LG Energy Solution is planning to apply its new advanced lamination and stacking (ALS) process for battery production at its plants in China and Poland, TheElec has learned.
The process is for pouch batteries, which are used in electric vehicles and energy storage systems, and has already been applied to some of the production lines at Nanjing and Wroclaw.
LG Energy Solution’s prior lamination and stacking stacks multiple bi-cells (where the separator is attached, or laminated, between anode and cathode beforehand).
The method allows the company to pack in as many cells as possible within a given space. These are then stacked together quickly to form batteries.
The challenge to this process is the precision of the lamination __ to align the cathode and anode with the paper-thin separator. Sometimes the separators are not properly attached, a defect prone for long-axis batteries that are over 600mm in length.
LG Energy Solution’s ALS process addresses this issue by inspecting whether the anode and cathode are properly aligned before the separator is laminated.
The company previously only checked this once the cell was completed but ALS does this before and after the lamination process.
LG Energy Solution also attached rollers used to laminate the separators at the top and bottom of the assembly line. The rollers are designed to put equal pressure from top to bottom so that the separators are properly attached.
Rivals Samsung SDI and SK On use Z-stacking where the anode and cathode are put in magazines and stacked inside alternatively with the separator. This method has great stability but the stacking process is relatively slower.
LG Energy Solution currently uses equipment from Naintec and Shinjin Mtec for its ALS process __ it is expected to order more equipment from these vendors going forward.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, the South Korean battery maker said it plans to expand its investments in its facilities this year from the original 6.3 trillion won to over 7 trillion won.