The Tough Problems of Starting Intelligent Lithium Battery Factories Cracked by GETECH’s Full Stack Solution
The TWh era is witnessing rapid expansion of production capability and the extreme manufacturing of power batteries, which requires the battery enterprises to upgrade and optimize in terms of factory planning, equipment selection, production line design, production control and warehousing and logistics.
Some statistics show that in recent years the number of new lithium battery factories is growing fast in China, with over 50 new battery factories built in 2022 alone. The pressing problems now for battery enterprises are how to swiftly replicate production lines, how to speed up the growth of production capacity, and how to mitigate the gaps between production plans and reality.
Dr. Li Nan, General Manager of New Energy Business Department, GETECH
On November 14, 2022, Gao Gong Lithium Annual Conference was officially opened in Shenzhen Qianhai JW Marriott Hotel. In the “power battery” session (title sponsored by DC Precision), Dr. Li Nan, General Manager of New Energy Department of GETECH, delivered the keynote speech titled "From Total Plant Planning to Implementation, Help to Build the Lithium Battery Benchmark Intelligent Factories".
Dr. Li Nan postulated that although the lithium battery enterprises were now attaching great importance to intelligent manufacturing, the final implementation was not ideal.
One of reasons was that the factory design and planning in the early stage lacked consideration for later equipment upgrade and layout optimization.
For example, the factory planning didn’t anticipate the later introduction of automated logistics system, making the factory floor either too narrow or the floor condition unsuitable for say, AGV transport; the height and bearing weight of the factory floor was insufficient to support stereoscopic warehouse, resulting in low transportation efficiency; the actual operation rates of equipment are not up to standard, making production capacity lower than expectation.
“The key to intelligent manufacturing is to make well use of the data. Data analysis can guide our quality analysis, optimization, and cost reduction. The implementation of data analysis however often comes with various hinderances.”
In Dr. Li Nan’s opinion, the lithium battery enterprises during their intellectualization processes have encountered the following hinderances:
No data to collect: for example, in the density analysis of coating surface, some of the key parameters of the coating machines cannot be automatically collected, resulting in a lack of data support for the equipment optimization and the launch of industrial intelligent application.
Difficulty in collecting data: The data, although stored in equipment, may take 3 to 6 months to collect and do protocol resolution due to a lack of pre-agreed communication specifications with equipment suppliers in the earlier stage, thus wasting large amounts of time.
Difficulty in using data: The data fields were not standardized with the equipment vendor in the early stage. The data quality was hence found to be poor and could not be used directly in cross-business applications such as full lifecycle product quality tracking.
Dr. Li Nan in response to these hinderances, posited that in order to effectively build an intelligent benchmark factory, the design phase of the factory should consider all the three aspects of the design, planning and intelligent manufacturing, that is, consider the factory planning and intelligent manufacturing in advance during the design phase.
While thinking forwardly about factory planning, the value flow simulation and system simulation are used to build the digital twin systems to help continuously test and optimize the factory layouts.
While thinking forwardly about intelligent manufacturing, pre-plan the specifications and standards of equipment interconnection, energy, and business applications. Provide early-stage guidance for equipment purchasing and factory construction to ensure the smooth implementation of intelligent infrastructures.
GETECH is dedicated to being the total factory solution provider that, based on its deep understanding of intelligent benchmark factories, helps the clients in the field of lithium battery to upgrade to and be empowered by intelligent manufacturing. GETECH empowers the lithium energy industry from multiple dimensions including production, equipment, quality, energy, and logistics.
Being a national “cross-industries and cross-fields” enterprise approved by China’s MIIT in 2022, GETECH is the industrial internet enterprise strategically incubated by TCL. GETECH, by providing for the lithium industry the whole-chain service from total plant consulting and planning to the use of system software, helps lithium enterprises to build benchmark intelligent factories. At present, the business of GETECH has covered the whole sustainable energy industrial chain, including lithium battery materials, equipment, battery manufacturing, recycling, and new energy automotives.
In response to the urgent demand for upgrading to intelligent manufacturing, GETECH is working with manufacturing enterprises, design institutes and equipment manufacturers to explore the standard construction systems of lithium battery intelligent factories, and to empower the industry to develop rapidly.
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