Last updated on July 7th, 2023
Improving leak testing of EV batteries
- Ensure EV battery lifespan and durability
- Reduce the risk of EV battery malfunction
Leak testing can be a time-consuming and delicate process but it’s critical that precision manufacturers get it right. EV battery manufacturers need to ensure quality in order to protect their reputations and stay competitive.
Improved efficiency and accuracy of leak tests
Improved quality and first time through of batteries for electric vehicles
When a battery fails or performs poorly, this has a direct impact on the reputation of the manufacturer. To stay competitive in today’s market, it is essential that manufacturers reduce the risks by testing the batteries for leaks.
Leak testing is used at different stages of battery production to ensure that battery modules, cooling systems, and packs are watertight. The process is time-intensive and delicate, and results can be skewed by external factors. Electric battery manufacturers desire to make this process more accurate and efficient by reducing stoppage time at the test station, and increasing insight into potential causes of leaks, or issues at the station itself.
Supporting high-volume production of EV batteries efficiently
Electric battery manufacturers know that high production volumes are essential to meet targets and maintain contractual obligations with OEMs. Battery manufacturers must contend with scarce and expensive resources to produce their products, while dealing with high costs of R&D, infrastructure, and conforming to strict safety regulations. To add to the production pressure, it is more expensive to scrap a battery for an electric vehicle than it is to scrap an entire internal combustion engine.
Due to the value of electric batteries, the importance of leak testing throughout their production cannot be over-emphasized. Leak tests of modules, cooling systems, and battery packs act as stage gates to the rest of the production process. Gaining insight into what happens at these stations is crucial to maximizing production and efficiency.
LinePulse detects anomalies in machine signal and test data in real time and issues customized alerts when potential problems are suspected, allowing manufacturing and testing processes to be tightly monitored for any deviations. Issues are often identified before they impact production, which allows intervention into the process sooner, enabling manufacturers to prevent downstream quality spills.
LinePulse also automates the calculation of capability and performance metrics for any machine signals, which reduces manual effort to track these metrics and allows for simplified reporting.
When these features are used to aid in leak testing, they can provide tremendous value when performing root cause analysis and troubleshooting issues at test stations. The more smoothly these critical tests run, the higher the first time through rate is increased and production targets are met.
Visibility to external variables that affect EV battery leak tests
In an electric battery manufacturing plant, the ambient temperature can have a notable impact on the results of an air leak test. If the part temperature and the ambient temperature inside the plant are different, it can cause changes in the measured leak rate due to thermal changes of the test air. Likewise, if the temperature is changing (up or down) it can impact the part temperature. Increasing temperatures will decrease measured leak rates, and decreasing temperatures will increase measured leak rates.
Therefore, maintaining a consistent and controlled testing environment that aligns with the specified temperature parameters is crucial to obtaining accurate and reliable leak test results in electric battery manufacturing.
LinePulse can analyze multiple manufacturing data signals in relation to one another and find possible correlations. It can monitor leak rate and ambient temperature inside the plant together, finding correlations that lead to inaccurate results, and adjust conditions to improve the accuracy of the test.
In addition to ambient temperature, other variables can be looked at in tandem with leak rates such as:
- Heat generated from an upstream process output
- Upstream signals related to fastening, such as torque, angle and speed
- Assembly process variables such as liquid gasket applications
- Ambient air pressure
- Ambient humidity
As long as the measure is tracked in some form, it can be analyzed in real time with leak test station data.
LinePulse provides operators, engineers and managers with real-time transparency into their leak testing processes and the information can be used to maximize the accuracy and efficiency of leak testing. By gaining full visibility into the factors affecting the leak tests, quick action can be taken to improve testing conditions and diagnose critical quality errors.
LinePulse can help the manufacturing process for all EV components