost accuracy and helps standardize quality.

Other EV manufacturing tasks, such as moving large car or truck bodies, as well as machine tending for powertrain, motor and crankcase production, are also expertly accommodated via robotic automation. With a wide variety of payloads (0.5 kg – 1,200 kg) and robot reaches (up to 4,682 mm), Yaskawa is poised to help manufacturers with their EV production needs.

Join us at The Battery Show

Since the sale of Yaskawa’s first product – the three-phase, 20HP induction motor – in 1917, our experts have delivered exceptional products and services to various industries, including the automotive market. Our dedication to the EV market is no different, and we’re excited to help manufacturers solve tough challenges and meet time-to-market demands through our high quality, innovative robotic solutions.

To connect with our experts and gain answers to your EV battery production questions, stop by our booth at The Battery Show in Novi, Michigan (September 13-15), at the Suburban Collection Showplace. The largest battery and electric vehicle technologies trade show in North America, attendees will discover valuable insights regarding advanced battery and electric vehicle technology.

At the show, look for our Yaskawa experts in Booth #726.

Electric Vehicle Battery Market Size to Hit USD 145.90 Billion by 2028, GlobeNewswire, 2022
 


Heath Lynnes is a Key Account Manager


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