Getting back to normal after the fire thanks to a group of extraordinary people

5 November 2021

Pont-Saint-Martin, 5 November 2021 – Restoration works have been immediately undertaken, and our action plan will allow us to recover full capacity within a short time, getting back to normal.
 
In the morning of Thursday 28 October a fire, caused by an accident during the assembly operations of a prototype battery pack, broke out inside our premises in Pont-Saint-Martin, severely damaging some laboratory areas, walls and ceilings.

Such adverse eventuality is highly unlikely, yet unfortunately it may happen even adopting – as we have been doing since the beginning of our activity – high workplace safety standards that are strictly followed by everyone in all circumstances.

Thanks to these procedures and to the prompt response of the local fire brigades which rushed immediately to our factory – Corpo Valdostano dei Vigili del Fuoco, aided by the volunteer corps of Pont-Saint-Martin and Donnas – no one has been hurt or intoxicated. Also, most important items and materials of our clients have been preserved from the flames.

Since the early afternoon of the same day, most of the activities have been gradually resumed, thanks to the extraordinary effort made by all the people working in Podium.
Restoration works have been immediately undertaken, and our action plan will allow us to recover full capacity within a short time, getting back to normal.

“Luckily, our organization is not made up of structures and stuff; instead it is made up of people. We were not the white walls we used to have in front of us before as well as we are not the blackened walls we see today”, Podium Advanced Technologies CEO Francesco Monti stated.

“I warmly thank everyone: those who tried to control fire with extinguishers, those who got out following the emergency procedures, those who helped their colleagues, those who protected people and backups, those who brought coffee to firemen, those who immediately took action for restarting, those who were busy cleaning their tools and instruments over the long weekend following the event, those who continued to carry on projects in order not to jeopardize deadlines with clients. Without these extraordinary people Podium would not exist. A warm thank you goes also to our friends of Confindustria Valle d’Aosta, who immediately made themselves and all the organization available to help us start again”, Monti added.

Assembly process

Sorting, Testing and Stacking Cylindrical
- Fully automated station
- 100% cells state of health testing (including open circuit voltage, resistance/AC impedance, temperature
- Stations able to handle module up to 1200 mm length
- Different cooling strategies can be handled within this station
- Similar capacity cells can be sorted and included in a module
- Fast and tack-free led lamp curing
- Accurate pressing operation
Sorting, Testing and Stacking Cylindrical
Sorting, Testing and Stacking Prismatic and Pouch
- Fully automated station
- 100% cells state of health testing (including open circuit voltage, resistance/AC impedance, temperature
- Stations can handle different cell dimensions and different thermal extraction strategies
- Accurate pressing operation
Sorting, Testing and Stacking Prismatic and Pouch
Bus Bar Laser Welding
- Cutting edge laser beam technology that guarantees robust joints for several type of busbar connections
- Possibility to weld challenging reflective materials such as CU, Al and dissimiral combination of materials
- Internal development of welding parameters
- Extensive quality control such as weld penetration in process monitoring and resistivity checks
- Stations can handle module up to 1200 mm length and 600 mm width
Bus Bar Laser Welding
Ultrasonic wire bonding
- Fully automatic station
- Wire bonding with the highest axis accuracy
- Continuous real time monitoring of wire condition and process
- Integrated quality control
Ultrasonic wire bonding
Pack assembly stations
- Stations equipped with manual assistors and process dedicated tools to allow assembly teams to work in perfect ergonomic and safe conditions
- Stations equipped with torque monitored tools
- Control tracking system to verify process completion and quality monitoring
- Junction box assembly and quality control
- Controlled sealing application completed after functional test
Pack assembly stations
EOL Testing
- Battery module and pack functional tests
- BMS firmware and software flashing
- Pack cooling system integrity test
EOL Testing

Main features

  • Safety: BMS Design compliant for ISO 26262
  • Scalable slave-master architecture, handles systems
    up to 1.000 V
  • Cell dissipative balancing

Functionalities

  • Real time monitoring cells & components voltage
    and temperatures
  • Advanced algorithms for SOC/SOH estimation
  • Advanced SOP estimation with realtime cell
    thermoelectrical models
  • Electromechanical components feedback monitoring
    and degradation estimation (fuses, contactors)
  • Control and monitoring of the thermal management system
  • Sensing of current, water leak, internal humidity, etc
  • Ground fault monitoring of grounded or ungrounded systems

Services related to BMS

  • Testing and modelling of battery cells
    and systems
  • Experimental characterization of cells
    for accurate state estimation algorithms
    (e.g., SOC, SOE, SOH, SOP)
  • BMS hardware and software development
    for specific applications
  • Prototyping of high-performance
    battery systems
  • Consulting in the field of battery systems

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