A Kent-based manufacturer has made it’s surge into electrification with the development of a new powder coating process. This process has been created for parts to be used in electric vehicles.
HV Wooding specialises in precision components, busbars and motor laminations. It will partner with the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the University of Sheffield to improve the quality of busbars it is producing.
The project will focus on investigating and developing alternative coating methods that will improve the performance and integrity of the critical components, which carry high-current power between parts of an electrical system. This will be supported by Innovate UK, the government’s innovation scheme.
It will last for one year and will draw on knowledge from experts at the University of Sheffield AMRC, like the Nuclear AMRC, part of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult – and the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.
“Current coating methods are difficult to control, with a high level of components rejected because of poor quality insulation,” explained Paul Allen, Sales Director at HV Wooding.
“There is currently no standard specification or process availability, and our new method will contribute supply chain capability and capacity for battery and energy storage applications.”
He continued: “We will develop a best practice testing method to standardise quality assurance where there is currently no international standard, and this could generate up to £1m in additional sales to our business.”
The company are planning to use university researchers to develop a standardised test for which each busbar will have to pass. This procedure will test quality assurance and ensure it passes a minimal risk of failure while in use.
“The current busbar coating process is difficult to control and can’t currently be scaled up to meet customer demands in the UK,” commented Dr Li Li, head of the Nuclear AMRC’s control & instrumentation research group.
“This funding enables collaboration between a UK SME and academia to tackle a real pressing issue and this project will help ramp up production at HV Wooding whilst also minimising the product failure rate.”
Paul went on to add: “Powder coated insulated busbars are safer than heat shrink sleeved alternatives. They have better thermal and electrical performance alongside other benefits in compact battery design – for example saving up to 10% clearance and creepage distance.”