Strong industry partnerships for more sustainability: To further improve the efficiency of its own production, CUSTOMCELLS® relies on ultrasonic technology from Herrmann Ultraschalltechnik GmbH & Co. KG. As one of the leading companies in the development and series production of state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery cells, CUSTOMCELLS® successfully uses the ultrasonic welding systems in a production line to minimize the reject rate and further increase efficiency.
"With the development and production of application-specific battery cells in the heart of Europe, we are making an important contribution to the continent's technological sovereignty. At the same time, it is absolutely clear that we can only be successful in the long term if we can further reduce reject rates and thus costs. Innovative industrial partners such as Herrmann Ultraschalltechnik help us to achieve precisely this goal," says Dirk Abendroth, CEO of the CUSTOMCELLS® Group since May of this year.
Specially developed technology prevents cracks during welding
Specifically, the welding technology from Karlsbad is used to perform the pre-welding and main welding on pouch cells. The first step in the pre-welding process is to weld together the individual layers of copper foil for the anode and the layers of aluminum foil for the cathode. In a second step, the main welding, the so-called tabs are welded to the cathode and anode, with which the individual battery cells are later joined together.
Both pre-welding and main welding require strong, material-to-material connections to ensure the functionality of the battery cells. If individual foil layers are not completely joined together or if cracks occur in the material of the foils, which is only a few micrometers thick, this leads to rejects and thus to the disposal of the entire cell. Herrmann's ultrasonic welding machines prevent this. The HiS VARIO B 20 kHz systems, which were specially developed for welding battery applications with multilayer foils, provide a stable process for joining the individual layers. As a result, this leads to less production waste and thus lower costs.
From trial to series production: integration in automated production plant
"It was exciting for us to see the technical innovations that CUSTOMCELLS® is producing with their lithium-ion cells. We are pleased that we can contribute to their high product quality with our welding solutions. The cooperation was always open, cooperative and trusting throughout the entire project," says André Deponte, Global Sales Director at Herrmann Ultraschalltechnik GmbH & Co. KG.
Within the scope of the project, CUSTOMCELLS benefited from the ongoing research and development work of Herrmann Ultraschall. It was thanks to them that a special sonotrode design for the safe welding process was already available at CUSTOMCELLS® at the beginning. In turn, the rapid evaluation of appropriate welding parameters made it possible to switch production at the Tübingen site to Herrmann Ultraschall's systems with virtually no downtime. In a next step, the welding systems will now also be integrated into the automated production line of CUSTOMCELLS®. Ongoing consulting and the development of suitable welding solutions by Herrmann Ultraschall will ensure smooth process integration.