As a designer and manufacturer of custom battery packs for high reliability applications, our customers are continually demanding that we make packs that are smaller, have more power, run longer, and all at a competitive cost as they try to make their devices more portable.
When developing a custom battery pack, the last thing anyone wants is to hear their development hit a snag. Batteries already have a lengthy timeline going from concept to production, so staying on schedule is incredibly important. Of course, sometimes delays can just happen for reasons you have no control over, making it even more necessary to nail down the areas you can influence. Factors such as knowledge of certification requirements, manufacturing support capabilities, and prototyping processes can help keep your development on the right track.
How a battery pack becomes qualified as “smart” is, quite simply, because of software. The Smart Battery System (SBS) forum defines a smart battery as a battery pack where some level of communication occurs between the battery, the equipment, and the user. As a further technicality, their definition also requires that a smart battery must provide state-of-charge indications (i.e. fuel gauge).
Although the progress of technology moves fast and batteries are more popular for supporting mobile devices, it should be noted that the actual battery chemistries haven’t changed much over the last several years. The shift in hand-held devices are for rechargeable solutions with more energy and lighter weight which targets lithium chemistry.
Over the past several years there have been several instances where battery suppliers that manufacture the highest technology batteries have run into financial difficulties (think A123, Boston Power) or change their business model and no longer want to supply small/medium volume applications (Panasonic). This has created several problems for OEMs as they have designed these cells and have passed all of the certification testing for UL, EMI, CE and UN DOT 38.3.
What do I get for my tooling dollar? This question (in one form or another) is one that gets asked frequently. Tooling is always a concern for the customer. It’s an added cost which cannot be converted to sales and ultimately, the bottom line.
This blog post provides a quick overview of what is involved in the battery pack potting process. Battery potting can greatly aid in stability and help to optimize the performance of your finished custom battery pack. Potting materials are used to provide mechanical reinforcement to housed-assemblies and to protect components against exposure to harmful chemicals, moisture, mechanical shock and vibrations, and other hazards.
Some additional benefits of using battery potting include low cost shells, hermetic like seal, and good electrical insulation.
As a full service custom battery pack manufacturer, we prioritize providing our customers with the highest quality battery pack assembly while keeping you under budget. Many of the battery packs manufactured by Epec go into mission critical devices, which require nothing short of the highest quality rugged and reliable batteries. In this post we will look at three key aspects of Epec's US manufacturing that enable us to meet and exceed our goals.
This topic is mainly focused on properly shipping lithium ion batteries due to shipping regulations, but could also apply to Ni-MH where appropriate.
It is important to be aware that certain applications will have battery packs that may be exposed to corrosive elements such as acidic, salt, and on occasion conductive substances and fluids. Over time this type of exposure can slowly corrode the PCBA, components, and solder joints. This type of corrosion can cause premature failure, short circuits, and or dangerous conditions that could lead to fire or even an explosion.