Samsung SDI is seeking to add more suppliers of electrode equipment besides Hanwha Corporation, TheElec has learned.
The South Korean battery maker is planning to apply a bidding process for the next batch of electrode equipment it uses, sources said.
The new policy is expected to start with its planned new cylinder factory in Malaysia as well as for another factory planned with Stellantis.
Samsung SDI is expected to spend around 5 trillion won in total for the two new factories __ spending in electrode equipment is to account for around 10% of that.
In the past, Samsung SDI didn’t have a bidding process when it comes to ordering electrode equipment, which meant that Hanwha Corporation was effectively the sole supplier of them.
The equipment is used to create positive and negative tabs on the battery cells.
Hanwha supplied its kits for Samsung SDI’s second factory in Goed, Hungary. It also supplied kilns to EcoPro BM for their cathode factory in Pohang.
Being the exclusive supplier to Samsung SDI helped it grow its battery equipment business substantially over a short period of time.
But now Hanwha will be facing competitors such as PNT, CIS and Hirano Tecseed.
Electrode equipment requires coaters, roll pressers and slitters. Hanwha’s expertise lies in coaters while it began offering roll presser and slitter last year, so its expertise in the latter may have relatively lacked behind, sources said.
This may have caused Samsung SDI to consider equipment from more suppliers, they said.