The $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program will provide dedicated funding to States to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure and establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability. Initially, funding under this program is directed to designated Alternative Fuel Corridors for electric vehicles to build out this national network, particularly along the Interstate Highway System. When the national network is fully built, funding may be used on any public road or publicly accessible locations.
By 2030, according to Grand View Research. As a result of this dramatic market expansion, numerous OEMs are looking to enter the battery manufacturing industry. However, before these companies can effectively compete and take advantage of the available opportunity, they need to understand how challenging it is to make money in this sector, owing to the substantial upfront capital investment and the long time needed to reach profitable production. The challenges new entrants to battery manufacturing will face and some guidance for achieving profitability as quickly as possible. Batteries are complex, temperamental and potentially dangerous if not handled properly.
News from the battery ecosystem speaks to severe supply constraints and dozens of companies seeking to fill the coming supply gap by building gigafactories and cranking out lithium-ion cells by the billions. Indeed, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence projects global battery manufacturing capacity to grow sixfold by 2030 (that's 6,000 GWh, from a baseline of under 1,000 GWh in 2021). Even with anticipated cost declines, the projected production level will create a market size for battery cells in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Even with anticipated cost declines, the projected production level will create a market size for battery cells in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Existing Tier 1 battery providers, new entrants such as Auto OEMs trying to integrate battery supply vertically, and ambitious startups with promising technology and tons of capital are in for a challenging ride, according to our predictions.
The rise of electric vehicles is the most disruptive transformation the automotive industry has ever seen. Rapid innovation has brought electric vehicles to the brink of mass market availability. While the number of EV cars on the road increases, battery system safety is even more critical for all stakeholders involved.
On paper, achieving the frequently proposed timeline of "two years from breaking ground to full production" may seem possible for a new battery factory. However, the recent experience of two of the most prominent players in the industry, Panasonic and LG Energy Solution suggests a sobering dose of reality may be in store for those with such aggressive timelines. Looking at the launch timeline of the Panasonic gigafactory outside Reno, Nevada, we note the following milestones: (The other "Big Six" Tier 1 battery suppliers are CATL, Samsung SDI, SK Innovation, and BYD.) July 2014: Gigafactory announced January 2015: Construction begins January 2017: Production begins 2017-2021: Production quality issues & financial losses Q1 2021: First (announced) profitability Bear in mind this is the company whose battery cells enabled Tesla s meteoric rise. They should be the best in the world at battery factories (and they may very well be). Yet, it took them four years to ramp up the production lines to achieve profitable operations. The LG Energy Solution battery factory in Poland reveals a similar narrative, with production shortages forcing their major auto OEM customers to delay deliveries. It also forced shut down production lines (with Jaguar Audi Mercedes suffering delays, to name a few) as that battery plant ramped up.
If you can maintain sufficient throughput and yield, you will eventually reach the point where the significant initial investment has been repaid ("breakeven point"). From the day you break ground, it takes enormous cash outlays to get to the point where you can start the production lines (more on why below). Once you begin production, it can again take multiple years as illustrated by Panasonic and LG. To reach the point where you are making enough cells (throughput) with high enough quality ("yield" percentage, i.e., the portion of cells that are good enough to sell to someone).
That the factory is neutral from a cash flow perspective, if you can maintain sufficient throughput and yield, you ll eventually reach the point where the significant initial investment has been repaid ("breakeven point"). Continue along that path, and you'll see a positive net return on this initial investment. The key takeaway is that you want to get to the self-funding point as quickly as possible so cash starts coming in, and your massive investment starts paying off.
The question remains: Why is it so hard to make money manufacturing batteries? Getting to profitability in battery manufacturing is a multi-stage challenge — from building the factory to ramping production up to a good level of throughput and yield to maintaining quality and profitability over the long run. The "fun" begins when you start building your battery factory. Here are some of the biggest challenges you're likely to encounter:
1. Sourcing Equipment. With over 80% of the anticipated battery manufacturing capacity yet to be built, it's no surprise that the production equipment to fill all those factories will be in short supply. Unlike other more mature high-tech manufacturing sectors like semiconductors or pharmaceuticals, advanced lithium-ion battery manufacturing production equipment continues to evolve rapidly. New production techniques driven by innovative cell designs or processing steps mean your equipment may not exist and must be custom-built. The supply base for this equipment is also highly varied, comprising a mix of multinational industrial companies and mom-and-pop outfits. Like many other industries, the global Covid-related supply disruptions have also impacted this sector. The bottom line is that it will likely take over a year to equip your factory.
2. Sourcing Materials. Securing a steady supply of high-quality materials for your factory is an enormous challenge in and of itself. In addition to production equipment, you also need the materials to make the batteries themselves. If you plan to start production in the next couple of years, you should already have your materials supply locked in by now. With global production increasing sixfold over the next several years, it's safe to assume that materials supply will tighten accordingly. Add in complications around geographic concentration, sourcing and processing key materials, geopolitical instability, and ethical sourcing concerns. With global production increasing sixfold over the next several years, it's safe to assume that materials supply will tighten accordingly.
3. Sourcing Talent. Let's assume you've locked in supply lines for your production equipment and materials. &ho is going to run your plant? A future with six times the global battery production will require roughly six times the number of people working in battery manufacturing today. It is safe to say that those people don't exist yet, or more precisely, they haven't been trained and lack the experience needed to spin up a battery factory and keep it running. Indeed, at a recent battery manufacturing panel, the consensus across the panel of experts, finding people would end up being the biggest challenge in getting a new gigafactory up and running. The key takeaways here are that% You will need to look more broadly for talent — food manufacturing and pharmaceuticals have been mentioned as potential sources. You need to that will make them maximally productive and effective. When we talk about "ramping up" a battery factory, we're referring to starting up production lines and fine-tuning your production process using limited production runs in pursuit of your yield target. Then increasing production until you reach the point where your factory is profitable on a per-unit-manufactured basis (the "self-funding point"). &inning in battery manufacturing is all about getting the combination of throughput (number of units you make) and yield (percentage of production that passes quality control and can be sold to customers) to a profitable state as quickly as possible. Even once your factory is fully built and equipped, this process can take years, as illustrated by the abovementioned Panasonic and LG cases.
4. At a high level, battery manufacturing comprises three main stages — electrode fabrication, cell assembly, and end-of-line. However, each stage comprises dozens of individual steps and hundreds (if not more) of equipment settings: speeds, temperatures, pressures, etc. Achieving good production throughput and yield requires precisely orchestrating these parameters into a recipe to produce a commercially viable battery. It's hard to get everything right and can take years of iteration when bringing up a new factory. This challenge is compounded when building a factory to support the latest and greatest cell technologies — which have not yet been mass-produced.
When running at full speed, a production line only takes a handful of hours to transform a batch of raw materials into a fully assembled battery. However, it takes days or weeks to determine if that battery is good. This delay comes down to two final steps in the manufacturing and quality control process, formation and ageing, commonly known as "end-of-line". Formation cycling (a.k.a. "formation") is the slow, careful charging and discharging of a dead battery cell over a handful of cycles to form and lock in the vital internal structures and interfaces that ensure the cell's performance and longevity. Every battery cell goes through formation cycling, typically taking a few days. The formation is also the first time the battery produces any electrochemical data, and as such, it is the first indication of whether the cell is any good. Thus, when ramping up a new factory, formation implies that the minimum feedback cycle time for tweaks to your production recipe is at least three or four days, realistically more like a week. But it gets worse. After formation, a cell goes through "ageing", in which newly produced cells are stored in a warehouse for a week to a month. After which, each cell's voltage is measured and compared to its voltage when it finishes formation. If a cell's voltage declines too much during this ageing period, some undesirable self-discharge occurs (an internal short or similar). That cell ends up getting rejected by quality control. A more extended ageing period indicates more rigour in the quality control function of a battery manufacturer. However, the tradeoff further extends the feedback cycle needed to determine if a given production recipe will produce the desired results.
Manufacturing lithium-ion batteries at the planned scale is unprecedented, and companies are still figuring out the best practices in real-time. One implication of this immaturity is that the computer systems that link together all the equipment in a factory and record process parameters and similar continue developing. Many of these Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software packages are custom-built or adapted from other industries and may or may not be capturing the most valuable and relevant information from the production line.
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Even less mature are the tools manufacturers use to analyze all the data from the production line, formation, and ageing to determine what makes a suitable cell and ultimately increase production and optimize yield. It can take weeks or longer to analyze the data from a production run, connect the dots across disparate systems, and determine what to try next. Production iteration cycles can stretch to several weeks when combined with the delays inherent to formation and ageing. In light of these challenges, most notably the iteration cycles denominated in months and not days or weeks, it is not hard to understand why it can take multiple years to ramp up a new factory to total production. These challenges also put in perspective the ambitious timelines proposed by new entrants who plan to ramp up entirely in a year or less. In all likelihood, it will take substantially longer.
Suppose you reach the point where your primary concern is running a battery factory at a steady state in total production capacity. Then you have overcome many significant obstacles that continue to trip up some of the most experienced companies in the field—well done! You'll still face the ongoing challenges of continuing to source an adequate supply of high-quality materials, and retaining enough experienced staff and institutional knowledge to keep things running smoothly in an extremely tight market for battery expertise. But if you've come this far, you probably also have a good handle on those things. Production issues will inevitably arise, however. From mixing electrode slurries to formation and ageing, it is vital to dispatch production issues and resume profitable operations quickly. And when they do, those same issues around immature and inadequate data and analytics systems can severely hamper root-cause analysis and lengthen response times. Both can be disastrous to your cash position when running a high-volume, commodity manufacturing business, mainly if you must stop production or recall batteries—access to the best modern tools for gathering and analyzing this data.
In presenting these many %aunting challenges to starting up a new battery factory, the goal is not to discourage anyone but to generate awareness. With global demand for battery cells skyrocketing, there is a massive an% lucrative opportunity for companies that get it right and many will.Faster time to market and time to self-funding. The sooner you get the yield up, the sooner you can start selling batteries. The faster you ramp throughput, the more revenue you'll make and Greater profitability in the long run. Again, a higher yield means more saleable batteries and, thus, more profit for a given production throughput. Happily, increasing yield also tens to increase throughput due to less overall downtime and time spent troubleshooting
Why Energsoft is a faster and more significant return on investment?
The area between the two curves represents the massive lost time, lost revenue, and increased expense that results from taking the default path (grey) instead of the optimized one (green). Correlations to materials and process information can quickly identify which parts of your recipe need fine-tuning. You no longer have to wait days for formation to complete or to prepare all data for analysis. The critical information is immediately at your fingertips, so you can iterate quickly and reach profitability faster· The platform automatically aggregates and analyzes large quantities of battery data, both time-series logs of voltage and current, as well as metadata describing how batteries are built and operated, to reveal the key insights and correlations that drive battery performance and product success· Automatically identify signs of degradation and failure — things like unwanted chemical reactions inside the battery, signs of contamination in the battery materials, or physical deterioration of the battery's internal structureHalf of the world's population now owns a smartphone, approximately. And access the internet via mobile devices. Electrification tells us something that all consumer electronics (CE) companies know: consumers are crazy about electronics.
· Guidance for organizations when considering an external test vendor
· Everyday use cases from 3rd party validation to product qualification and failure analysis
· Streamlined workflows enabled by real-time data access for your active tests
· Case studies on real-time analytics to address qualification issues
A large number of businesses are attempting to capitalize on this demand. Globally, revenue for the CE market. And because almost all CE products rely heavily on batteries, OEMs need to continually – longer runtime, faster charging time, and better reliability – to optimize the end-user experience. However, they require meticulous construction and monitoring to ensure safe use and long-term durability. Moreover, many Tier 1 battery makers are focused on the automotive market, leaving CE short.The Battery Management System (BMS) is crucial in helping CE companies optimize their battery performance. Improving BMS algorithm development means onboarding a new approach to the BMS that takes advantage of the most cutting-edge battery tech: BMS hardware is developing rapidly.
However, product OEMs are not fully optimizing how BMS algorithms manage the battery to assure optimum performance and create the best end-user experience for their products. CE manufacturers need to get better, faster, and more agile at BMS algorithm development to be competitive in the coming years. EBI speeds up the process of obtaining optimized control algorithms, enabling you to complete the task faster or obtain an even more optimal set of control algorithms in the same amount of time.The Battery Management System (BMS) is critical in ensuring that batteries are safe, durable, and high performing. The BMS is a piece of hardware that controls the battery using algorithms. Its primary objectives are, in the following order: Without the BMS, a CE device battery would not be able to meet any of these safety, reliability, or performance requirements. As such, the BMS is crucial to a successful battery-powered consumer product.
· How to increase profit by lowering defects and increasing yields
· The importance of traceability as it relates to compliance, audits, and warranties
· How built-in battery expertise saves time and shortens time-to-market
Throughout its life, the BMS ensures the entire battery is never in a hazardous situation, like working when it is too hot or any other event that could result in catastrophic failure leading to fire or explosion. For the same reason, the BMS also prevents the battery from becoming overcharged via a cutoff voltage that prevents further charging.
To prevent a flood of warranty returns from a battery going dead nine months into a twelve-month warranty, the BMS ensures that the battery lasts through the entire required product lifetime.The BMS also ensures the battery meets application performance requirements. These requirements include device runtime on a charge, delivering power during pulse loads (e.g. a cell phone connecting to a remote tower or a power drill being used), charging quickly, and retaining battery capacity over the product's life.
When designing a BMS for a CE product, the most technically challenging part of the process is writing the battery control algorithms that run on the BMS hardware components. It is necessary to test hundreds of battery cells under controlled settings before developing a BMS algorithm to completely define battery behaviour and operation across the product's lifespan and a wide range of application scenarios. A large quantity of data is generated due to this extensive testing, which must be processed and evaluated to develop a deep understanding of the battery. Once BMS development is complete, additional testing must be performed to confirm that the system functions correctly and safely, generating even more data to analyze.This battery data analysis and processing is crucial to CE product development. This endeavour involves combing through essential data files to evaluate whether or not the battery is delivering the desired performance. Engineers poring through spreadsheets usually carry out data processing and analysis — an extremely time-consuming and labour-intensive process. But by utilizing big data and relevant tools to their full potential, BMS development can be significantly improved and expedited.
· The importance of data and how it provides the underpinnings of early learning and long-term success
· How lithium metal is becoming safer and more affordable for commercial use cases
· Perspective on the overall industry, including the battery economy
Battery analysis is such a workflow bottleneck that engineers are missing out on possibilities to obtain the maximum performance from the battery-BMS combo due to the time they are wasting on labour-intensive tasks. That is a critical drawback because the primary goal for OEMs is safety, and they must ensure that they get it right the first time, every timeThe Energsoft subscription can automatically automate collecting and analyzing battery data to derive critical insights. It creates a host of benefits:· Energsoft software automates data processing and the generation of key performance indicators (KPIs) to power BMS control algorithms.
The system from Energsoft team effectively computes thousands of extra variables that provide deeper insight into battery activity, insights that can go beyond the essentials. BMS development can be completed more quickly and with greater efficiency than before.· It is also more efficient because engineers no longer rely on the time-consuming spreadsheet-based technique previously utilized to evaluate the results. The elimination of manual data processing enables engineering teams to save time and devote their attention to developing and evaluating battery control algorithms for BMS development rather than manual data processing· Engineering productivity increases due to engineers no longer having to sift through enormous amounts of data. CE manufacturers also gain valuable resources that can be used to produce a better overall product.
The improvement in the BMS process will broaden battery testing to include a broader range of application scenarios, resulting in greater security for battery performance once the battery is on the market. Engineers may execute tests with a higher resolution to deliver a "supercharged" BMS, enabling them to generate a more precise SOH (State of Health) calculation for regulatory compliance and better consumer experience.· In addition to providing a pivotal link to powerful remote computing resources in the cloud.· The software provides additional value to consumers and partners of the Energsoft ecosystem. It is also possible for an improved BMS to anticipate maintenance requirements and to issue alerts if any safety issues are identified.
Overall, BMS development involves a large-scale data analysis effort. Depending on home-built tools or no tools other than spreadsheets is a recipe for a failed product.· Good value for money The development of a BMj is only one aspect of the battery-powered product lifecycle. However, the cloud software portal from Energsoft Inc. adds value and benefits throughout the rest of that lifecycle, enabling companies to Ensure a high-quality battery supply. Energsoft offers fixed annual costs, transparent subscription pricing, and a cheaper overall cost of ownership. · Energsoft accelerates manufacturing ramp-up.
Ten hours weekly and saved 40-50 hours every month. This is a three months time team saved every year. Companies and keep your chequebook open to prevent poaching. Or you can boost the productivity of the engineers you have while increasing their job satisfaction and morale. "The way I see it, I can hire ten engineers – or one engineer and Energsoft. The cost savings are real. What used to take an engineer three days to do is now done instantaneously," says Craig, director of battery technologies for top OEM.
Minimizes battery product risk and optimizes systems in the field with financial performance.
Bring products to market faster with capable of whole product lifecycle coverage
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