Balluff | April 26, 2021
Balluff's new Smart Automation and Monitoring System (SAMS) enables manufacturers to efficiently control the automation of their entire manufacturing line while improving the bottom line. SAMS reduces downtime by simplifying system setup, troubleshooting, and changeovers using a mix of software and sensors that incorporate condition tracking and advanced IO-Link features.
All SAMS components improve system efficiency by addressing five main aspects that maximize performance:
• Smart Monitoring – Each SAMS product includes condition monitoring functions such as internal humidity monitoring, temperature monitoring, inclination detection, vibration monitoring, signal quality, and operating hours tracking.
• Device Status – For potential review, machine information is shown on the colored LED indicators installed into SAMS devices or on dashboards.
• Food Safety - Contamination-resistant surfaces and materials ensure that all SAMS products follow hygiene standards for use in the food contact zone (EU Regulation 1935/2004/EC).
• Washdown Plus Promise – All SAMS products well surpass IP69K requirements and are rated to withstand at least 1000 cleaning cycles.
• Simplified Setup – All SAMS products have a consistent design and standard profiles for parameterizing, configuring, and non-contact teaching with a mobile terminal device.
Increasing the productivity of machines and equipment needs high-efficiency multi-functional solutions that provide not only machine control but also data about machine condition. This information enables users to improve the performance of each machine, allowing them to design processes and sequences more efficiently and flexibly, thus maximizing the entire plant. This data also allows proper transparency. Changing requirements of filling and packaging, or any industry, can now be done more quickly, flexibly, and economically.
About Balluff Inc.
Balluff Inc. is a division of Balluff GmbH in Neuhausen, Germany. Balluff is a leading supplier of networked IO-Link control system architectures that enable the IIoT and Industry 4.0 to achieve their full potential Balluff provides intelligent IO-Link and industrial Ethernet sensors in several technologies such as inductive, photoelectric, capacitive, and magnetic sensors, as well as magnetostrictive linear position sensors, magnetic tape linear encoders, industrial RFID systems, and industrial vision systems. Balluff offers machine builders and manufacturers cost-effective, process-improving solutions for controlling, regulating, automating, assembling, positioning, and monitoring production, assembly, and packaging sequences. Automotive, packaging, food processing, beverages, tire, primary metals, conventional and renewable energy, semiconductor, plastics, and fluid power are among the industries served.
Leading2Lean | June 17, 2020
Leading2Lean (L2L), a cloud-based lean manufacturing solution provider, today announced the 2020 winners of its annual Operational Excellence (OpEx) Awards. The companies honored for outstanding operational performance were Purple Innovation, Inc., the creator of the renowned Purple® Mattress, for its Grantsville, Utah plant, and Worthington Industries for its Westerville, Ohio plant. The awards recognize improved efficiency, reduced downtime, and increased profitability from the deployment of L2L’s Lean Execution System (LES) platform.
“During challenging times for manufacturing, we are recognizing Purple and Worthington for their operational success and continued growth,” said Keith Barr, President and CEO of L2L. “Both companies have developed an impressive list of best practices and achievements in the use of our LES software. In turn, they continue to see operational improvements on their plant floors.”
TDK Ventures | September 21, 2021
TDK Corporation announced today that subsidiary TDK Ventures Inc. invests in AM Batteries (AMB) to support the commercialization of their dry electrode coating technology that improves the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries built on a bedrock of unmatched expertise in advanced chemistry, surface science, and precision additive manufacturing. AMB's electrodes not only have the potential to save cost, but also offer a path toward fast charging, higher-energy density, and adaptability. AMB has early industry attraction to adopt this technology for pilot scale to mass production.
AMB has developed a novel additive Li-ion manufacturing technique by which the active materials (cathode/anode) are charged and sprayed onto metal foil current collectors, which are then processed to its final state to make batteries without the use of toxic solvent. This dry- coating method offers significant cost and energy savings over state-of-the-art "wet coating" procedures, providing a dramatic improvement to the sustainability of the overall cell making process. TDK Ventures' investment in AMB marks its continued focus on core technologies that catalyze broader decarbonization efforts via sustainable and scalable battery technologies.
"Our technology is extremely innovative and outside the box," stated Yan Wang AMB Co-founder and CEO. "TDK Ventures' proprietary knowledge and unique insights in the battery-manufacturing space helped validate our own technological progress. They also played a significant role in bringing a broad syndicate of financial, strategic, and OEM partners together by sharing their key techno-economic insights, thereby helping us assemble a world-class set of partners for our company."
Riding the rising tide of EVs, the demand for lithium-ion batteries has never been higher - with an expected need for more than 2,000 GWh by 2030. With this significant manufacturing capacity demand, environmental and carbon footprint are under increased scrutiny. Current wet-electrode manufacturing techniques consume up to 50% of the total manufacturing energy of the entire battery, require significant factory footprint to dry the solvent, and increase the CAPEX required for manufacturing plants. One of the most fundamental problems for battery manufacturers today is refining manufacturing techniques. Refining manufacturing techniques to remove the solvent is one of the most fundamental problems for all battery manufacturers today in the consumer electronics, large scale energy storage, and EV markets.
During Tesla's 2020 Battery Day last year, CEO Elon Musk said that dry-electrode technology is one of the most vital components for a step-change in the cost reduction of EV batteries; he also stated significant room for the technology's maturation and improvement. Tesla acquired Maxwell Technologies in early 2019 with an eye on potentially commercializing their dry-electrode technology.
"AMB has engineered a three-step electro-spraying system that seamlessly aligns with the existing process flow of lithium-battery manufacturing, which is not the case in competitive solutions, putting them at the very forefront of the industry," said Nicolas Sauvage, President of TDK Ventures. "In the future, we believe that battery manufacturers will not only differentiate on energy density, fast charge ability, or cost/kW, but also on the amount of CO2 emitted per the amount of energy stored, which is a measure of how sustainable one's electrode manufacturing process is. This positioning is a whole new value proposition for next-generation battery manufacturers and EV OEMs that align with consumer needs."
Eric Rosenblum, Foothill Ventures' Managing Partner commented: "The battery market for EVs is one of the world's most important markets, and this technology addresses two of the biggest issues: cost and sustainability. Dr. Yan Wang has proven himself to be one of the most successful inventors and serial entrepreneurs in the battery space, and we are also thrilled to partner again with TDK Ventures."
AMB closed its seed round of $3M in funding September 2021 with TDK Ventures and Foothill ventures co-leading the round. SAIC Capital (Tier I manufacturer), VinFast (Vietnamese EV OEM), Doral Energy-Tech Ventures (Israel Renewable Energy Company), Creative Ventures (financial VC firm from Silicon Valley) also participated in the round. In January 2020, AMB's founders secured a $2.4M three-year research grant by the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), based on its strong foundational academic progress.
About TDK Ventures
TDK Ventures Inc. invests in startups to bolster innovation in materials science, energy/power and related areas typically underrepresented in venture capital portfolios. Established in 2019 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TDK Corporation, the corporate venture company's vision is to propel the digital and energy transformations of segments such as health and wellness, next-generation transportation, robotics and industrial, mixed reality and the wider IoT/IIoT markets. TDK Ventures will co-invest and support promising portfolio companies by providing technical expertise and access to global markets where TDK operates.