UK Battery Industrialisation Centre opens ‘Module and Pack’ assembly line

Posted on 9 Feb 2021 by James Devonshire

The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) in Coventry has opened its specialist Module and Pack battery manufacturing assembly line and moved one step closer to opening.

The Module and Pack assembly line is the first of UKBIC’s innovative battery manufacturing equipment – sourced and supplied from leading manufacturers across the globe – to have been installed and commissioned at the publicly funded ‘open access’ 18,500 square metre battery development facility.

UKBIC’s highly flexible Module and Pack assembly line enables customers to test and produce low volumes of Cylindrical and Pouch cell battery technology. In addition, it has the capacity to produce 50 modules and 2.5 packs over every 8-hour shift.

The line has manual and automatic workstations; and has cylindrical cell ‘pick and place’ capability, for cell voltage testing and impedance, as well as the ability to place cells into a module in either combination of cell orientation.

The facility features a state-of-the-art laser precision specialist welder for welding cells to busbars at industry relevant speeds and accuracy. In addition, the line has pioneering battery leak functionality, which allows leaks to be more easily discovered prior to full scale up, whilst the layout has space reserved to accommodate future customer requirements such as alternative joining technologies and plasma cleaning.

UKBIC’s state-of-the-art precision laser welder

Although UKBIC’s cell making equipment is identical to that of emerging Gigafactories now under construction, UKBIC’s Module and Pack equipment mimics leading cutting-edge processes you would expect to find in high throughput battery assembly plants.

As well as Module and Pack capability, the battery manufacturing equipment being installed at the facility covers the whole production process from electrode manufacturing, cylindrical and pouch cell assembly, to formation aging and testing, as well as a prototyping competence centre for specialist ultra-low volume builds. The facility is a pioneering facility, which provides the missing link between battery technology, which has proved promising at laboratory or prototype scale, and successful mass production.

Ian Whiting, UKBIC’s Commercial Director, said: “We’re delighted to have our Module and Pack line up and running. This is the first part of the facility which customers can now use.

“Our unique, open-access facility allows organisations in the UK to prove whether their promising technologies can be manufactured at the required volume, speed, performance and cost to be commercially successful. Clients can bring their own employees in to work and be trained with us on the line. Customers can also integrate processes unique to their own products temporarily to our facility. And we can help them build ‘runner lines’ at UKBIC to enable them to prove higher throughput production in early stages whilst customers build their own production lines.”

UKBIC is a key part of the Faraday Battery Challenge, a Government programme to fast track the development of cost effective, high-performance, durable, safe, low-weight and recyclable batteries.

* All images courtesy of UKBIC