HOUSTON—Honeywell has launched the Battery Manufacturing Excellence Platform (Battery MXP). It features artificial intelligence technology designed to optimize the operation of gigafactories by improving battery cell yields and expediting ramp ups.

AI enables the detection and remediation of quality issues before they result in scrapped material. It also uses machine learning to identify conditions that lead to quality issues and turns this data into action-oriented insights that manufacturers can use to improve efficiency and productivity.

“By delivering powerful data that can improve quality control and decision making on the plant floor, Battery MXP is designed to help manufacturers cut production ramp-up time, reduce startup material scrap rates by 60 percent and increase delivery rates to meet the growing demand for lithium-based batteries,” says John Kem, president of American Battery Factory (ABF). The company is using Honeywell’s software at its new 2-million-square-foot gigafactory in Tuscon, AZ.

"With Battery MXP and its automation capabilities, we will be able to quickly and effectively establish a foundation for our network of gigafactories," claims Kem. "This [software] is vital in our manufacturing operation, because it allows us to reduce scrap and scale up quickly, while also ensuring we meet U.S. and international demand for high quality lithium-iron phosphate batteries as we prepare for the unprecedented surge expected over the next decade.”

According to Kem, with traditional standalone systems, manufacturers’ material scrap rates can be as high as 30 percent at steady state and even higher during the facility startup process. This practice can lead to millions of dollars of wasted energy and material while a gigafactory slowly scales up production over several years.

By providing bidirectional traceability and genealogy, Battery MXP tracks battery cells from raw material to finished product in real time, helping to ensure product quality at every step. The software also helps address other key challenges faced by battery manufacturers by offering process controls, workforce management and thermal runaway battery fire prevention. 

“The electrification of everyday life continues to increase global demand for quality lithium-ion batteries to power electric vehicles, consumer electronics and battery energy storage systems,” says Pramesh Maheshwari, president of Honeywell Process Solutions. "With the construction of more than 400 gigafactories planned worldwide by 2030, Battery MXP is a crucial technology that enables manufacturers to maximize cell yields and reach peak production much quicker than traditional methods.”