Tag Archive: battery design

  1. Custom Battery Solutions for Industrial Instrumentation

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    custom battery solutions industrial instrumentation

    Whether on the production floor or out in the elements, you need equipment that you can rely on. The products you use and the brands you trust need to be able to handle the drops, spills, and mishaps of a tough environment. While your handheld device has been rated to meet the challenges of your industrial application, how does your battery pack hold up?

    Choosing the Right Battery for Industrial Applications

    Difficult working environments pose unique challenges to product design. It is important to understand that not all battery packs are created equal. One must consider the environmental pressures their products face when choosing the right battery. Some of the most common concerns for industrial applications include:

    • Water exposure
    • Extreme temperature ranges
    • Dust and debris
    • Vibrations
    • Damage from poor handling

    Physical adjustments to the pack design can help address some of these concerns. Proper design and selection of enclosures as well as the actual assembly of the pack can make the difference between success and failure. Safety features, such as those that ensure the cells are maintained within their safe operating range may be necessary. Protection circuits are built into the pack that cut-off the electrical current when triggered by certain parameters such as current, voltage, or temperature exceeding their safety thresholds. These safety features protect the packs from potential damage, increasing battery life and maximizing function.

    Not only should a good pack design help address these environmental concerns, but they can also include smart technology features that offer increased functionality. Enhanced battery packs communicate with the device, sending information such as state of charge, temperature, or voltage, helping the device to make better use of the available energy. Some features ensure proper handling of the battery pack. Cells are designed to be charged at certain voltages and within specified current ranges. If charged incorrectly, cells could become unstable and possibly vent or explode. SHA-1 encryption is a safety feature commonly found in the handheld industry. It is used to ensure that only compatible charging systems are used with the device, supporting product longevity and consumer safety.

    When designing a product, it is important to consider the battery pack right from the start. By tackling this major piece in the early stages of design, you reduce the need for a redesign. Redesigns can become problematic as they increase out-of-pocket costs while simultaneously affecting your assembly lines.

    Custom Battery Cost Factors

    custom battery cost factors

    The total cost of your battery encompasses more than just the physical unit. Not all design teams are optimized to manufacture. You also need to consider additional costs that may be a result of your supply chain. This is where working with North American suppliers like Excell Battery can be a great benefit, as they often have more resources, better scheduling, and faster support. Cost factors include:

    1. Design Complexity

    • Technology Type. Battery cells come in a wide range of sizes and chemistries. While this variety makes finding the right solution easier, it also means that there are more areas in which the design can go wrong. A good battery design will balance size, weight, and energy to best suit your industrial application.
    • Quality of Components. You may have heard the saying “you get what you pay for.” This stands true for the individual components that make up your battery pack. A cheaper part usually comes with lesser quality. In the world of battery packs, lesser quality means failures in the field and possibly safety risks for the consumer.
    • Regulatory Requirements. Batteries are subject to strict regulations as outlined. Some of these regulations are specific to transportation, while others deal with safety. Certifications build trust in the marketplace, informing consumers that they are purchasing products that will last.

    2. Transportation

    • Tariffs. Some goods are subject to taxes when imported from one country to another. These charges are often difficult to predict and can fluctuate at different times of the year. Manufacturers offset these costs, passing that cost onto their customers by increasing prices of battery packs.
    • Transportation. When we consider transportation, we are looking at the couriers that take material from point of manufacture to point of installation, which can be especially difficult when shipping lithium batteries, as they are subject to strict regulations. Batteries can pose a risk during transportation if not prepared in compliance with local and international regulations.
    • Lead-time. Depending on where your components are coming from and the state of the international marketplace, you might find yourself at the mercy of uncertain supplier lead-times. Long and variable lead-times make it difficult for production lines to stay on track, negatively impacting your bottom line.

    About Excell

    Excell Battery has been providing custom battery solutions for industrial instrumentation for over 35 years. We’ve helped companies design their products early on, in order for them to consider battery requirements. This has directly resulted in their product launches happening on time, on budget, and with no product redesigns necessary. With our custom power solutions, companies have come to expect their products to last longer, run faster, and give their customers an overall better experience.

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  2. Is In-House Battery Design Costing You?

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    in-house battery design

    In the past, battery design was straightforward. With limited intricacies and the perception that moving teams under one roof would save money, battery design became an in-house operation. However, in today’s world of lithium-ion, design and manufacture involve more than a few cells and a thermistor. Working in partnership with the right company can actually eliminate uncertainty, reduce costs, and improve efficiency and safety.

    A Look at an In-House Team

    Battery design teams involve a number of moving parts. In order to have a group in-house, you need to consider onboarding engineers skilled in electrical, mechanical, and software applications. Procurement officers are necessary to evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts, and guarantee the quality of approved purchases. Project managers lead the team through each phase to deliver goods according to schedule. Yet, this costly investment into personnel does not ensure that the final product will perform as needed. It is not uncommon for a battery designed by an in-house team to require additional outside support before going to production. Redesigns can become problematic as they increase out-of-pocket costs while possibly shutting down your assembly lines.

    Pros

    • Team is located in one place. Having an integrated project group can reduce the back and forth. If you run into a problem, engineering resources are right next door.
    • You are the industry expert. You know your application best with a thorough understanding of the global outlook, including certifications and market potential.
    • No non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs. With an in-house team, you no longer need to worry about third-party project fees to design, develop, and test a new product. However, should a problem arise, there may be additional cost considerations as well as project delays that may negatively influence your business.

    Cons

    • Lack of knowledge of regulatory requirements. Batteries are subject to strict regulations as outlined by various agencies, including the UN, IEC, ANSI, UL, and more. Many in-house groups are not designing packs with transportation regulations, such as Dangerous Goods labeling and UN38.3, in mind. While not mandatory, safety requirements such as IEC 62133 and UL 2054 do more than provide confidence that your product will perform correctly throughout its lifecycle. These labels also build trust in the marketplace, informing consumers that they are purchasing quality products.
    • Not optimized for manufacturing. While a capable team may be able to reduce design costs, many companies are not equipped with the infrastructure or resources for manufacturing power supplies. When it comes to sourcing cells or other components, most are not able to traverse the battery supply chain in regards to things like tariffs and lead times. Given the global state, you could experience lead times of 60 weeks with offshore suppliers versus a matter of months with a North American supplier.

    Choosing a Third-Party Battery Designer

    third party battery design

    Perhaps your experience with an in-house team did not go as planned. Quality issues and product failures often push companies to seek outside help when designing and manufacturing future battery packs. Or it might be your first time in need of a custom battery pack, and you understand you want it done right the first time. In this case, finding the right third-party battery supplier, such as Excell Battery, is key to the success of your business for several reasons.

    • A professional team. When you choose a battery design team like Excell Battery, who has years of experience with the whole process from technical requirements to manufacturing support, you get a team of battery experts. From the first point of contact, we become your partner, building a long-term relationship of trust and value.
    • More resources. North American suppliers like Excell Battery often have connections with many different cell providers, so we are more likely to find the right cell for the right application. As a local company, we can service your business needs in a timely manner. You also gain access to our knowledgeable engineering departments and the ability to work with teams who understand the regulatory requirements.
    • Nondisclosures. Your custom battery pack is sensitive material, and companies like Excell do not share this information. With offshore suppliers, you run the risk of your material being made public.

    Take the Next Step

    Generally, the best thing to do is to consult with a knowledgeable battery design team early. By consulting with a third party company before the design phase, you reduce the risk that your product may fail and require rework. Keep your product on track and on budget by involving a group like Excell Battery.

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