Reliable automated inline inspection in battery cell production

Battery technology, which is expanding rapidly worldwide, forms the core of several innovative future technologies. In particular, the lithium-ion battery, with its high energy density, has established itself as the leading electricity storage technology in recent years. Without the powerful lithium-ion batteries, there would be no electric cars (EV's), smartphones, laptops. As production errors and safety failures cannot be completely ruled out in this context, meaning that recalls make the headlines from time to time. Product liability cases can then quickly become a financial liability and also cause damage to the company's image.

The high-precision SMASH inspection system ensures consistency throughout the entire value chain - from coating to slitting/cutting to winding/unwinding.


 

Inspection of the separator film of lithium-ion batteries

The separator film is an indispensable component of the lithium-ion battery. This membrane separates the anode and the cathode, thus enabling the lithium ions to be exchanged. The separator is also an essential safety element to prevent a short circuit in the battery and plays a key role in the speed and lifetime of the cells.

After extrusion, stretching, and coating, the sophisticatedly treated material of the separator film must be carefully inspected to ensure 100% product quality and safety.

 

During separator film production, the ISRA camera system detects and classifies the smallest defects in real-time at full web speed. In addition, ISRA's advanced real-time MultiScan High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) technology enables high contrast inspection to detect even thin spots and holes. ISRA's inline inspection systems also inspect the films in the downstream stages of the process chain, such as the slitting units or the rewinder.

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Inspection of the electrode coating of lithium-ion batteries

High-performance battery electrodes are a critical component of lithium-ion cells. The coated electrode materials for cathodes and anodes have to meet high requirements for energy efficiency, storage density, and safety.

Especially after the demanding processing in the roll press, the aluminum and copper-coated electrode foils have to undergo precise quality inspection. The production goal is to achieve a particularly smooth and closed coating as well as 100% layer detection of both coating surfaces.
 

The SMASH inspection system reliably detects the entire material quality for damage such as streaks, holes, impurities, and air bubbles. Additionally, precise edge detection and alignment within the calender are guaranteed.

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Inspection of lithium-ion battery cells

High-performance battery cells come in three different designs: Pouch cells, cylindrical cells, and prismatic cells. Since these cells are densely packed in battery assemblies for electric vehicles, the quality and integrity of the battery cells directly affect the road safety of electric vehicles.

Recalls due to defective cells are costly and can significantly impact an automaker's brand reputation. Therefore, battery suppliers and manufacturers of electric vehicles have a great interest in 100% product testing and complete documentation.
 

ISRA has developed an innovative solution for the inspection of battery cells to provide comprehensive process and quality control. This inline and offline inspection solution performs a complete 360° inspection of the cell to ensure 100% inspection and the delivery of only flawless cells.

In addition to dimensional inspection, the cell inspection also detects surface defects and contamination. The system can also reliably check barcodes and data codes. Automatic camera calibration and an integrated GigE Vision high-speed interface make it particularly easy to set up the inspection system and integrate it into a fully networked smart factory at full production speed.

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With the inline inspection system SMASH, you rely on the right technology for all process steps in battery component production.

The SMASH inspection system is designed for automatic inspection at the production line and provides real-time information on material quality. It shows to what extent the given specifications are met, thus largely avoiding costly and time-consuming laboratory tests.

And ISRA Vision goes even a step further: The "EPROMI Live" upgrade provides you with condition/health monitoring via software that, on the one hand, records process/error data over the entire process and production environment and, on the other hand, monitors itself via Health Watch. This eliminates the possibility that, for example, malfunctions due to memory overload or potential LED failure are not detected. ISRA thus provides a unique "early warning system" that significantly increases customer benefits. Operators have 100% control of their production in view. Of course, "EPROMI Live" is equipped with compatible interfaces so that it can be embedded or supplemented in existing expert systems at any time.

Process optimization and quality assurance paired with increased yield: ISRA offers the right solution for reliably detecting the smallest defects, even below the visibility limit, and for continuously monitoring and optimizing the material properties.

The goal is to reliably detect even the smallest defects and to distinguish them from other defects, such as thin spots in the coating. The operating system is optimized for monitoring multiple lines so that inspection settings can be managed across multiple systems simultaneously. The results are optimal processes, reliable quality, and maximum yield.

  • 100% inspection and defect classification
  • Inspection of material quality over the entire web length and width
  • Avoidance of critical defects that can lead to a short circuit and fire 
  • Condition/health monitoring to achieve100% monitoring of the process and the system itself
  • Flawless material for the next process step
  • Waste is reduced, and marketable production volume is increased 
  • Product properties are fully monitored and documented 
  • Plant operators can make product changes efficiently and cost-effectively
  • Holes
  • Metal particles
  • Slitting defects
  • Thin spots
  • Coating defects
  • Oil drops
  • Black spots
  • Water drops
  • Large scratches
  • Repeating defects
  • Missing coating
  • Damages of coating
  • Spots from contaminations pressed into coating during calendering
  • Scratches
  • Coating spots on the edges
  • Edge cracks
  • Wrinkles
  • Scratches and flaws in the coating
  • Foreign particles
  • Holes / Pinholes
  • Dents
  • Bumps
  • Scratch
  • Folding defects
  • Edge cracks
  • Sealing defects
  • Contamination / foreign objects
  • 100 % inspection of hole defects with advanced classification
  • Monitoring of PVDF-coating quality
  • High Dynamic Range technology (HDR) to distinguish between holes and thin spots
  • Real-time web inspection camera and intelligent high performance LED
  • Compliant to highest battery standards
  • New dual exposure technology: Differentiation between holes, missing coating, gels, contaminations, and black spots with utmost precision, done by smart dual exposure mode
  • 100% defect detection and classification
  • Real-time-measurement of alignment for utmost coating precision
  • All-in-One-high-speed Camera with highly optimized LED illumination
  • Highly accurate coated area alignment measuring
  • Alignment monitoring: top to bottom in CD and MD
  • Robust frames for every environment
  • SMASH is robust against dark/bright changes in the material (between electrode and membrane)
  • Track and Trace on single electrode level (optional)
  • Real-time Multi-Line monitoring and reporting solution with EPROMI 2.0
  • Detect all surface defects and monitor the dimensions of the cell
  • Reliable classification of defect at corners and edges
  • Different illumination concepts
  • Five side inspection
  • Detection of 2D / 3D surface defects
  • Dimension check
  • Inspection of Barcodes / OCR
  • Suitable for inspection prior to degassing (= inspection of semi final pouch) and the inspection of the final pouch after degassing
  • Line Speed: 120 – 250 m/min.
  • Line Width: Main Lines: 4500 – 5000 mm
  • Line Width: Slitting Lines: 1200 – 1400 mm
  • System Resolution:  50-100µm
  • Web width: 300 – 1000 mm
  • Line speed: Typical50 m/min
  • Resolution: 25 - 100 µm
  • Tact rate at automotive: ca 15ppm
  • Tact rate  at mobile devices: ca. 30ppm
  • Required tact time: 2 Sec.
  • Target defect size:  > 200um
  • Surface of pouch (Automotive cell : grossy; Smartphone cell : matt)


 

 

Contact us if you have any questions. I will be happy to advise you.

Prevent production errors and safety defects in battery cell production.

Technical article: 100% quality inspection along the entire process

Read our technical article to find out how your company can as well benefit from 100% quality control along the entire battery supply chain.

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