The £130m (€150m) UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) has opened its Module and Pack equipment lines. This is first battery manufacturing equipment to have been installed and commissioned at the ‘open access’ plant in Coventry.
The assembly line is designed to be flexible to enable customers to test and produce low volumes of Cylindrical and Pouch cell battery technology. The 18,500 square metre battery development plant has can produce 50 modules and 2.5 packs in every 8-hour shift. For module assembly, the line can handle 200AH pouches and 250Ah cylindrical cells up to 60V and 30kg, and can produce packs up to 500kWh at 1200Vdc weighing 1000kg.
The line has manual and automatic workstations with ‘pick and place’ capability for cylindrical cells, with cell voltage testing and impedance, as well as the ability to place cells into a module in either combination of cell orientation.
The facility includes a laser precision specialist welder for welding cells to busbars at industry speeds and accuracy. In addition, the line has a pioneering battery leak functionality, which allows leaks to be more easily discovered prior to full scale up, whilst the layout has space reserved to accommodate future customer requirements such as alternative joining technologies and plasma cleaning.
UKBIC says its cell making equipment is identical to that of emerging Gigafactories now under construction, and the Module and Pack equipment mimics processes in high throughput battery assembly plants.
As well as Module and Pack capability, the battery manufacturing equipment being installed at the facility covers the whole production process from electrode manufacturing, cylindrical and pouch cell assembly, to formation aging and testing, as well as a prototyping competence centre for specialist ultra-low volume builds. The facility is a pioneering facility, which provides the missing link between battery technology, which has proved promising at laboratory or prototype scale, and successful mass production.
“We’re delighted to have our Module and Pack line up and running. This is the first