Podium Advanced Technologies’ R&D project “Innovative Technologies for the production of Battery Systems” has been approved by the Valle d’Aosta Regional Government, boasting a total investment of more than EUR 23 M

29 July 2022

Pont-Saint-Martin, 29 July 2022 – The announcement of the final project approval was made by Luigi Bertschy, Vice President of the Valle d’Aosta Regional Government and Councilor for Economic Development, Education and Labor, during the presentation held at Podium Advanced Technologies in the presence of Erik Lavevaz, President of Valle d’Aosta Regional Government and the entire Regional Council.
 
The project, also known as Tech-Bat project, will be deployed over a 36 month period starting next September 1 and will be partially financed by the Regional Government within the framework of the Regional Law nr. 8 of 2016, according to art. 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation, n. 651/2014.

The project – calling for a total investment in excess of EUR 17M – aims to develop an innovative production process that will enable the assembly of more than 1,000 battery packs / year – or 250 MWh of equivalent capacity – improving the current efficiency, flexibility and quality industry standards.

This objective will be pursued through a first stage of industrial product research, a second stage of industrial research on the process – that will be carried out setting up a laboratory consisting of several technological stations, each of them reproducing a specific section of the main process – and a final stage of experimental validation and development of the process simulating real operating conditions.

In relation to the expected production expansion, which will be achieved thanks to the results of the research project, Podium Engineering intends to settle in a new plant, owned by Structure Valle d’Aosta S.r.l., in the former Illsa-Viola industrial area of Pont-Saint -Martin. This building has not been used since 2011 and covers a total area of 17,250 square meters.

Investments of more than EUR 3M have been allocated for the revamping and upgrading of the Regional real estate asset.

The project includes also the launch of a vocational training program worth approximately EUR 1,8M dedicated to the large number of new hire that will be taken onboard during the project. Moreover, a specific recruitment plan worth additional EUR 1,3M has been also put in place for disadvantaged and disabled workers.

Francesco Monti, CEO of Podium Advanced Technologies said: “We are thrilled at the idea of starting off this new project. This Research and Development new venture represents the single largest investment our company ever made, and will be a turning point in our ability to serve new markets. We are very thankful to the Region administration offices who continue to trust us and share our vision of growth supporting our efforts.”

In the picture (left to right): Erik Lavevaz, President of Valle D’Aosta Regional Government, Luigi Bertschy, Vice President of Valle D’Aosta Regional Government, Francesco Monti, CEO of Podium Advanced Technologies.

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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