PI 011-18 Lohr am Main, 2018-05-15

Fully automatic battery testing without PLC

Bosch Rexroth links the testing process with tailored automation under LabVIEW

As production numbers for electric-car batteries rise, requirements for traceability and, thus, automation are increasing Bosch Rexroth has developed modular solutions that seamlessly link automation, testing and nutrunner technology for use in fully automated quality assurance systems and documentation. No PLC knowledge is needed for commissioning, operation and conversion to new battery varieties.

End-of-line inspections of battery packs are creating new challenges for the automobile industry. As production numbers shoot up and battery performance continues to improve, demand for fully automatic test stands that users can quickly adapt to their current and future needs is increasing as well. To date, only Bosch Rexroth provides a combined solution that users can commission, operate and adapt to new versions without writing a single line of PLC code.

LabVIEW, the most widely used graphical programming environment for testing applications made by National Instruments, serves as the central human-machine interface. It uses its own hardware to communicate with the batteries and with the standard control system made by Bosch Rexroth. This performs the I/O control, the discharge into the IndraDrive ML and the coordination of all movements. Via the open core interface, the control system carries out the commands issued by LabVIEW. An integrated library includes more than 550 virtual instruments (VIs) from National Instruments that have direct access to the control system. This eliminates the need for double programming of testing procedures and movements with PLC code.

Efficiently dissipating power loss

For a quality test, a transfer system will position the batteries, and electro-mechanical cylinders will create a high-precision link between the contacts and battery. The charging/discharging cycle with current levels of up to 300 A and 150 kW will then begin. Compact IndraDrive ML will accept the energy and feed it efficiently into a DC link. From there, the power is stored or transmitted to other loads. They cover the power spectrum up to 4 MW. With the help of a water-cooling system, the inverters efficiently dissipate thermal losses without the user being required to run an expensive air-conditioning system in the test facilities. The particularly compact solution fits neatly into existing production lines. The solution also includes standard-compliant safety technology and power deactivation for emergency stops. The IoT gateway software integrated into the Rexroth control system transfers test logs to superior systems in open formats.

Insulated cordless nutrunners protect workers

The controlled nutrunner technology of Bosch Rexroth is also designed to meet the needs of battery production operations. Every battery pack needs several hundred live fittings. This requires the highest levels of occupational safety. For this purpose, Bosch Rexroth has developed protective insulation for Nexo cordless nutrunners that is especially designed for bank assembly. This insulation will protect workers if they happen to place a nutrunner on live components of a battery by mistake and will prevent voltage transfer to the nutrunner. Manufacturers must also monitor and document each fitting process. Because the complete control system has been included in the nutrunner, the Nexo cordless nutrunner with open interfaces can be integrated into superior IT systems without using any additional hardware. As a result, users can fulfill documentation requirements for critical safety fittings without having any additional integration effort.

As one of the world’s leading suppliers of drive and control technologies, Bosch Rexroth ensures efficient, powerful and safe movement in machines and systems of any size. The company bundles global application experience in the market segments of Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, and Factory Automation. It enables fully connected applications with intelligent components, tailored system solutions, and services. Bosch Rexroth offers its customers hydraulics, electric drives and controls, gear technology and linear motion and assembly technology, including software and interfaces to the Internet of Things. With locations in over 80 countries, more than 30,500 associates generated sales revenue of 5.5 billion euros in 2017.

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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 402,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2017). The company generated sales of 78.1 billion euros in 2017. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 125 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 64,500 associates in research and development.

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Manuela Kessler
Maria-Theresien-Straße 23
97816 Lohr am Main
Phone: +49 9352 18-4145

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