LG Energy Solution has started to construct a new pilot production line at its Ochang battery production plant in South Korea, TheElec has learned.
The new line, which will be housed at a research facility, will be adjacent to the second factory at Ochang. Construction will wrap up within the year and the latest battery production equipment will be placed within the facility within the first half of 2022.
The is the fist time that LG is adding secondary facilities near its second factory at Ochang. The first factory, which was completed in 2011, has had multiple secondary facilities built around it to support battery production. These facilities worked on utility, environment and safety, as well as for charging and discharging finished batteries. LG had even used previous parking spaces to house these facilities. It build a four-story parking building afterwards.
The second factory, in contrast, has so far made the latest electric vehicle batteries in only small volumes so far. It also didn’t have enough space to build a new pilot line. The factory is operating at 10GWh per year capacity.
The new pilot line is being built as battery demand is so high that LG can not temporarily shutdown the second factory for testing.
The new research facility that houses the pilot line will allow LG to test various batteries, for small cars, electric vehicles and energy storage systems, a person familiar with the matter said. The pilot line is also planned to be built to be just short of a commercial line, which means will manufacture batteries in larger volume than conventionally for pilot lines., they said.
LG is expected to especially focus on next-generation cylinder battery development. In effect, Ochang plant will become the company’s mother fab where the latest technologies are applied first.
LG also recently wrapped up the development of its production platform Dreamline 2.0. The platform is designed to improve yield date, productivity and automation of its factories. Dreamline 2.0 follows the 1.5 version that was applied to its factory in Poland and 1.0 version that was applied to its factory in China.
However, LG was always met with unexpected errors in ramp up every time Dreamline platform was updated. The new research facility near the second fatory will like work to minimize errors for the future.