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Ratingen, Germany 23rd May 2023 The demand for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) is continuing to skyrocket, driven by the growing market for more sustainable e-mobility solutions. For LIB cell manufacturers to get the most out of the current opportunities, they need to be able to quickly deliver high volumes of quality products while maintaining a low environmental impact. Klaus Petersen, Director – Automotive & Lithium Battery Industries, Factory Automation EMEA at Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V., explains how digital technologies can help LIB manufacturers in this pursuit in the videocast “Lithium-Ion Batteries: From data to competitive advantage”.

It is a truly exciting time for LIB cell producers, as demand for their products will continue to rise for the foreseeable future and there is considerable room for expansion in the supply chain. To successfully navigate the opportunities that this trend holds, it is important for companies to have an in-depth understanding of what the driving force is and what users are looking for. These can be summarised as the need to support the decarbonisation of the transport sector with reliable innovations. In turn, this means that manufacturers need to be able to consistently deliver LIB cells with optimum capacity, voltage and resistance while minimising waste, energy usage and resource utilisation.

The most effective and future-proof way to do this is through data-driven process control, according to Klaus Petersen. Thanks to his extensive experience as a quality specialist in the automotive sector, he has an in-depth understanding of how process knowledge can help to simultaneously improve end products and production efficiency. To gain the unique, actionable insight required to realise these benefits, LIB cell manufacturers need to quantitatively monitor what is going on in the shop floor as well as how these activities and their operating conditions influence quality. This type of setup is also key to identifying inefficiencies and tackling them, lowering expenses while supporting the delivery of cost-competitive, reliable LIB cells.

Ultimately, by developing a comprehensive overview of their processes and products, companies can also take key steps to implement automated operations that adjust their parameters in real-time to consistently create quality batteries and improve productivity. Even more, they can set up fully integrated production lines as well as connect to partner companies to share data. As a result, value-adding knowledge can be shared to support traceability and create quality-centric supply chains with a limited environmental footprint.