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  1. 2024 Medical Battery Market Insights

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    Play the following video to watch our webinar on The Current State of Medical Device Battery Procurement.

    In this webinar, we will provide current and up-to-date information for procurement professionals in the medical device industry on the dynamic medical battery market. We will explore the latest trends and supply challenges, equipping you with the knowledge and risk mitigation strategies to overcome today’s and tomorrow’s obstacles. The following topics will be covered:

    • Understanding medical equipment battery applications, the importance of reliable power sources, and key factors to consider when evaluating supply options,
    • Regulatory considerations, including costs and expected timelines
    • Current trends in the medical battery industry/market from supply chain and technical standpoints, including those driven by EV development,
    • Q&A session, including perspective on the new EU Battery Regulation 2023/1542

  2. Saving Costs And Elevating Tool Capabilities: CAN Bus Communications in Downhole Drilling Batteries

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    In the world of downhole drilling, precision and reliability are paramount. Technological innovations are continuously reshaping the industry landscape. One of the innovations currently gaining momentum is the use of Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus communications in downhole drilling batteries. 

    CAN Bus, a sophisticated and robust platform, opens the doors to real-time communication among components. Incorporating CAN Bus technology in downhole drilling batteries not only boosts operational efficiency, and minimizes waste, but also provides a significant competitive edge to tool manufacturers and end users. 

    The Power of CAN Bus:

    Renowned for its exceptional reliability and ability to function effectively in electrically noisy environments, CAN Bus technology stands out as a robust solution. It provides both the hardware and software framework needed to facilitate seamless communication within complex systems. 

    In the context of downhole drilling, where electrical noise and interference present challenges to maintaining clear communication between systems, CAN Bus emerges as a promising option. When integrated into downhole drilling batteries, this technology ensures the lines of communication are kept open even when faced with less-than-optimal conditions. This resilience ensures uninterrupted performance in the demanding downhole environment.

    A Shift in the Industry:

    In comparison to alternative communication protocols, such as RS485 and proprietary QBUS, CAN Bus is emerging as the modern standard for downhole drilling batteries. This shift is primarily attributed to CAN Bus’ adaptability and its ability to tolerate electrical noise. However, a more advanced version, known as CAN FD is making waves in the automotive sector. This iteration facilitates faster data transmission and offers the ability to dynamically adjust data rates, making it an exciting prospect for the future of downhole drilling.

    Practical Applications of CAN Bus:

    The technical capabilities of CAN Bus bring cost and operational benefits for users of downhole drilling tools. Real-time communication with batteries enables on-the-fly monitoring of battery conditions, charge percentages, and overall performance. Manufacturers can even implement intelligent battery depletion strategies, prolonging battery life and reducing waste. Consider the scenario where two batteries are used together until a certain threshold is reached, resulting in one being discarded despite having unused capacity. With CAN Bus, batteries can be systematically depleted in sequence, optimizing their use and significantly cutting costs.

    Cost Savings:

    The ability to monitor battery conditions and manage depletion strategies through CAN Bus directly translates into time and money savings. Mike MacWillie, Excell Battery’s Director of Engineering provides insight into typical scenarios with and without CAN Bus communications;

    “[The batteries] might still have 20% of their life left, but that’s not enough to complete a run. Whereas if you can communicate with batteries in real-time, you could put the 20% battery and a hundred percent battery into the same tool, deplete them one at a time, switch between them, and then completely deplete both. That 20% [battery] has an idea about when it’s going to shut off and switch over to the other one. So instead of throwing away that 20% capacity, you’ve used it on the next run even though it doesn’t complete the whole task”.

    By implementing intelligent battery management, manufacturers can extend battery lifespan, enhance overall operational efficiency, and reduce the need for frequent replacements. How do the cost savings add up? MacWillie explains;

    “There are some customers that run [batteries] once and throw them out, regardless of what’s left. There are some customers that will run them three or four times. And then there’s maybe 10% capacity left in it, But even 10% of a thousand dollar battery multiplied by a couple of hundred batteries a quarter, that’s a significant cost.”

    Beyond just cost savings, this approach also minimizes downtime, boosting productivity and increasing competitiveness.

    Elevating Tool Capabilities:

    Legacy equipment may lack the advanced sensors and data collection capabilities of their modern counterparts. Retrofitting these tools with additional sensors can be both complex and costly. However, manufacturers can tap into the sensor data already available within the batteries by utilizing CAN Bus-equipped technology. Through CAN Bus communications, vital metrics become accessible, even if the tool itself lacks these sensors.

    Imagine an older downhole drilling tool without a rotation sensor, a critical component for evaluating operational efficiency. Instead of investing in an expensive retrofit, manufacturers can leverage the rotation sensor present in the CAN Bus-enabled battery. By extracting rotation data from the battery via CAN Bus communications, the tool becomes capable of monitoring and optimizing its performance, all without expensive modifications..

    A Success Story:

    Now, let’s take a look at a real-life example of how CAN Bus technology has revolutionized the downhole drilling industry. A customer of Excell Battery’s which manufactures downhole drilling tools recognized the need for real-time communication and intelligent battery management. To harness these capabilities they turned to Excell’s Criterion batteries with built-in CAN Bus capability.

    This collaboration led to the development of a custom CAN Bus communication protocol tailored to the manufacturer’s specific tools. Integrating this protocol into their equipment enabled them to establish direct real-time communication with their batteries. As a result, the manufacturer gained the capability to closely monitor battery conditions, charge levels, and other critical parameters while the tools were operational.

    One of the remarkable outcomes of this partnership was the introduction of sequential battery depletion strategies. In the past, batteries were often discarded prematurely, resulting in wastage of remaining capacity. The implementation of intelligent battery management through CAN Bus revolutionized their approach. By sequentially depleting batteries, they maximized the usage of each cell, ultimately reducing waste and overall battery costs by optimizing battery lifespan.

    The success of this tool to reduce end users’ costs and downtime propelled it to become an industry standard. The cascading impact of intelligent battery management, empowered by CAN bus, reverberated through their overall operations, improving efficiency and effectiveness.

    Looking Ahead:

    As the downhole drilling industry continues to evolve, embracing technological advancements like CAN Bus communications can provide a significant competitive edge. The capability to monitor, manage, and optimize battery performance in real-time is a game-changer. Manufacturers and end users that harness the power of CAN Bus can enhance operational efficiency, minimize waste, and maintain a strong foothold in a rapidly changing landscape.

    In a world where precision, efficiency, and costs matter more than ever, CAN Bus communications are leading the charge toward a more intelligent and connected future for downhole drilling batteries. As the industry marches forward, those who embrace this technology stand to reap substantial benefits, both in terms of operational excellence and long-term success.

  3. MENA Downhole Battery Training Webinar

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    Check out the following videos from our MENA Downhole Battery Training webinar, which took place on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. In this webinar, Bob Fay (Houston Regional Manager) and Trip Tripicchio (Business Development Manager):

    • Discuss Excell’s experiences of shipping to MENA countries
    • Dive into the quality and accuracy of downhole measurements
    • Outline application requirements
    • Give a practical demonstration of Excell’s Criterion downhole battery software
    • Explain Criterion’s ability to fulfill application requirements

    Introduction & Product Overview


    Demonstration of Excell’s Criterion Downhole Battery Software


    Case Studies of Criterion Data & Excell Battery’s Experience of Shipping to MENA Countries


    Q&A Session

  4. An Experienced MWD Battery Supplier Makes A Difference: High Reliability, Expert Support, and Logistics for MWD in the MENA Market

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    High Reliability, Expert Support, and Logistics for MWD in the MENA Market

    For MWD operations, a reliable battery supplier can mean all the difference. With every location presenting its own set of challenges, how do you choose the right one?

    In this interview with Bob Fay, Regional Manager of Excell Battery’s Houston office, we discuss the very real benefits of relying on experience and a proven track record. Bob discusses the downhole battery supply market globally, as well as issues specific to the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

    Over 38 years of experience provides Excell with the ability to build and recommend batteries that can be relied on, as well as get them to their destination in a safe and timely fashion.

    The landscape of the downhole battery supply market


    Where are end users traditionally getting their batteries from? Where are the major suppliers geographically?


    MWD/LWD Batteries are primarily supplied by a group of companies in North America to operations in North America, MENA, and South America. I have heard about Asian battery pack sources, but we’re not exposed to them, so we don’t know who they are.

    But most of all, the major customers in North America and the Middle East are being supplied from North America, manufactured in Canada and the U.S.

    Regional problems faced when supplying to MENA customers


    What are some regional problems that are very typical to come up in supplying downhole batteries to MENA (Middle East and North Africa)?


    Each country has different requirements, which present their own challenges. They have different paperwork, shipping requirements, customer requirements, and some countries have temporary embargoes on shipping dangerous goods by air.

    Saudi Arabia, specifically, is the most challenging as far as the requirements they have for import. Due to the difficulties of shipping lithium batteries directly into Saudi Arabia, we need to be very creative in how to get batteries into the country. In addition, Saudi Arabia has specific testing certification requirements that must be followed in order to import lithium batteries. But we’ve been able to overcome that by understanding how the process works and the right way to go about the procedure and paperwork.

    Why should a downhole operation choose an MWD battery supplier based on experience?


    How do Excell Battery’s experience and background give you the tools to determine what needs to be done and how you respond to these situational cases?


    The experience that Excell Battery has helps us understand the downhole tools customers use and, therefore, what type of batteries are needed to power the tools. Most of the customers are using a limited number of downhole tools made by OEMs in North America. We have strong, ongoing relationships with all the major tool manufacturers, so we have knowledge and experience with the battery designs that go into those. Customers just have to let us know what tool they are using, like APS, Tensor, or Applied Physics, and as a result, we understand what type of battery they need. This also helps us understand what operational requirements they may encounter with the battery, and we can help them with that as well.

    What should a MENA downhole battery purchaser look for in a supplier?


    If you’re a user of a downhole battery in MENA, what should you be looking for in a supplier to give you that peace of mind that they can get a reliable product to them in a safe and timely fashion?


    First and foremost, you’d want to make sure that the supplier knows how to make a good quality battery that can withstand the rigors of the downhole environment, which includes high temperatures, high shock and vibration. These batteries must use high-quality cells from reputable cell manufacturers, and all components must be capable of the downhole environment. Having a battery monitoring gauge that works reliably and accurately, has become a very important requirement of our customers.

    As for safe and timely transportation, we need to make sure batteries are authorized to ship. In other words, each battery must have the appropriate UN 38.3 testing completed to allow us to ship legally. All batteries manufactured by Excell Battery meet this requirement. You also need to know how to properly package the batteries in appropriate Dangerous Goods packaging so they can arrive at the destination without incurring damage from transportation. There’s also the logistics, as I mentioned before, and understanding the best way of getting it there.

    Logistics to MENA can be a headache but we’ve developed relationships with different freight forwarders locally that can get batteries to specific customer locations. Not all freight forwarders are able to get batteries to all countries but we work with a certain group of freight forwarders that we know can get into certain countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman, Turkey, and UAE.


    Is the manufacturing quality of the batteries a common issue in the downhole market?


    I would say the long-standing suppliers in North America all know how to make an acceptable downhole battery. So it’s probably not necessarily an issue, but new companies trying to come in may not have developed a good way to make a battery to withstand the downhole environment and the specific tool requirements. Also, a new supplier’s battery monitoring gauge may not be up to par in terms of reliability or accuracy.

    Trends in the MWD battery supply market


    Do you see any trends or changing regulations in the battery supply market to keep your eye on?


    The prices of all battery pack materials have increased. Lithium demand, in particular, is rapidly growing because of the EV market. Thus, lithium costs are drastically increasing as well as putting pressure on overall supply. We keep a close eye on our cell suppliers to make sure that they are able to adequately supply products, at a fair price, and with good quality. 


    Earlier, you mentioned that until recently, you need to be very creative in how to get batteries into the country. Do you think there is a movement for Saudi Arabia to be more open to foreign supply?


    I think they have to be open to foreign supply because there is no in-country supply of lithium batteries. On top of that, we’re seeing a lot of expansion of horizontal drilling in the Middle East, so naturally, there’s a need for more MWD batteries, which is our forte at Excell Battery.

    How Excell Battery Uniquely Understands the MENA Downhole Battery Market


    Is there anything else you’d say that reflects how Excell Battery uniquely understands the MENA market?


    It’s important for us to get to know our customers’ operations and requirements well. We like to communicate with our customers often, and we meet a lot of the customers face-to-face. We also understand the tooling requirements well. Thus, we understand what they’re looking for when they buy a battery for a particular tool.

    An experienced downhole battery supplier will help you navigate your unique challenges

    An experienced MWD/LWD battery supplier is one that has spent years developing procedures to ensure the safe and timely delivery of batteries to their destination. It also has strong relationships built with customers in varying regions and with the manufacturers that make the tools that they use. This combination ensures that its understanding extends beyond the battery and into the challenges of various downhole operations. Excell Battery, with our 38-plus years of experience in MWD/LWD batteries, can support downhole operations in this manner.

    For information on Excell’s Criterion 4 battery gauge for downhole operations, click here.

  5. Battery Bob: Your Battery Questions Answered in This Q&A Series

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    Bob Fay, Regional Manager of Excell Battery’s Houston office answers your questions in this ongoing series. From general Li-Ion questions to specific LWD battery pack queries, leave us a message and ask him yourself!

    We will be posting all the answers in this YouTube playlist:

    Current questions Bob has answered:

  6. New Lithium Battery Regulations – The Aftermath of Recent Fires

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    Rising Safety Issues

    The rise in popularity of E-bikes has brought about a surge in demand for lithium batteries, with the industry now a major consumer of lithium battery packs. However, with this increase in demand comes a new set of safety concerns which are leading to new regulations in the industry and a higher awareness of general battery safety requirements. In the case of E-bikes, these regulations aim to ensure the safety of both riders and the environment. As a result, manufacturers of E-bikes and lithium batteries must now adhere to stricter safety standards.

    In New York City alone, E-bike fires occurred at a rate greater than one every two days during the first quarter of 2023 with at least five lives lost. As several of these fires occurred in high-rise residential buildings, hundreds of families were also displaced. The problem has become so bad that various building management companies are banning these kinds of batteries from their buildings. As a result, New York City has enacted legislation to require some minimum safety standards for electric bicycle systems, with more on the way.

    Meeting New Requirements

    The testing of any standard batteries, battery charge system or battery discharge systems usually involves several tests and certifications. All this testing and certification require an initial outlay for a battery or E-bike manufacturer of several thousand dollars for the certification alone. $50,000 would be a rough estimate of the cost for each system component. Ongoing fees to maintain the listing can run on the order of $10,000 per year. This is a significant cash outlay and is reflected in the pricing of the equipment that is tested and listed.

    Cheaper battery packs and electric bicycle manufacturers cannot support this kind of expense. An inexpensive battery pack purchased off the internet may be defective and result in a premature failure or possibly tragically with a fire or explosion as a result. As a result, the quality of the suppliers of both the battery packages and cells now needs to be carefully considered.

    Ways to Guard Against the Possibility of Battery Failure

    1. Always use a certified battery pack made by a reputable supplier.
    2. Always use the manufacturer’s designated charger and application.
    3. If the battery pack suddenly shows greatly reduced range/performance, dispose of it immediately.
    4. If the battery pack starts to get excessively hot during normal use, charging, or just sitting on a shelf, dispose of the pack immediately.
    5. Any battery pack that has been physically damaged should not be used. Cracked, broken, twisted, leaky or packs that have had their charging connections broken should be disposed of immediately.
    6. Do not leave battery packs to charge unattended. Most of the e-bike fires that have occurred are associated with being charged.
    7. Avoid cheap battery packs purchased over the internet. These are the most problematic battery packs.
    8. Avoid repairing E-bike batteries. Opening a battery pack and trying to repair them can be hazardous in and of itself. Worse, repairs can cause more problems than they fix. The battery management system could be damaged, or if cells are replaced in the pack are not of the correct type, disaster can result.
    9. Battery packs and electrical systems are not a good mix with water of any kind. Salt water is particularly bad. If a battery pack gets water into it, dispose of it immediately.

    For details on the new regulations, their impact, and the process of meeting these requirements, Download our white paper on “New Lithium Battery Regulations – The Aftermath of Recent Fires.”

  7. Criterion Battery Setup in 3 Simple Steps

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    Setting up a Criterion equipped MWD battery is simple. In the video below, Excell Battery Houston Regional Manager Bob Fay walks us through the easy, 3-step setup process in the Criterion App. You’ll be ready to measure downhole conditions in less than 10 minutes.

    Before we get started, it’s important to ensure the Interface Unit is connected. To confirm this, check that “US[16]” is displayed at the top left of the screen. Next, check that the battery is connected by looking for the serial number on the top center part of the screen. The voltage and capacity of the battery will also be displayed.

    Step 1: Time Configuration

    Firstly, go to the configuration screen by clicking on the “Configuration” button. Set the clock by clicking on the orange “Set Time” button. This will synchronize the clock on the Criterion equipped battery with the clock on your computer.

    Step 2: Set the Logging Interval

    Secondly, select the login interval by clicking on the drop-down menu and selecting the desired interval. You can change individual parameters by clicking on the pencil icon next to each measurement and typing in a new number. You can also save the new logging intervals as a custom name, which will appear in the drop-down menu for future use.

    Step 3: Hit the Blue Commit Button

    Finally, click on the blue “Commit” button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. This is a crucial step, as it ensures that the battery remembers the changes you made after disconnecting. If you do not click “Commit,” the changes you made will not be saved.

    In summary, to set up a Criterion equipped battery using the Criterion app, follow these three steps: set the clock, select the logging interval, and click “Commit.” By following these simple steps, you will have your Criterion equipped battery set up and ready for your downhole application.

  8. Introducing Criterion 4.2

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    We are excited to announce the release of the latest update (4.2) to Excell Battery’s Criterion 4, the world’s most advanced battery monitoring system for downhole applications. Criterion 4 provides users with the capability to record MWD/LWD battery pack usage and the ability to analyze downhole conditions.

    The Criterion 4.2 update consists of several new features and improvements, including:

    • a new dashboard Layout that displays an Active Time indicator, indicating the gauge’s total active time,
    • a Gauge Mismatch Notification will alert users of possible short circuits or disconnections between the gauge and the IFU upon connecting, which can help avoid potential safety hazards,
    • printable status reports,
    • a Memory Erase button that wipes event and data log data, but keeps historical minimum and maximum data points and scaling variables for each category,
    • updated Shock Averaging from average to peak settings for both axial and radial shocks. This change will ensure that extreme events recorded are accurately reflected.

    Download the latest update here or inside the application. You may also see the Criterion 4.2 update’s full features list here.


    About Criterion 4

    Excell Battery’s world-leading Criterion 4 technology meets the requirements of oil and gas downhole tool users by providing complete information on downhole battery pack usage along with the capability to analyze downhole conditions. Complete with an intuitive user interface, The CR4 is integrated into batteries and provides users with capacity used, voltage, temperature, shock and vibration, rotation, and stick slip.

    Criterion 4 provides several benefits:

    Our advanced smart battery technology also includes Criterion software: a sophisticated, intuitive, easy-to-use application for accurate data access and analysis

    Learn more about our Criterion App and CR4 key features.


    Excell Battery’s North American Supply Chain Advantage

    Excell Battery offers a broad range of battery technology and technical support services to our customers that involve engineering and design support for new and existing projects, UN Testing services, and comprehensive battery pack testing services in support of client-driven applied research and development projects.

    With a close-knit North American engineering team, North American manufacturing, and primarily North American suppliers, we are able to oversee the entire design and production process with speed and efficiency unaffected by offshore complications.

    For more information, please read about Excell Battery’s North American supply chain advantage

  9. The Next-Generation of Intelligent Battery Packs (WEBINAR)

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    In industries such as medical, safety, industrial, and data monitoring equipment, applications are demanding increasingly more efficient, effective, and reliable usage out of batteries. While batteries hardware and chemistries are slow to evolve and adapt, the next generation of smart battery packs integrates battery management system software to provide the data needed for both the user and the device to get the most out of the power available. These intelligent lithium-ion battery packs enable longer lifespans, reduced wastage, and more reliable, safer energy storage.

    In this webinar, Ian Kane (CEO of Excell Battery), Caron Craig (Excell Battery Regional Manager – Vancouver), and Mike MacWillie (Excell Battery Director of Engineering) discuss:

    • Industry trends that drive the need for intelligent battery packs.
    • Steps and best practices to design a device with an intelligent battery pack
    • Information on Excell Battery’s Criterion iQ intelligent Li-Ion battery pack

    Industry trends that drive the need for intelligent battery packs

    Steps and best practices to design a device with an intelligent battery pack

    You can download a copy of the checklist discussed in this portion here:
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    Information on Excell Battery’s Criterion iQ intelligent Li-Ion battery pack and Q&A

    The Criterion iQ intelligent Lithium-Ion battery pack provides the data needed to ensure the devices is always ready. For more information (including the product’s spec sheet), click here.

An exceptional record of quality and service for 35+ years.