Samsung SDI has begun applying a new process to increase its yield rate in battery production.
The South Korean battery maker has begun using laser equipment to clean the cans used in prismatic batteries, sources said.
In prismatic batteries, materials such as cathode, anode and separators are deposited in a metal can. These materials are made into a jelly roll before being inserted into the can. The laser process begins right after the jelly roll is inserted and before a cap is welded on the opening of the can to close it.
Prismatic battery makers such as Samsung SDI had not felt the need to clean these cans before 2019, but this changed with the application of z-stacking process and the application of new materials.
With battery production becoming more sophisticated due to this, the number of scrubs that were produced during production also increased. These scrubs caused the area around the opening of the can to become dirty, which lowered the cap’s welding quality.
Samsung SDI initially tried to use cotton with detergents to clean the scrubs out but this caused productivity to drop.
The laser is used to clean all the scrubs and other unwanted materials around the can, sources said.
The process has been applied at Samsung SDI’s first factory at Goed, Hungary.
The company is planning to apply the process to the second factory as well its future factories in China and the US.
The equipment is being supplied by South Korean equipment maker MOT and the deal is thought to be worth around 10 billion won.
MOT began supplying battery production kits to Samsung SDI in 2010, starting with a can-cap welder. It later began supplying jelly roll insertion machines, electrolyte injectors and ball welders as well.
Meanwhile, Samsung SDI is continuing to evolve the production process for its Gen 5 batteries.
It has so far applied z-stacking and tab welding in its production. It is also planning to apply laser technology to the tab notching process.