SFA has supplied a battery equipment to SK Innovation used in separator production, TheElec has learned.
The South Korean equipment maker previously supplied mostly to Samsung.
SFA has focused on display equipment and distribution systems before. It entered the battery equipment market last year.
The South Korean battery industry is growing fast and the company winning SK Innovation in a year after it entered the business will likely lay the foundation for its long-term growth.
SFA supplied the oil extractor equipment, a core tool during electric vehicle (EV) battery separator production, to SK IE Technology, a subsidiary of SK Innovation.
The equipment has already been applied to SK’s new factory at Jeungpyeong at North Chungcheong Province.
The precise terms of the deal is unknown. SK IE Technology is investing over 1 trillion won to build separator factories in China and Poland, however, which will likely lead to more orders for SFA.
The extractors are used to extract the oil in polyethylene and polypropylene that are used to make battery separators. There are small holes left on the separator when the oil is extracted. This is where the lithium moves back and forth between the anode and cathode to charge and uncharge the battery.
The process determines the stability and performance of the separators. SFA is the second company in South Korea to succeed in developing an oil extractor after MyungSung TNS.
SFA has wrapped up development of stacking and degassing equipment as well. It has recently decided to start making electrolyte equipment as well.
The company previously supplied module and laser equipment to Samsung Display used in LCD and OLED production. It is supplying more of the equipment for the upcoming QD Display which Samsung will launch next year. This reference helped it clinch the deal with SK, people familiar with the matter said.
South Korean analysts believe SFA will post over 10 billion won in sales from its battery equipment by 2021.