Robotics Industry News
SMAC Wins Business in China, Manufacturing High Capacity EV Batteries
SMAC Moving Coil Actuators, Inc. Posted 01/09/2018
SMAC Moving Coil Actuators, working with an international battery manufacturer, won business supported by the government of China regarding manufacturing of the EV batteries used in their push for all-electrical vehicles, especially public transportation. This would include not just cars but also electric trains, busses, and more. The announcement comes on the heels of China’s recent announcement to gradually end sales of fossil fuel powered vehicles.
In this effort, SMAC outperformed popular Japanese tensioning systems, some costing nearly 20 times the price of the moving coil actuators.
The high-end industrial battery manufacturer in China has found a method of improving the quality of their batteries through use of SMAC mechatronic actuators. To make the most energy-efficient EV batteries, programmable tensioning is required, decreasing tension as the weave thickens. In a closed loop system as with SMAC, the web tension is measured and this information is fed back real time to a controller. If the tension varies from a predetermined value or range, the controller automatically adjusts the tension.
There are two popular techniques for battery manufacturing, stacking and winding. Of the two techniques, winding produces the most efficient batteries by weaving together positive and negative layers. Winding machines tension control to provide a constant pull of a web or filament through the machine, to ensure consistent material tension in the process. Difficulties arise in the process since the tensioning forces need to be very responsive and precisely controlled.
In general, most EV battery manufacturers use 20th century technology, consisting of low friction air cylinders and electro-magnetic regulators. Air is compressible but electrons are not, so precise forces cannot be held pneumatically. Bad batteries are scrapped, creating costly waste. Batteries that were not rejected are often weak, unable to hold a charge efficiently. This has historically been a major issue for EV battery manufacturers as the popularity of electric vehicles increases.
SMAC Moving Coil Actuators is primarily known for its true “mechatronic solutions.” By that they mean their actuators have unique capabilities such as programmable and controllable position, velocity, and force, high accelerations, cycle life well over 100M, and a patent-pending “Soft-Land” capability. SMAC electric actuators also incorporate data feedback. This makes them ideal for a wide range of positioning, measuring, and inspection applications, particularly where 100% verification is required.