EV battery production

The APTIV pilot considers the production of battery trays for EVs, which includes the following steps. The welding process that is utilised in the production is a hybrid arc and laser welding process. The handling of the components is mainly automated with little intervention from the operators. The main objective of APTIV is to minimise the number of defects that are generated during the production of the battery trays and enhance the reconfigurability of the process.

Pilot description

This pilot will develop vision in VIS and IR range for monitoring the laser welding process. In the VIS range, high-speed images of the molten pool can be acquired, and phenomena and geometrical features of the melt pool, keyhole, spatters and plasma plume distribution can be effectively monitored.

In the IR range, it is possible to evaluate the thermal profile of the weld, which is crucial to assess its quality. The vision systems will embody AI-based algorithms for defect detection and process characterisation, which running on an edge device, equipped with a powerful GPU.

Expected goals

Defects reduction by 50%
Increased throughput by 5%
Decreased production costs by 10%

Problem definition

An in-line quality assessment system for the welding process, and feeding control algorithms that adapt the process parameters in real-time are of utmost importance to ensure weld consistency. A closed-loop control system that will accurately measure the gap between the components before the weld and fix any misalignments is required.

Moreover, considering the optimisation of the production of the battery trays, as well as the need for digitalisation of the production, a solution is needed to collect production data in a non-destructive approach, incorporate data analytics to enhance the reconfigurability as a result of quality assessment of the process, aid decision-making and contribute to the goal of zero-defect.

Identified challenges

  • A very significant challenge with battery tray welding is the length of the bead (~1m), making it very difficult to achieve a consistent, high-quality weld in the whole length of the bead.
  • Another challenge is related to the gap control between the individual components.

Impact from openZDM technologies

Through the reduction of defective parts, less time and resources will be consumed for reworking. Moreover, it will improve the sustainability of the production process.

Leading company

APTIV is a global technology leader, with more than 200,000 people across 131 manufacturing facilities and 11 major technical centers worldwide. With a presence in 48 countries, APTIV address mobility’s toughest challenges through deep software and systems integration expertise, delivering market relevant solutions for customers.