Münster/Bielefeld: Together with one of the leading providers of quality assurance systems, BST GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of elexis AG, the Fraunhofer Research Unit Battery Cell Manufacturing FFB is now carrying out the project "Inline Quality Assurance in Battery Cell Manufacturing (InQuBator)". The goal: the position-accurate recording of quality data during the drying and coating process of electrode production. This procedure enables continuous traceability of relevant quality parameters of the electrode in the web-like coating process. The Fraunhofer FFB uses this data for the development of a digital twin of the battery cell.
For this purpose, BST GmbH is bringing a camera system, a laser marker and reading units into the Fraunhofer FFB's coating and drying facility. This system is designed to detect any defects in the coated foil of the electrode. This makes it possible to trace the foil sections that can be assigned to a specific battery cell. In addition, the data generated in the process is linked with relevant data from the mixing process and other data sources of the coater and assigned to the respective foil section. The measurement results are used by BST to further develop its quality assurance system and make a significant contribution to the development of the Fraunhofer FFB's Digital Battery Cell Twin.
CEO Dr. Rolf Merte explains: "Through the cooperation with the highly respected Fraunhofer FFB, we are at the epicentre of a rapid market development: the battery market. Advancing research and development, creating references and unique selling points, and developing production solutions are the goals we are now tackling together. 'InQuBator' is a unique project from which both partners will benefit."
In the 'InQuBator' project, application-oriented production solutions and defect detections are thus being developed on the coated film and for higher-level traceability. In the course of this further development, Fraunhofer FFB is making its production facilities available for scaling trials so that the system can be validated in production operation. In this way, the production solution enables the cause-and-effect relationships in the process to be traced with cellular accuracy. In addition, the position-accurate marking paves the way for future adaptive process control for subsequent process steps.
Professor Jens Tübke, Managing Director of Fraunhofer FFB, adds: "With BST GmbH, we have gained a valuable project partner who will support us in being able to optimise product quality at an early stage of battery cell production. The knowledge gained will be very valuable for the construction of our further production facilities - digital and analogue."