SK Innovation is planning to apply high-speed and wide methods in its battery production, TheElec confirmed Tuesday.
The goal is to increase productivity to reduce costs __ but some of its other competitors have applied similar methods but is having difficulty securing yield rate. Whether SK will succeed remains to be seen.
The company plans to apply the high-speed method at its factories in Changzhou and Yancheng in China. At its factories in Georgia in the US and Komarom in Hungary, SK Innovation plans to apply both high-speed and wide methods. Multiple techniques in mixing, charging and assembly will be applied.
The methods are being tested at its plant in Seosan, South Korea. SK Innovation was highly confident on their successful application from its testing experience there, sources said. In China, it is collaborating with Lead China in the stacking process, they said.
SK Innovation plans to increase mixing equipment capacity from the current 1,000-liters to 2000-liters. It is also reviewing whether it can apply 3000-liters equipment in the coming years. It is also planning to diversify its supply line for the equipment __ it is currently exclusively procuring them from Yunsung F&C Company.
The goal of the high-speed method is to reach over 30ppm. Currently, production was done at around 20ppm. Notching and stacking processes needs to be accelerated to reach the goal. But if they are successfully applied, one production line will produce between 2.5GHw to 3GWh. Three lines will be able to produce up to 9GWh per year.
For the wide method, with wide here referring to the width of materials, SK Innovation is aiming for 600mm. Currently, its main line are at 300mm to 400mm. With the widening of width will result in batteries with higher energy density. The challenge is that as the width of materials get wider, the efficiency of z-stacking process drops. Stacking each material precisely at high-speed is an incredibly difficult technique.
SK Innovation plans to secure an annual production capacity of 60GWh by 2022 and 70GWh by 2023. The company has recently finalized its investment plan for its plant in Georgia. It plans to reach 100GWh by 2025 when the plant is expanded.