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Cutting-edge electric vehicle battery production using HepcoMotion’s V Guide Systems

31 July 2020

Global concern for the environment continues to drive developments in green technology. This is particularly notable in the increase in demand for electrical vehicles. As the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) has increased, the EV battery industry has needed to grow in tandem.

The specific benefits of HepcoMotion’s V guide system have proved invaluable in satisfying the requirement for new production facilities and processes.

HepcoMotion specialises in high quality linear and circular solutions, and automation components. The top three companies in Korea’s battery market – SK Innovation, LG Chemical and Samsung SDI – are investing heavily in the production of EV batteries worldwide and HepcoMotion is supplying to all of them.

Vertical closed-loop track system 

The compositions of EV batteries vary depending on the type of electric vehicle, but generally, they are composed of individual battery cells and modules which come together to form a pack. The battery for a BMW i3, for example, comprises 96 battery cells. Twelve cells are combined into one module and eight modules come together to form one pack. Therefore, the manufacture of EV batteries requires many elements to be combined, making it particularly suited to long line manufacturing. 

However, making a compact, space-saving system is high on the agenda. Production formats vary but all the key EV battery manufacturers use a vertical closed-loop track layout, which optimises the space in a 3D capacity. The footprint remains the same, but production can be doubled by having two productions lines running in parallel, with one above the other. A small length of track, vertically moved by an actuator, connects the lower and upper tracks. Not only is this system space-saving but it also maintains the product in a single orientation.

With a vertical closed-loop track layout, there is a small gap between the main production line and the short length of track that that connects the upper and lower tracks. It can be challenging for many linear guidance systems to cope with gaps and provide the seamless guidance required for the carriage to traverse. Hepco’s V guide systems can traverse joints or gaps, making them a popular choice in EVB applications.

Read the full article in the August issue of DPA.

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