Guideline for the digitalization of battery cell production
3 years (01.09.2020 -31.08.2023)
Funding: 169.935 € (TU BS)
Institute of Production Science (wbk), KIT
Institute of Machine Tools and Production Technology (IWF), TU Braunschweig
Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management (iwb), TU München
Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM), RWTH Aachen
Germany as an industrial location is currently facing two major challenges: the establishment of a competitive production of lithium battery cells to meet the increasing demand, and the transformation of production with the help of methods of digitalization and Industry 4.0. Battery cell production is characterized by a large number of different process steps with a large number of variable parameters and influencing variables and intermediate products with different characteristics. The methods of digitalization and Industry 4.0 can provide support here to increase process and material understanding and thus enable consistent product quality. New methods and tools of digitalization are needed to make use of the data and information flows resulting from the complex process chain and the diverse intermediate product characteristics. For this reason, the accompanying project BatterI4.0 of the newly founded competence cluster Intelligent Battery Cell Production, carried out by the production technology institutes of RWTH Aachen, TU Braunschweig, KIT in Karlsruhe and TU Munich, aims at researching and elaborating a digitalization guideline.
The digitalization guide is built up from collections of methods - referred to as toolboxes - in the four areas of machine and plant technology, quality management, process technology, and planning, control and logistics. This means that all production engineering areas of battery cell production are fully covered. First, as a basis for the development of the guide, a thorough analysis and preparation of the process chain in battery cell production is carried out with regard to the topics addressed by the guide. Based on the fundamental analysis, the toolboxes for the individual topics are developed, tested and finally implemented. By applying the toolboxes in battery cell production, it should be possible to systematically implement digitalization and Industry 4.0 in all areas of production technology. Within the scope of the project, this is to be tested at selected research and industry partners. Not only will the potential of the guide be demonstrated, but an iterative improvement of all application levels and development stages of the toolboxes will also be undertaken. The four toolboxes form the core of the guide to be developed for the digitalization of battery cell production, which will be compiled and illustrated in a document as a result. The development of the digitalization guide is intended to make a key contribution to competitive battery cell production in Germany. In this way, existing as well as new plant generations can be improved and future battery generations can be met with confidence. In order to achieve these goals, the IWF contributes in particular knowledge in the field of process technology. Process technology in particular is subject to an environment of complex dependencies and rapidly changing manufacturing processes. Consequently, the development of a method that provides room for the analysis of new and unknown processes via abstraction is essential.