The rechargeable battery market has been growing recently and is forecasted to keep expanding. Especially, the market for lithium-ion batteries is expected to grow significantly larger than for other rechargeable batteries such as nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) and nickel-cadmium batteries. One reason why lithium-ion batteries are attracting so much attention is the massive shift from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles in line with global environmental protection efforts in recent years. Lithium-ion batteries have higher energy density than the conventional Ni-MH batteries, and have no memory effect, which is a gradual decrease of battery capacity with repeated recharging. Thus, lithiumion batteries are suitable for a wide variety of applications including electric vehicles, household batteries, and mobile devices. Manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries are ramping up production capacity and relocating production plants to areas where demand is high. As a result, new lithium-ion battery plants are being built mainly in areas where electric vehicles are produced, such as Korea, China, Taiwan, the U.S., and Europe. The major battery manufacturers of Japan and East Asia are following this trend.
One serious problem with lithium-ion batteries is that they contain rare and precious raw materials. In addition, there is market demand for further improvements in battery capacity, quality, and safety. Accordingly, development is focusing on strictly controlling costs and quality, improving manufacturing technology and production line speed, and creating added value such as new coating materials and overor anchor-coatings.
Under such circumstances , battery electrode manufacturers are increasingly demanding reductions in the cost of raw materials, faster measurement of electrode coat weight with higher precision for quality control, measurement functions adaptable to various coating patterns of end products, and fast feedback of values measured immediately after the coating process for controlling the coat weight.
In response to such demands, Yokogawa has developed various models of the WEBFREX3ES dedicated coat weight measurement system for battery electrode sheets, to be used in the lithium-ion battery industry. This paper describes the
functions and features of the WEBFREX3ES.