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How automation solutions with AI can help optimise maintenance, production for sustainable manufacturing

STEERING SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING
Omron's goal is to help suppliers of battery cells for hydrogen electric vehicles, for example, save 10% on excess material

STEERING SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING Omron's goal is to help suppliers of battery cells for hydrogen electric vehicles, for example, save 10% on excess material

14th April 2023

By: Tracy Hancock

Creamer Media Contributing Editor

     

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Sustainability can play an important role in acquiring and retaining customers, as well as in developing new market opportunities, says automation specialist Omron.

One area where the company wants to shape the market with a sustainable manufacturing approach is battery cell production, which includes hydrogen electric batteries. Omron's goal is to help suppliers save 10% on excess material. As e-mobility moves forward, more advanced battery technologies are being developed to increase vehicle reliability, safety and operation.

“The active layers are wrapped around the inner electrode in the widely used cylindrical cells, whereas with pouch cells the stacked layers are enclosed by a flexible outer foil usually made of aluminium. Pouch batteries meet some of the most important current requirements for the automotive industry,” explains Omron.

For example, these batteries are easier to install in vehicles because of their flat and more flexible shape. They also offer longer battery life and are less susceptible to damage from electrical charging and discharging. Simultaneously, these batteries are safer and more consistent at lower cell temperatures.

The production of pouch cells is also more complex and much more demanding than the production of cylindrical batteries. This places special demands on production, says Omron.

“Manufacturers are turning to production processes supported by artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise machine efficiency and ensure zero-defect production. Omron’s AI, sensing, control, security and robotics solutions support the reliable, sustainable and high-quality production of pouch batteries.”

Omron supports manufacturers with self-contained, battery cell inspection solutions that are fully integrated into the line, as well as solutions for electrode and battery module manufacturing. In addition, the company’s automation solutions can help streamline leak and vacuum testing and provide end-to-end traceability throughout the lifetime of the battery cell.

Automation solutions with AI can fulfil all customer requirements for product quality and predictive maintenance, helping manufacturers to achieve sustainability goals, states Omron.

While battery manufacturers must adapt to the constant state of change in the e-mobility market, they require production lines that can be adapted faster with more flexibly than ever before to meet the constantly changing requirements. This can be achieved with innovative automation solutions that also ensure quality and reduce waste, ensuring sustainability, the company explains.

Process and Plant Control
“Operational excellence requires reliable, safe and high-quality manufacturing. Manufacturers must predict problems in their production lines better than ever to avoid production stoppages and quality issues. In this context, AI is a key technology with advanced predictive maintenance solutions for machines and production lines.”

Powerful AI controllers and smart sensors integrated into production lines can react in real-time to potential issues on the machine, right where the data is generated. By using AI and smart devices, operators can stay on top of the current production status and prevent production downtime while ensuring good product quality, says Omron.

Introducing AI along the manufacturing chain with predictive maintenance and process control helps to make manufacturing processes sustainable by extending machine lifespan and optimising resources, the company concludes.

Edited by Zandile Mavuso
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features

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