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Machinery + Equipment 13. February 2024

Modern machinery for battery foil production

Hindalco relies on modern technologies for the production of highly sensitive battery foil and orders foil rolling mills and foil slitting machines from Achenbach.

Achenbach’s UniTorque Direct Drive Technology will be part of Hindalco’s new production system for battery foils. In this system, the motor is integrated directly to the coiler.
Achenbach’s UniTorque Direct Drive Technology will be part of Hindalco’s new production system for battery foils. In this system, the motor is integrated directly to the coiler.

Hindalco Industries Ltd has decided to make substantial investments in high-tech Achenbach machinery and equipment for a new state-of-the-art battery foil production plant. With this project, the producer flat rolled products is expanding its product portfolio to be the first in India to produce LIB cathode foil serving both domestic and international markets.

The new production line will be built on a greenfield site on the Hindalco plant complex at Lapanga in the district of Orissa, India; start-up will be in the second quarter of next year.

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Comprehensive system package from Achenbach

For Hindalco, not only the technology and expertise but also the existing trusting business relationship between the two companies were decisive factors in the major investment. “We’re more than happy, that together we start a new era for battery foil production in India,” says André E. Barten, president and CEO of Achenbach. Christian Schneider, director global sales and mainly responsible for the new order, adds: “With this order, Hindalco underlines its decades-long partnership with Achenbach in numerous projects, including Achenbach’s complete product range, from hot rolling mills to slitting of the thinnest foils.”

The order includes three Achenbach Optimill Foil Rolling Mills automated with an Optiroll i3 control system and each run with a Superstack II Filtration System, as well as two SepaSlit Foil Slitting Machines, complemented by an Airpure Exhaust Air Cleaning System and a Roilpure Rectification System. Part of the order is furthermore the cloud-based Optilink System for process data analysis with additional, AI-supported condition monitoring.

Members of the companies Achenbach and Hindalco when signing the contract for new machinery for battery foil production.
Members of the companies Achenbach and Hindalco when signing the contract for new machinery for battery foil production.

Extensive equipment for manufacturing of battery foil

The quality of the highly sensitive aluminium cathode foil as well as the manufacturing process involve particularly high requirements. When rolling battery foil, perfect strip quality and high winding tensions in the rolling process are crucial factors. A DVC backup roll as well as a UniFlat Flatness Measuring Roll are part of the integrated automation system and ensure optimum strip flatness. The UniSpray Coolant Distribution System influences local flatness deficiencies, while the innovative energy efficient UniHeat Curved Hot Edge System will ensure optimum strip flatness at the edges.

Furthermore, the UniDry Strip Blow-off System dries the strip surface evenly and the hydropneumatic UniRon Ironing Roller System allows wrinkle-free recoiling of the foil even at high rewinding speeds. Moreover, the new UniMark Roll Mark Detection system makes early detection of foil surface defects possible.

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Besides these features, the foil rolling mills will also be equipped with energy-efficient fume hoods. These specific airflow-optimized hoods ensure a complete removal of fumes in a direct manner with a reduction in the energy consumption of ventilation of almost 30%. Finally, the UniTorque Direct Drive Technology, where the motor is integrated directly into the coiler, promises not only high performance and improved efficiency but also offers significant savings potential as well as high occupational safety.

Foil slitting machines with optimized slitting section

To meet the high requirements of the sensitive battery foil, the slitting machines offer an optimized slitting section and a high-quality edge cut. As extremely high demands are made on the cleanliness in terms of material and environment when manufacturing battery foil, special machine arrangements ensure dust-free conditions in the cutting process and maximum cleanliness of the surroundings. In addition, further key components for inspection, measuring and analysis of the foil quality such as a pinhole detection system for 100% monitoring of the finest holes ensure high quality of the battery foil.

Special hoods for cutting dust suction ensure clean working when cutting foil.
Special hoods for cutting dust suction ensure clean working when cutting foil.

Committed to productivity and sustainability

For Achenbach, the new order is not only groundbreaking in terms of technology, but also regarding productivity and sustainability. With its mission statement Green.Lean.Digital., Achenbach is committed to not only paying attention to sustainability in its own production and in everyday work. “Ultimately, it is our products with which we have the greatest positive impact on the environment in the long term,” emphasizes Barten. “Our machines are characterized by innovative technology components and a high degree of automation, which have the lowest energy consumption as well as extremely low emission values.”

Regarding the ecological and economic added value, it is also the accompanying Optipure Systems that have an impact serving the energy-optimized separation, recovery and regeneration of the rolling oil, so that it can be returned to the rolling process in as-good-as-new quality. Last but not least, the Optilink System allows the systematic recording of machine data from various sources across the entire process chain. Valuable information on the entire production process can be extracted from it.

Hindalco does not only want to increase productivity, but also reduce energy and resource consumption with this investment. Active process and machine monitoring allows problems to be detected in good time and preventive action can be taken to minimize waste, scrap, and machine downtime. For this purpose, Achenbach offers numerous dashboards, which can be customized and are available for all common mobile devices for different management levels.

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