South Korea’s SK Innovation will soon be producing battery modules using the welding technology provided by local supplier Toptec, according to industry sources on Aug. 16.
On July 26, Toptec said it was to supplying laser-based welding technology and equipment to SK Battery America, the US battery corporation of SK Innovation.
Welding is usually used for connecting battery cells. Toptec purchases laser resources from external suppliers, adds automation equipment to produce the final welding equipment.
The welding technology itself is not anything fancy, but battery manufacturers require big bulks of them when the production goes up.
And in bulk is what SK Innovation will do, since its US plant churns out an annual 9.8Gwh worth of batteries, with mass production scheduled for 2022. Up to 2025, the company plans to invest up to 2 trillion won into the project. This would make it one of the top five manufacturing projects at a single factory in the battery segment in terms of both production capacity and investment volume, according to related data.
Toptec is one of South Korea’s leaders in automation equipment. Industry watchers say it has the welding know-how for making high-quality batteries in a relatively short amount of time.
Another reason Toptec went with welding to complete the battery modules, according to market sources, is because the firm wants to step foot into the battery assembly business and ultimately enter the display equipment market and compete against firms such as SFA, SNU Precision, DE&T, System R&D and Philoptics.
This is because theoretically, Toptec can easily begin tab welding, a key part of battery-making that requires a bit more sophistication than plain welding. AP System, a local display equipment maker, has already said it is interested in tab welding.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.