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High power for e-cars: IPTE's assembly and test line enables efficient automated production of high-performance battery packs

IPTE Prodel has installed an automated assembly and test line covering the entire process for the efficient manufacture of high-performance batteries used in newly engineered battery-operated e-cars. The product manufactured, a polymer-ion battery pack, consists of two units weighing 80 kilograms in total that are finally securely placed into an aluminum casing. In additional to the various mechanical assembly steps the line also includes a variety of test stations for quality and reliability assurance.

The production process starts with pressing together the separate battery plates which results in a sandwich-like battery cell construction. These pressed components are then inserted into the rectangular box together with isolating material and welded using ultrasonic technology (if needed). A high-current cable, screw-fastened to each individual battery cell, provides the electrical connections of the single battery cells. After this, the two units are placed in the common aluminum casing and securely closed in a tightly controlled precise crimping process, followed by a leakage test to examine the seal tightness. Then, a temperature sensor will be put on top of the finished battery pack checking temperature stress and behavior.

Furthermore more, each individual battery cell will be checked for short circuit and is subject to additional electrical functional and power tests. Having passed all the tests free of error the battery packs are going to be packed and or ready to be shipped.

The layout of the flexible production line forms a lean U-shape. Depending on production orders and volumes needed the number of staff can easily be adjusted. Every manufacturing station operates independently but is completely integrated in the line control system. The self-explaining and intuitively operating stations guide the staff through every production step, the same is true for occasionally necessary service and maintenance procedures. Cycle time for the manufacture of a complete assembled and verified battery pack is less than ten minutes.