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Battery industry

Quality and reliability for the mobility of the future

Battery industry

Due to the strong growth of electromobility and the increasing demand for energy storage systems, the importance of lithium-ion batteries continues to grow. This makes batteries the the key technology for electric vehicles and the core competence of vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. The future of the vehicle industry is increasingly in the hands of the battery industry. Balluff solutions are used in all essential production steps of the battery industry:

  • Raw material extraction

  • Electrode material production

  • Component production

  • Cell production

  • Module and pack assembly

  • Battery recycling

All our solutions help to significantly reduce costs, energy and time-consuming steps in the production of lithium-ion batteries.

Electrode production: Quality assurance from the very beginning

The first step in battery manufacturing is the production of the positive and negative electrodes. In addition to the mixing of slurry, the main processes also include coating, drying, calendering, slitting and vacuum drying. In all these production steps, various parameters and quality characteristics must be reliably maintained. These include, for example, the filling level of the raw materials, the temperature and pressure of the electrode slurry in pipes and tanks, a proper layer thickness, the cleanliness of the electrodes, and the correct positioning and labeling of the parent and daughter rolls.

We help you meet these stringent requirements with a wide range of optical sensors in various roll-to-roll processes. In addition, our position measurement systems control the movements of your calender rolls for optimal pressure, and traceability solutions enable the identification of electrode coils.

Cell assembly: Diverse solutions for diverse processes

Electrode production is followed by cell assembly, which is mainly carried out in clean room or dry room atmospheres and on highly automated machines. Depending on the cell type – cylindrical, prismatic or pouch – the main processes are stacking or winding, tab welding, insertion, electrolyte filling and sealing. Due to the high variance of the production processes, a wide range of automation equipment is required.

Balluff offers you a high-quality product range with enormous versatility for this purpose: sensors and systems for position measurement, identification, object detection, process media monitoring and a comprehensive portfolio for industrial image processing. In addition, there is network and connection technology for a powerful infrastructure as well as a wide range of compatible accessories. We develop comprehensive automation solutions and accompany you step by step into the digital industrial world.

Cell finishing instead of finalization: Safe finishing of cell production

In the production of lithium-ion battery cells, the final steps are activation, aging, classification and final quality inspection. It is necessary to slowly charge and discharge, age and test each cell. During the aging process, the finished battery cells are stored for weeks to detect quality problems. Because of the large number of battery cells needed to produce electric cars, an industrial-scale facility is required for formation and testing. Manufacturers must store several hundred thousand cells in warehouses that must comply with expensive environmental requirements and safety precautions. Cell formation and finishing are the most complex, time-consuming and expensive processes, so cell finishing requires the highest equipment investment. With Balluff solutions, you can address the core challenges of safety, processing time and higher output without worry.

Module and pack assembly: Traceability and flexibility in all steps

After successful completion of the quality inspection, the battery cells are assembled into modules and finally into battery packs. This is done in highly automated production lines. The production of battery modules is divided into four main areas. In the preassembly area, the battery cells are tested and prepared for assembly. In the second area, the raw module is assembled from several battery cells. In the third area of the assembly line, the battery modules are electrically connected. In the last part of the assembly line, final testing takes place.

In the assembly lines for battery packs, the modules are assembled into complete battery packs that also contain the battery cell and thermal management system. Depending on the size and cell type, a battery pack can contain thousands of battery cells - and they all have to be connected in series or parallel. Multiple assembly and testing stations are required to ultimately produce a high-quality battery pack for installation in vehicles. Larger OEMs produce the battery packs internally near the vehicle assembly site to improve supply chain efficiency. Depending on the level of automation, battery pack handling can also be done via dedicated carts or AGVs.

With our vision offering, you monitor all steps in the assembly process. Reading codes, for example, ensures that the right cells are assembled. Our IO-Link portfolio enables automated, networked and modular assembly structures. At the same time, our RFID products ensure seamless identification of your modules and packs.


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