SMC Presents Secondary Battery Solutions at NAATBatt

Noblesville, IN, April 01, 2024 — In line with this focus, SMC presented on a variety of solutions for applications in the industry. SMC’s standard pneumatic and electric products play a crucial role in the advanced battery industry as they are well suited for automating cell assembly. SMC products are utilized across various advanced battery applications, including raw material mining, battery cell manufacturing, battery pack assembly, EV manufacturing, EV component recycling, and related EV services. As lasers have become more common in the cell assembly industry, SMC’s chillers have offered temperature control solutions for these applications, too.

Furthermore, SMC contributes significantly to the advanced battery industry through products specifically tailored for secondary battery environments. SMC’s 25A Series product line is designed using material compatible with secondary battery applications and is engineered for use in low dewpoint environments. These specialized products eliminate copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) material where possible. The 25A Series products are used in battery manufacturing applications including the following:

· Electro production: mixing and kneading machine; coating and rolling; slitting
· Cell assembly: winding; attaching tabs; welding cell lid and pouring electrolytic solution; pre-charging and welding infusion plug; punching electrodes; stacking; tab welding and lamination; sealing
· Inspection and packaging: charging/discharging and aging; packaging

In addition to presenting at the conference, SMC leaders had the opportunity to gain deeper insights into the current landscape of the industry. Mike Shillito, the National Sales Manager in New Energy Systems at SMC Corporation of America, reflected on his experience, stating, “One big takeaway for me is that the battery industry has vast potential for growth. There is a wide array of chemistries such as Li-cobalt, Li-Phosphate (LFP), NMC, NCM, and cutting-edge technologies like solid state, semi-solid, and electrolyte to explore.” Shillito further elaborated on market dynamics, noting the absence of a clear favorite among these technologies. He emphasized, “Preferences will be driven by considerations such as charge efficiency, safety, scalability, and recycling. Recycling is very important in this circular industry, and the effective, safe, and profitable recycling of these materials will be crucial for long-term success.”

Building upon these insights, Gary Heinonen, Global Automotive Industry Manager at SMC, shared how SMC is actively preparing to meet the demands of this expanding market, both in North America and globally. Heinonen stated, “There continue to be huge investments from government entities, such as the Department of Energy, into the industry. Even with the ‘softening’ of EV car sales, the battery infrastructure is moving full speed ahead. I believe this will trigger more US machine builders (OEMs) to pivot toward producing battery equipment as more US content is being required. SMC definitely has a focused approach to the growing secondary battery market: while Asia and Europe are well ahead of the US market, we are aligning our strategies globally to ensure we are prepared to meet the challenges in the US market.”

In preparation for this expanding market, SMC released 16 new products for the secondary battery industry in 2023, had 7 new products in production, and 11 new products in design.

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