See Exhibit 4. Our analysis is based on the assumption that prismatic cells will be the dominant design used in EV battery packs. Three major types of cell design have evolved for EV applications, and each design has pros and cons. Active material is packaged in flexible housing made from a material composite that includes aluminum foil. Some major battery cell producers, including LG Chem, currently use this design. Consumer products commonly use cylindrical cells such as the AA format. Applications for vehicles are less common, although Panasonic produces cylindrical cells for Tesla.
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Although there are some variations in the designs, the cells have the same pros and cons:. Prismatic cells are most commonly used in EV battery packs today, and we expect their dominance to continue. Although cylindrical cells are more advantageous in some respects, energy density on the module and pack levels is highest for prismatic cells. Moreover, prismatic cells tend to be safer than cylindrical cells.
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There are separate, but similar, processes for anode and cathode production. The major challenges are processing time and yield rate. Coating and drying is the most cost-intensive process. An active material slurry is coated onto thin foil, and the solvent is removed in the subsequent drying process.
Drying, which can take two to six minutes, accounts for most of the processing costs, owing to large capex investments and a high level of energy consumption.
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Machine downtime resulting from unplanned stoppages can drive costs significantly higher. Cell Assembly. Overcoming the challenges of particle generation and processing stability are essential to prevent internal short circuits that render the cell permanently unusable. As noted, producers must use stacking technology in compound generation in order to achieve high energy densities.
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However, the complexity of stacking and the need to process compounds slowly to achieve accuracy makes it the largest cost factor of cell assembly. Cell Finishing. Formation and aging are the most cost-intensive processes, reflecting the challenges of processing time and yield rate. In the formation process, cell properties are established through multiple charging and discharging cycles.
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The processing time at cost-intensive stations can range from two to ten hours. In the aging process, finished battery cells are stored for several weeks in order to identify micro short circuits.
At any given time, a producer may need to store several hundred thousand cells in warehouses that require expensive environmental controls and safety precautions. Maximizing the yield rate is the major challenge for this processing stage. The application of next-generation digital technologies enables battery factories to transition from the earliest stage of Industry 4. Applying factory-of-the future concepts to module and pack integration offers further savings potential, which is not considered here.
In the factory of the future, material-based processing uses inline process controls to allow machines to proactively respond to centerline deviations. Mixing and coating machines are equipped with material sensors that determine the composition of the active material slurry and adjust it using real-time feedback from the subsequent stations: the drying, slitting, and calendaring machines.
In addition, smart parameter settings for calendaring and vacuum drying allow for self-adjustment on the basis of porosity and humidity measurements taken before and after calendaring. Because processes self-adjust, producers can tighten the tolerance range for electrodes and thereby increase energy density. In addition, advanced robots support electrode production by performing loading, setup, and unloading tasks that are done manually today.
Whenever a producer introduces a new product, it must make significant investments in new assembly machines, and may even need to build an entirely new factory. In the factory of the future, modular assembly machines directed by smart parameter-setting systems and supported by advanced robots can produce a wider range of cell geometries. This will allow manufacturers to make a greater variety of products on a single production line—a game-changing capability for battery production. The expanded product portfolio could include cells used for nonautomotive applications, such as storage.
The same experience-based parameters are used for every cell produced. However, because acceptable variations make each cell different, fixed parameters prevent producers from maximizing cell performance. In the factory of the future, producers analyze data represented in digital twins to set cell-specific parameters for the formation process, thereby adapting to variations and maximizing performance. This advanced analytics capability allows producers to determine the risk of micro short circuits for each cell without the need for physical measurements. Because most cells will skip the aging process, a producer needs significantly less warehouse space and related equipment.
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Producers can continue to capture benefits from digital enhancements after a battery pack is in service. For example, they can analyze data on battery usage and cell performance generated by EVs on the road.
The insights can be applied to improve battery design and manufacturing processes. The steps to implement the factory of the future depend on whether a factory is operating or in the planning stage. Existing Factories. Given the challenges of integrating Industry 4. A higher investment would likely require the producer to shut down production for a significant amount of time, which would be less cost-effective than building a new production line. To select and implement the right technologies, producers should take the following actions:.
Planned Factories. For plants in the planning phase, producers have more freedom to realize the full concept of a factory of the future. The following steps can be used to identify and capture the value:. Automakers that currently manufacture ICE vehicles can find it difficult to transition to electric mobility. Sourcing batteries from a factory of the future can not only facilitate the transition but also help incumbent automakers effectively compete against startups that solely focus on designing and manufacturing EVs.
Today, most auto manufacturers of EVs purchase standardized battery cells from producers with factories that are designed to achieve economies of scale. To continue to be competitive, auto manufacturers need batteries that are customized to the specifications of each vehicle platform. Only then can automakers achieve better vehicle performance through increased battery life and operating range, for example.
Advances in battery technology are enabling customized cell designs, and the battery factory of the future makes it economical to produce customized cells. Indeed, we expect that after , the level of customization in electrified powertrains could exceed that of ICE powertrains today. To benefit from these advances in the near term, automakers should move beyond traditional supplier relationships by forming strategic partnerships with battery producers that are taking the lead in applying cutting-edge technology.
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Such partnerships should give automakers deep insights into the major challenges of battery production and allow them to participate in developing innovative technological solutions. Close collaboration between automakers and battery producers will also enable the parties to quickly adjust production processes to new cell dimensions and chemistries and integrate new battery designs into vehicles.
Over the long term, it could be economical for automakers to build their own factories to produce customized battery cells for future generations of EVs. As an industry benchmark, production capacity of 10 gigawatt hours per year is considered the lower limit for achieving the scale effects required for cost-competitive production. This corresponds to approximately , EVs per year. According to recent announcements, many established automakers are targeting sales of more than 1 million EVs per year by For example, Toyota assisted the Food Bank For New York City to significantly decrease waiting times at soup kitchens, packing times at a food distribution center, and waiting times in a food pantry.
Some important concepts are:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: The Toyota Way. To yota Production System and Lean Manufacturing. Dawson November 17, Business Week. What is this thing called Theory of Constraints and how should it be implemented? North River Press. The New York Times. Retrieved 1 September Chicago, Illinois: PR Newswire. PR Newswire US. June 29, Retrieved November 1, Business Wire Press release.
Stanford Social Innovation Review. Retrieved November 3, Authority control NDL : Categories : Lean manufacturing Toyota. Hidden categories: All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from November Articles with unsourced statements from April Wikipedia articles with NDL identifiers. Namespaces Article Talk. This may be a result of a significant customer issues being raised over quality or b significant internal concerns being raised over quality e. Safety, Health, Environment The company a has no substantive Safety, Health, Environment program, or b the existing program would significantly benefit from being linked into existing TPM activities.