BBW Lasertechnik GmbH
Phone: (0 80 36) 9 08 20- 0
Fax: (0 80 36) 9 08 20- 28
E-Mail: info@bbw-lasertechnik.de
Gewerbering 11
83134 Prutting

Laser Material Processing in E-Mobility

In recent years, the e-mobility market has grown by an average of around 25% and will continue to grow steadily. Depending on their application, three forms of batteries are used in this industry: pouch cells, cylindrical cells and prismatic cells. These cells are connected to battery modules to provide the necessary operating voltage, and are then enclosed in an insulated housing.

Laser beam welding has proven to be an excellent joining technique for the manufacturing of battery cells – the cells can be connected to a module without contact, with low heat input in short cycles. Laser beam welding is also an excellent option for manufacturing the housing. In order to process all types of cells, a number of material combinations have to be welded, which can be seen in the following figure. The specified material thickness is based on experience and can vary by up to 50% depending on the application.

Combinations of materials and thicknesses of the components to be connected in the manufacture of battery modules.

For most of these connections, a full penetration weld (i.e. completely cutting through the work piece with the laser beam) cannot be performed, as it would damage the battery cells. In addition, the device concept would be simplified if this type of weld were used, which is why fusion is usually preferred over penetration welding. In contrast, the parameter window of the welding process is in some cases significantly reduced.

Because of the different material and thickness combinations of the three cells, different beam sources and processing strategies are often required for contacts and the manufacturing of the housing.

In addition to the production of battery modules, there are a number of other possible applications: for example power lines, plug connections and electric motors.

 

How BBW Lasertechnik can help

We are the perfect partner for experimental production and small- to medium-sized series for the electric mobility market. The wide range of possibilities our company offers are especially attractive for customers who don’t find it profitable to set up their own production line due to the lower number of units they require, or companies looking for an expert partner for tests and pre-series for the set-up of a production line.

Over recent years, our company has gained in-depth expertise in e-mobility. Add to that the variety of over 40 laser sources and we can cover the needs of nearly any application. We are proud to offer comprehensive support, particularly in the following phases:

Trials & feasibility

The weldability of materials and a steady welding penetration depth are essential for process stability in later serial production. At BBW Lasertechnik, we offer the required tests to determine basic feasibility through to the ideal parameters that can later be used in a series. Upon request, we can also prepare detailed documentation with metallographic and microscopic analysis of the welding areas. In addition, we can also use feasibility studies to make recommendations on how to optimise processes and components.

Sample production & prototypes

Commonly, the second phase of feasibility includes using the parameters found to produce a dummy or sample. Besides the analysis and documentation options mentioned in the section above, we also offer fixture construction: high-precision, mechanically manufactured, but also cost-efficient and quickly produced, 3D-printed test fixtures can be used for sample production. Every year we assist in various test productions and pilot series from well-known battery manufacturers and suppliers in the e-mobility industry.

In addition to the pure laser welding of modules, further processing procedures such as laser cutting, bending and other mechanical processing can be carried out in-house using a sample of the module housing.

Serial production

As a leader in laser material processing, we can also set up the necessary system technology or entire production lines. One current example is modules made of prismatic cells for use in industrial forklifts, which are being manufactured for a customer requiring a quantity of up to 60,000 modules per year.

Do you have any questions? We’re happy to help!