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Automated Cell Assembly and Sealing with Cellerate

Cellerate’s mission is to accelerate discoveries across battery research, development and quality control, with the aim to bring about a climate revolution towards a more sustainable and better world With this project at NXCT, the aim was to evaluate internal component alignment of battery cells non destructively.

Cellerate cells are prepared using a Cellerate Automated Cell Assembly and Sealing System; a new, fast approach to making batteries. Currently, in battery R&D, scientists produce battery test cells by hand, which takes significant time and introduces human error.  Cellerate systems increase build quality and throughput using machine vision systems and extremely accurate positioning hardware. The system also validates components have been accurately placed and inform operators which cells have characteristics best matching production cells.

Prior to working with NXCT, this validation was completed using a system validation camera to confirm the alignment of materials in each battery.  This process, although highly accurate, is time consuming.

XCT allowed for high throughput visualisation and inspection of the batteries using a made for purpose 3D printed sample holder, allowing multiple batteries to be scanned simultaneously, with optimised scan parameters.

Cellerate plan to do regular calibration tests of their system using XCT to provide quality assurance, and as part of an upcoming project building large pouch cells with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, would like to use XCT to assess build quality The company will also consider the use of XCT to scan all cells for defects when producing cells for use in extreme environments.

“Before discovering XCT technology we were not able to definitively validate the accuracy of our systems, which undermined customers trust in a crucial benefit of the system. With support of the NXCT facility we have now been able to not only fully validate and quantify component alignment, but also assess the build quality of our cells in a non destructive manner. These insights have been crucial in building trust with our customers and guiding further system development. As a pre revenue company, the EPSRC grant provided was critical to discovering and accessing XCT technology and enabling us to build a world product which will in turn support development of advanced battery technologies.”

Dr. Richard Fields, Managing Director, Cellerate