This focus article describes the quality gate at the cell production level in electric vehicles as well as the trade-offs and challenges at each gate. It further goes on to show how the use of CT technology can solve these quality challenges and improve battery performance.
Table of Contents
Lithium-ion Cell Inspection
Quality Gates along Battery Development & Production
Battery manufacturers cannot take shortcuts on quality if they wish to become a serious players in the growing market for new energy vehicles. The quality-assurance process for batteries is complex and multi-faceted. It begins in R&D and follows every step in production, from processing the raw materials to assembling the battery modules.
Below is an image that describes the six main quality gates for batteries in electric vehicles.
Quality Gate: Cell Production
When it comes to cell production there are many challenges that are hidden underneath the surfaces and sometimes not visible directly or are so small that unless advanced inspection technologies are used, they will not be detected leading to failure of the cell and in turn the Battey pack. Some of the challenges are noted below.
- The internal defects of the cell (metal contamination, folded electrodes and tab welding, etc.) must be inspected to avoid subsequent waste and safety hazards.
- The internal problems of the battery must be identified accurately, clearly, and quickly.
- Dimensions regarding the alignment and positions of electrodes, especially the overhang, must be checked non-destructively for the assembled cell.
- ZEISS X-Ray Series provides high-resolution imaging for overhang, pores, welding, defects, etc.
- ZEISS METROTOM industrial CT serves the needs of various users (R&D, quality control, quality assurance, and failure analysis) for multiple applications.
- ZEISS GOM software is optimized for 3D data analysis and is easy to use.
About ZEISS Industrial Metrology
ZEISS Industrial Metrology’s broad portfolio of industrial microscopes and CT systems provide all the imaging and metrology tools that are needed for each stage of lithium-ion battery research and the quality control of batteries.
For non-destructive tests, the 2D and 3D systems of the ZEISS X-Ray Series can be used. There is a wide range of applications, from high-resolution lab CT scans to fast, automated 2D and 3D solutions in the production environment.
- ZEISS METROTOM series provides high accuracies of 4.5μm+L/50 and
4.0μm+L/100 (MPESD), especially for overhang measurement.
- The correction algorithm (AMMAR) corrects and improves the quality of the scanned image; this provides better contrast to clearly see welding defects (ex. negative part).
- ZEISS Global Service offers customized fixture systems for battery customers.
- 24/7 reliability: ZEISS systems have no downtime and provide accurate measurements at all times
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