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Digitalisation is key to sustainability in battery manufacturing

Jan 18, 2023

The world is becoming more reliant on lithium-ion battery technology than ever before; from the smart devices we carry in our pockets to the cars we drive. This growing need has highlighted a number of issues in battery manufacturing and the impact they have on sustainability. 

Digitalisation is increasingly crucial in addressing and resolving these issues. By leveraging manufacturing software and digital capabilities such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), battery manufacturers can improve process and product quality, increase operational sustainability, and meet ambitious time to market plans. 

As a leading proponent of sustainable innovation, Elisa IndustrIQ is well-positioned to address the complex challenges facing the battery manufacturing industry. Our mission of “a sustainable future through digitalisation” aligns perfectly with the need for cutting-edge digital solutions in this rapidly evolving field. With over three decades of experience in high-tech industries, we possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can be leveraged to drive progress and advance sustainability in battery manufacturing. 

In this article and through a series of follow-up blog posts, we will examine the role that digitalisation plays in addressing and resolving challenges in the battery manufacturing industry, as well as promoting sustainable practices for the future. 

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Need from embracing a data-driven culture in battery manufacturing

As the world continues to grapple with the pressing need for sustainable transportation solutions, electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as a transformative force, ushering in the next stage of evolution in the quest for cleaner and more efficient mobility.

 At the heart of this revolution lies the battery, a pivotal technology that serves as the driving force behind the EV’s capabilities. As we look to the future, it is clear that the advancement of battery technology will play a critical role in determining the success of EVs in realising a more sustainable transportation ecosystem. While this presents an exciting opportunity for growth and innovation, there are a range of challenges posed by digital transformation in this space that we know how to address and capitalise upon.

The manufacturing of batteries is a highly complex and dynamic process that requires a deep understanding of the various production techniques, systems, and the chemistry behind. By leveraging our wide range of digital solutions, from basic information management tools to sophisticated AI/ML solutions, manufacturers can gain a deeper insight into their production processes. Automation, on the other hand, enables them to optimise performance and improve overall efficiency, and ultimately to make batteries more performant and affordable.

The prevailing challenges for battery manufacturers require digital tools to make them manageable, and as with all tools, they only provide value when handled with experience. Although most of our customer base has their home in differing industries, we have helped

them in very similar challenging situations that battery manufacturers are facing or will be facing. Our unique combination of cutting-edge technology and unparalleled industry expertise allows us not only to provide the necessary means for our clients to address these challenges, but also the invaluable experience to tackle them effectively.

With our support, our customers are empowered to kickstart their operations and stay ahead of the curve and remain at the forefront of the sustainable energy revolution.

Benefits of digitalisation across different stages of operational maturity

Due to the drastic rate of innovation found in battery manufacturing, companies in this industry exist across a variety of operational maturity levels. Some manufacturers are quite early on in their development, while others are already rolling out multiple production sites across different regions.

Regardless of their maturity level, all battery manufacturers will benefit from digitalisation, as it provides them with the capability to quickly scale production without changing their digital backbone at every stage. The goal being to have a setup that fits the specific needs related to their maturity level and having the ability to grow and scale from lab to Giga factory as seamlessly as possible.

The Road to Maturity: Leveraging Planning, Scaling, and Stabilising Phases

Planning stage: From concept to lab

The planning phase of any endeavour is a critical juncture that requires a holistic approach to strategy and execution. At its core, it begins with the conceptualisation of a business model that not only aligns with the aspirations of the enterprise but also resonates with potential investors, as their support is essential to bringing the vision to reality.

The ultimate goal of this stage is to establish an operational laboratory environment that is not only efficient but also adaptable to the changing demands of the market. This will serve as a key indicator of readiness to move to the next phase of growth.

Additionally, emphasis must be placed on building and maintaining a culture of knowledge within the organisation. This will not only enhance the overall performance but also facilitate the smooth transition to the next phase by streamlining operational processes.

Scaling stage: From Lab to Gigafactory

While progressing towards a highly-efficient, scalable production system, the integration of innovative equipment and methodologies is essential. By leveraging the invaluable insights and knowledge gained during the initial phase, and utilising our sophisticated Manufacturing Execution System (MES) in conjunction with our unparalleled machine integration

capabilities, will give you the tools to efficiently scale to producing larger batches in series production maintaining a high-quality output.

Stabilising stage: From Gigafactory to Gigafactories

Optimising production output while elevating product quality to new heights is a core competency in which we excel. By utilising advanced data analytics, we can uncover the optimal production parameters for your operation and continuously refine them to achieve unparalleled performance. We are dedicated to driving innovation and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in this field.

As battery manufacturers navigate through these different stages of maturity, they can benefit the most from implementing our software modules. These modules provide a solid digital foundation that is both scalable and adaptive, delivering added functionality and complexity that is precisely tailored to the evolving needs of the business.

Sustainable battery manufacturing with a data-driven approach

By leveraging the power of data-driven technology, we provide battery manufacturers with a distinct competitive advantage, as our solutions are designed to drive innovation and deliver measurable results. Our solutions deliver actionable insights and process optimization, creating a comprehensive, company-specific digital roadmap that serves as a valuable point of reference. The adoption of digital technologies not only increases efficiency, reduces waste and costs, but also elevates product quality to new heights.

As industry thought leaders with a wealth of expertise and a proven track record of success, we are dedicated to promoting sustainable practices and delivering tangible, quantifiable outcomes for our clients. Our commitment to driving innovation and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in this field is unwavering, positioning us as a trusted partner for organisations seeking to achieve their sustainability goals.

Are you interested in learning more about how Elisa IndustrIQ’s solutions can help your digital transformation?

Subscribe to our blog series below to discover how our innovative technologies can help you stay ahead of the curve and thrive in the competitive world of battery manufacturing.

  • Scaling from Lab to Gigafactory
  • Quality assurance for high-volume, high-quality production systems
  • Information management in lab environments
  • Sustainability through digitalisation
  • End-to-end transparency in battery lifecycles
  • Staying ahead of your time-to-market plans
  • Scarcity of knowledge workers – what now?
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