Power lithium battery manufacturing -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment

How to avoid "technological hollowing out" in power lithium battery manufacturing -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment

The third exchange meeting on the special topic "Power Lithium Battery Technology Upgrading and Industrial Chain Research" organized by the my country Electric Vehicle 100 People's Association was held at the Tsinghua Unigroup International Exchange Center. More than 60 guests from universities, research institutes, and companies gathered around " "Power lithium battery design, technology and equipment" will be discussed.

The industry agrees that power lithium battery technology and equipment companies should take a high-end and international route, formulate a roadmap for large-scale intelligent manufacturing, study manufacturing processes, methods and standards, and beware of "technological hollowing out" of power lithium battery manufacturing.

Equipment companies must move closer to high-end and internationalization

The rapid development of new energy vehicles has led to the expansion of lithium battery production, and the demand for lithium battery equipment began to explode in the second half of 2015. Lithium battery equipment first appeared in Japan and South Korea. In recent years, as the market share of Chinese battery companies has continued to increase, the market share of domestic equipment has also increased significantly. At present, the domestic substitution of lithium battery equipment has reached 50%.(Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment)

Experts at the conference said that important deficiencies in domestic equipment exist in batching systems, coating machines, slitting machines, assembly lines, logistics and warehousing systems, production and manufacturing systems, and online monitoring systems.

Ouyang Minggao, executive vice chairman of the my country Electric Vehicles Association of 100, believes that the rapid increase in market size requires optimizing the material system and formulating manufacturing process requirements based on the characteristics of the material. In addition, product market terminals have put forward increasingly stringent requirements, and the level of automation may still lag behind foreign advanced levels.

Shen Xi, general manager of the energy storage and automotive battery factory of BYD's second business unit, pointed out that the development of power lithium battery equipment should focus on the "four highs" and "two majors". Among them, the "four highs" mean that the equipment must be highly reliable, high-precision, high-efficiency, and highly automated. The "two majors" mean that equipment development should be based on large-scale production, and the integration and optimization of equipment should be carried out on the premise of mass production; secondly, equipment development should be the integration of large systems. Only by organically connecting the entire large system in series can the battery be integrated and optimized. All aspects of production are well controlled.

Lithium battery automation equipment directly determines the performance of the battery cells. At present, competition between domestic and foreign equipment is mainly focused on battery cells and top-end equipment. At present, domestic equipment has reached the level of leading companies in Japan and South Korea in the middle and late stages, and a number of leading domestic companies have emerged and are constantly undergoing market integration and industrial layout.

Wang Yanqing, chairman of Wuxi Pioneer Technology Co., Ltd., pointed out that for domestic equipment, high-end, intelligent and internationalization are the development directions.

Industry experts said that in addition to building a leading company in power lithium batteries, we should also focus on building a leading company in production equipment and increase support for leading companies in technological transformation, R&D and innovation. As a leading company, we must increase coverage of the entire industry chain, conduct mergers and acquisitions, and pursue economies of scale.

The government can provide support in terms of policies and regulations, financing channels, and subsidies specifically for funds. The company should increase investment in research and development, take the international route, and quickly learn from the relevant experience of advanced foreign companies. Of course, this does not mean copying, but we must persist in independent research and development, master independent intellectual property rights, and use the mid- and back-end to promote the technological progress and improvement of front-end equipment.

Standardization is the prerequisite for realizing intelligent manufacturing of power lithium batteries

Li Jianjun, director of the Lithium Battery Laboratory of Tsinghua University, believes that batteries for electric vehicles or energy storage systems are now large-scale series-parallel systems, which puts forward higher requirements for battery manufacturing processes, technical levels and control.

The lithium-ion process is very complex and has many procedures, and each process has an impact on the performance of the battery. The entire manufacturing process must be environmentally controlled, and production must be more scientific, reasonable, and standardized to reduce manual operations. In addition, high-precision and stable equipment is used to strictly and effectively monitor and control every node in the battery production process to reduce battery variability and thereby improve battery quality.

Yang Rukun, chairman of Jiyang Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd., said that management from the perspective of control process is nothing more than four aspects: fixed-point control, foreign matter management, appropriate management, and online monitoring. Some new technologies can be introduced, such as solid-state battery manufacturing through sputtering process, laser die-cutting, laminated winding, high-speed assembly technology, etc.

Yang Rukun pointed out that the current production line of power lithium batteries is 1MWh, which has problems such as low qualified output, poor consistency, poor safety, troublesome maintenance, and high costs. In the future, a production line will need 1GWh to 5GWh, an increase of 1,000 or even thousands of times from the original basis. To achieve this goal, in addition to large-scale manufacturing, intelligent manufacturing is an important solution.

Industry experts analyze that our power lithium battery manufacturing is still in the "primary intelligence" stage, and the pass rate in the entire industry is about 90%. In the future, we hope to increase the qualification rate of the entire battery to more than 99% through intelligent manufacturing.

Regarding the path to realizing large-scale intelligent manufacturing, industry experts said that a lot of work needs to be done from size, output, digitization, and monitoring of the entire process to the integration of the manufacturing process, as well as equipment interconnection, interoperability, and interoperability.

The manufacturing of power lithium batteries is developing in the direction of intelligence, which is mainly divided into three stages. The first stage is to realize an automated factory and implement automation projects in each process section to reduce labor costs. The second stage is to realize a digital factory with comprehensive analysis capabilities to make production decisions faster and more accurate. The third stage is the smart factory, which combines ready-made assets, resources, and infrastructure with digital processes to further optimize the business.

Industry experts generally believe that standardized production is a prerequisite for intelligent manufacturing of power lithium batteries. Yang Xulai, executive vice president of Guoxuan High-tech Engineering Research Institute, pointed out that the standardized production of battery cells involves standardization of manufacturing equipment at the front end to standardization of PACK equipment in the later stage. Liu Zhen, deputy general manager of Fujian Nebula Electronics Co., Ltd., believes that the standardization of battery cells and battery packs in terms of design and process is a prerequisite for large-scale manufacturing of power lithium batteries. He also said that currently many power lithium battery production equipment are not standardized, which also consumes too much cost and energy for equipment manufacturing companies.

Large-scale manufacturing is the direction of power lithium battery production

my country's electric vehicle industry is developing rapidly, and the demand for power lithium batteries has exploded. By 2020, the number of electric vehicles is expected to reach 5 million. Liu Zhen said that if the power lithium battery system does not achieve large-scale manufacturing, it will not be able to meet this demand.

Large-scale manufacturing is the direction of production and an important way to reduce costs and improve quality. Its core is automated equipment, process detection systems, and manufacturing execution systems, including MES systems.

Liu Zhen believes that there are many problems currently facing the realization of large-scale manufacturing, such as the production of power lithium battery systems is still mainly semi-automated; the integration of battery system production companies and automation equipment companies is not enough, and the industry chain collaboration is not enough; battery module design verification Insufficient, many have not gone through the systematic evaluation and testing stage; the key process design of the battery module is immature, the verification is insufficient, and the first-time pass rate is low. Achieving large-scale manufacturing requires the cooperation of battery companies, BMS R&D companies, battery pack system companies, equipment companies, vehicle companies and other industrial chains.

Xiao Chengwei, director of the 18th Research Institute of my country Electronics Technology Group Corporation, believes that for large-scale process equipment, it depends on its degree of automation, including the reliability of process, production, equipment, and control accuracy.

Furthermore, MES systems are essential for all modern manufacturing. It is currently difficult for equipment companies to operate because all equipment is basically "non-standard". Preliminary communication for a production line may take half a year, and the manufacturing process will take another half a year. Only one line may be built in a year. If a lot of manpower and material resources are spent, the cost will be very high. If you do module research and development yourself now, I will help you design it. After the design is completed, all patents will be licensed to you, and you will buy my production line. For example, this company supplies batteries, another company makes PACK or BMS, I have modules, and we all work together to make this happen.

Beware of "technological hollowing out" of power lithium battery manufacturing

Chen Qingtai, chairman of the Electric Vehicles Committee of 100, analyzed that after entering the 1990s, power lithium batteries developed relatively quickly and saw hope, so everyone quickly focused on electric vehicles, which in turn promoted extensive research. Power lithium battery. Power lithium batteries have a "positive feedback" process, so progress is relatively rapid.

my country's electric vehicles have risen to national strategy, and production and sales are leading the world. But recently, many developed countries have begun to exert their efforts, including Germany, Europe, and Japan, and they are making strategic adjustments. Once these countries' large automobile companies start to exert their efforts, it is worth paying attention to what impact they will have on my country's electric vehicles.

Wang Chiwei, Vice President of Jiewei Power, believes that South Korea and Japan are particularly focused on equipment production and have a very thorough understanding of equipment. Power lithium battery process manufacturing must also have this kind of strategic focus and market focus.

Chen Qingtai pointed out that what he is most worried about is that the production and sales of electric vehicles have increased, but the industry is still in a state of technological hollowing out, which is too dangerous. From the perspective of new energy vehicles, we should not repeat the path that fuel vehicles have taken; the development process of electric vehicles should have tangible and own core technologies at the starting point, and no longer repeat the process of "technology hollowing out". He believes that domestic companies have opportunities, but this opportunity only lasts for three or five years, because large foreign automobile companies have sufficient reserves on any route.

Chen Qingtai believes that many people talk about the focus of the industry. Our country needs small giants and the field should not be too big. But no one can beat you in this field. This is your competitiveness and this is your hope.

Experts in the industry generally believe that both battery companies and equipment companies should not worry about output, but should invest important energy in core technologies and try their best to improve quality. This involves a series of management, including equipment, technology, etc. To grasp the true core technology and build up core competitiveness, there is no need to have 300GW or 500GW output waiting there. Waiting there will be backward production capacity. Our country's industry is in the process of progress. If the production capacity is advanced, the pre-production part will definitely lag behind in the future. We strive to grow a company with global competitiveness.

"my country has an unprecedented demand for power lithium batteries. We should seize the opportunity and devote important energy to improving core technology and product quality, and enhance core competitiveness in the process." Chen Qingtai emphasized.



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