System Integration & Control Systems Design

Optimised battery cell production with PC-based control

October 2022 System Integration & Control Systems Design

When it comes to manufacturing individualised products in a quantity-oriented and space-optimised manner, innovative production concepts are essential. These challenges can be solved efficiently with the XTS and XPlanar intelligent transport systems, as well as with the PC-based control technology from Beckhoff as a whole. Both of these transport systems are ideal for use in applications including battery manufacturing and electric motor production.

The automotive industry is currently undergoing a structural change that is set to take some time to complete, with digitalisation, Industry 4.0, automation and networking all changing the face of production processes and plants. PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology from Beckhoff uses industry and IT standards and components for cloud communication and big data, making it ideal for implementing these concepts.

The challenges and opportunities here are manifold, and cover not only the vehicles themselves, but to a large extent also the production plants in the field of e-mobility. As Jörg Rottkord, automotive industry manager at Beckhoff describes it, “Beckhoff supplies all the key control elements for the production and assembly of typical automotive components. In addition to body construction, material flow and painting, this notably applies to the areas of powertrain and battery cell production. In particular, the focus on alternative drive types such as e-mobility and fuel cell technology is generating immense market demand for our components and solutions.

“In addition to production, this also includes the measurement and testing functions of the components produced. Examples of this are the ageing test and analysis for battery cells after their production. The entire functionality of the Beckhoff modular automation toolkit is typically used, from a wide range of CPU variants and modules for EtherCAT-based data acquisition to the functional safety of the production machines and plants. It also includes automated versioning of application code, and tool chains for continuous application improvement of the TwinCAT control algorithms in use. The consistent use of Beckhoff control technology increases production capacity, product quality and, above all, scalability for possible future expansions of production facilities. This is an approach that more and more innovative automotive companies are taking.”

For more information contact Dane Potter, Beckhoff Automation, +27 79 493 2288,,


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