Electrical Equipment

Industries in the Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing subsector manufacture products that generate, distribute and use electrical power. Electric Lighting Equipment Manufacturing establishments produce electric lamp bulbs, lighting fixtures, and parts. Household Appliance Manufacturing establishments make both small and major electrical appliances and parts. Electrical Equipment Manufacturing establishments make goods, such as electric motors, generators, transformers, and switchgear apparatus. Other Electrical Equipment and Component Manufacturing establishments make devices for storing electrical power (e.g., batteries), for transmitting electricity (e.g., insulated wire), and wiring devices (e.g., electrical outlets, fuse boxes, and light switches).

Assembly Line

Hiroshima company's 'forever' usable laundry equipment spurs growth

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✍️ Author: Kotaro Abe

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: Yamato Manufacturing

Yamamoto Manufacturing, a family-owned maker of commercial laundry equipment located in western Japan, is busy with orders from abroad for its “forever machines,” as they are known by some customers in the U.S. The company, based in Onomichi, Hiroshima prefecture, emphasizes the durability of its products, guaranteeing delivery of replacement parts for as long as customers want to keep using them.

Overseas manufacturers typically stop supplying parts for older machines 10 to 15 years after they are sold, forcing customers to buy new equipment. Yamamoto, by contrast, promises unlimited replacement parts, allowing customers to maintain their machines indefinitely. This lowers long-term operating costs by eliminating the need to buy new equipment. Some customers in the U.S. call Yamamoto’s equipment forever machines because of their reliability, according to the company.

Read more at Nikkei Asia

Nuclear Supply Chain for the BWRX-300 SMR Takes Shape

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✍️ Author: Sonal Patel

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: GE Vernova, Hitachi, BWXT

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is forming a group of qualified supply chain companies to help ensure the deployment of its BWRX-300 small nuclear modular reactor (SMR). The move comes as power companies vie for components amidst a supply chain strain that has led some sectors to delay critical infrastructure projects and ramped up competition for scarce resources and long-lead components. The BWRX-300, GEH’s flagship SMR, is the 10th evolution of GE’s boiling water reactor (BWR) design. The design is based on the Gen III+ 1,520-MW ESBWR, which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) certified in 2014.

A key issue facing the nuclear industry relates to a declining number of nuclear-grade suppliers and a loss of skills in some regions, NEA noted. Supply chain development, particularly for advanced nuclear, will require a strong emphasis on quality delivery, which will require strengthened management of advanced manufacturing and commercial-grade procurement. It will also require a keen awareness of continued risks “associated with counterfeit and fraudulent activities and potential methods to mitigate risks in a constantly changing environment,” NEA said.

Read more at POWER

CSIRO achieves record efficiency for next-gen roll-to-roll printed solar cells

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🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: CSIRO, University of Cambridge, Monash University, University of Sydney, University of New South Wales

Scientists from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, have led an international team to a clean energy breakthrough by setting a new efficiency record for fully roll-to-roll printed solar cells. Printed onto thin plastic films, this lightweight and flexible solar technology will help meet the growing demand for renewable energy by expanding the boundaries of where solar cells can be used. The team demonstrated performances for solar cells of 15.5% efficiency on a small scale and 11% for a 50 cm2 module, which is a record for fully printed solar cells.

CSIRO is actively seeking industry partners to further develop and commercialise this technology.

Read more at CSIRO News

Understanding Thermal Challenges in EV Charging Applications

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✍️ Author: Jeff Smoot

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: CUI Devices, DigiKey Electronics

As EVs emerge as the dominant mode of transportation, factors such as battery range and even quicker charging rates will play pivotal roles in sustaining the global economy. Enhancements in EV charging infrastructure will necessitate advancements across various domains, with thermal management standing out as a key area requiring technological evolution.

By shedding weight and size constraints, DC chargers can seamlessly incorporate additional components to enhance both their current throughput and operating voltage. These chargers leverage state-of-the-art semiconductor devices for rectifying power, alongside filters and power resistors, all of which generate substantial heat during operation. While the contributions of filters and resistors to heat dissipation are noteworthy, the predominant heat emitter in an EV charging system is the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT), a semiconductor device that has witnessed increased adoption in recent decades. This robust component has unlocked numerous possibilities in the charging domain, yet ensuring its adequate cooling remains a significant concern.

Read more at DigiKey Articles

Lyten Achieves Manufacturing Milestone; Now Producing Lithium-Sulfur Batteries At Greater Than 90% Yield

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🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: Lyten

Lyten, a supermaterials application company and the leader in lithium-sulfur battery technology, announced it is consistently surpassing 90 percent yield from its automated battery production line, confirming the manufacturability of its lithium-sulfur battery utilizing a sulfur cathode and lithium metal anode.

The lithium-sulfur manufacturing performance has been achieved utilizing standard lithium-ion manufacturing equipment and processes. The conversion of lithium-ion equipment to produce lithium-sulfur batteries in Lyten’s pilot facility required 6 weeks and less than 2% of the total capital cost. This confirms Lyten’s ability to rapidly scale by converting existing Li-ion gigafactories to lithium-sulfur with minimal cost and time.

Lyten’s lithium-sulfur battery chemistry utilizes no NMP (N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone) in the cathode manufacturing process, eliminating the potential health, safety, and environmental impacts of the highly toxic solvent standard in today’s lithium-ion batteries. Additionally, the lithium-sulfur battery cell has proven to be highly tolerant of metallic contamination, significantly reducing the capital equipment and operational costs associated with preventing metal contamination in today’s leading battery chemistries, namely NMC and LFP.

Lyten’s lithium-sulfur battery contains no nickel, cobalt, manganese, or graphite in the cathode and anode, enabling an entirely locally sourced and manufactured battery. Lyten expects to achieve 98%+ yields at scale and will begin delivering commercial lithium-sulfur cells for non-EV customers in aerospace and government applications in 2024 from its San Jose pilot production facility. Lyten is executing engineering and design, procuring equipment, and evaluating locations to rapidly scale up lithium-sulfur manufacturing to meet growing interest from EV, trucking, space, aerospace, and government customers.

Read more at Business Wire

Electric vehicle battery chemistry affects supply chain disruption vulnerabilities

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✍️ Authors: Anthony L. Cheng, Erica R. H. Fuchs, Valerie J. Karplus, Jeremy J. Michalek

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: Carnegie Mellon University

We examine the relationship between electric vehicle battery chemistry and supply chain disruption vulnerability for four critical minerals: lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese. We compare the nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) and lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode chemistries by (1) mapping the supply chains for these four materials, (2) calculating a vulnerability index for each cathode chemistry for various focal countries and (3) using network flow optimization to bound uncertainties. World supply is currently vulnerable to disruptions in China for both chemistries: 80% [71% to 100%] of NMC cathodes and 92% [90% to 93%] of LFP cathodes include minerals that pass through China. NMC has additional risks due to concentrations of nickel, cobalt, and manganese in other countries. The combined vulnerability of multiple supply chain stages is substantially larger than at individual steps alone. Our results suggest that reducing risk requires addressing vulnerabilities across the entire battery supply chain.

Read more at Nature Communications

TDK Ventures invests in Singapore-based startup Amperesand to empower global electrification through solid state transformers

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🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: Amperesand, TDK, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore

TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762) announced that subsidiary TDK Ventures Inc. is investing in Amperesand and their grid infrastructure solutions powered by innovative solid-state transformer (SST) technology to deliver megawatt-scale DC charging solutions for the EV revolution. Spun out of the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore (NTU) and backed by a world-class team with decades of industry experience in power systems, Amperesand delivers critical improvements to EV charging infrastructure hardware that will support rapidly expanding electrification across fleets, consumer vehicles, ports, and beyond.

Transformers are pivotal in the power distribution infrastructure, essential for global electrification, and particularly critical in the EV sector to ensure the correct form of power is delivered at the right location. With growing demands for electrification, the predominantly alternative current (AC) grid faces challenges such as greatly increased direct current (DC) loads, aging infrastructure, transformer shortages, and increased project costs (due to labor, materials, permitting, etc.). Such issues represent an urgent technical challenge to continued progress as grid infrastructure must keep pace with rapid growth in electricity demand from EV fast charging in the near term, and industry and homes in the long term. Amperesand’s technology is a game-changer, addressing critical pain points in the electrification landscape. Their containerized SSTs directly connect to the distribution grid with a customizable mixed AC/DC output, bidirectional power flow, very small footprint, enhanced flexibility, and improved reliability, revolutionizing how high-capacity DC loads, such as EV charging stations, connect to the grid. This technology not only meets the current demands but is also adaptable to the future needs of a highly variable and distributed grid, setting a new standard in the field of power distribution.

Read more at TDK Ventures

🇺🇸🇨🇳 America Wanted a Homegrown Solar Industry. China Is Building a Lot of It.

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✍️ Author: Phred Dvorak

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: Longi Green Energy Technology, Trina Solar

During the past year, the world’s biggest solar companies, all of which do the bulk of their manufacturing in China, have quietly launched plans to set up or expand panel factories in locations from Ohio to Texas—part of a rush to build in the U.S. following the introduction of generous production subsidies with the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022.

China-based companies are behind nearly a quarter of the roughly 80 gigawatts in new solar-panel capacity that has been announced since that legislation, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal. That positions them to be big beneficiaries of government subsidies as well—as much as $1.4 billion a year collectively if the panel factories announced so far are built, according to Journal calculations.

Read more at Wall Street Journal

Automated Battery Assembly Line

Explore Mech-Mind's innovative application in EV battery production

Tech start-ups race to make EV battery recycling sustainable

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✍️ Authors: Eleanor Olcott, Gloria Li

🔖 Topics: Recycling

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: GRST, OnTo Technology, BASF, Newcastle University

A clutch of start-ups, including Hong Kong’s GRST and Oregon-based OnTo Technology, as well as larger companies such as German chemicals giant BASF, are working on a water-based technology seen as a commercially viable and environmentally friendly alternative.

Under the process developed by Hong Kong’s GRST, which is backed by the founder of Taiwanese chipmaker Realtek Semiconductor and Hong Kong garment behemoth TAL Apparel, the used batteries can be dissolved in water to obtain the so-called black mass of valuable metals that make up the cathodes and anodes.

GRST, a winner of this year’s Earthshot prize for innovations to tackle climate challenges, hopes to raise $50mn in the next two years to increase production at the battery plant it co-owns in Zhejiang province. In the long term, GRST hopes to lease its water-based binder and recycling technology to other battery makers.

OnTo Technology, a recycling start-up in Oregon, has started commercial tests of a water-based binder developed by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. BASF invested in water-based binder production at two of its factories in China this year.

Read more at Financial Times

Behind the Scenes: GE Appliances' $80 Million Dishwasher Line

Chemix Brings Transformative AI Technologies to EV Battery Industry, Launching the First AI-Designed Battery in 2023

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🔖 Topics: Generative AI, Generative Design, Materials Science

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: Chemix

Chemix, the startup leveraging AI to rapidly build high-performance and environmentally sustainable EV batteries, unveiled MIX™, its AI-powered design platform specifically developed to accelerate the commercialization of next-generation EV batteries. By leveraging MIX, Chemix is poised to revolutionize the decades-old EV battery industry, similar to how AI has transformed drug discovery by accelerating pharmaceutical research and development. This will enable the pace of battery innovation to finally catch up with the ever-growing demand for better-performing, safer, and more sustainable EV batteries.

A battery is to an electric vehicle what a processor is to a computer – a critical technical component determining the entire system’s performance. Despite this central importance, the approach researchers have used to develop new battery materials and systems has remained largely unchanged for decades – until now. As opposed to the conventional method that relies on time- and labor-intensive processes for battery development and testing, Chemix adopts a revolutionary AI-based approach. This accelerates the discovery of the best battery materials, formulations, and recipes by leveraging large proprietary experimental datasets and cutting-edge proprietary algorithms. As a result, the company has created a vertically-integrated end-to-end battery development approach from scratch.

Chemix’s innovation combines battery-specific AI algorithms and their vast collected data to accelerate and optimize battery design – seamlessly integrated with the MIX platform. Chemix has used MIX to experimentally test over 2,000 unique battery material designs across more than 40 variations of commercially-relevant battery formats, accumulating nearly three million test cycles.

Read more at Web Wire

Gigaprofits: 'batteries not included'

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🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: CATL, LG Energy Solutions, Samsung SDI

The majority of cell manufacturers have a net profit margin in the 2-3% range. Pureplay gigafactories CATL, EVE, and Samsung SDI have higher margins in the 8-10% region. Companies tend to trade profit margins for revenue on an individual basis, (for example Sunwoda, BYD, Gotion), perhaps reflecting the price competitiveness between these large high-tier cell producers.

Read more at Intercalation Station

Dynamic state and parameter estimation in multi-machine power systems—Experimental demonstration using real-world PMU-measurements

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✍️ Authors: Nicolai Lorenz-Meyer, René Suchantke, Johannes Schiffer

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: Brandenburg University of Technology, Fraunhofer IEG

Dynamic state and parameter estimation (DSE) plays a key role for reliably monitoring and operating future, power-electronics-dominated power systems. While DSE is a very active research field, experimental applications of proposed algorithms to real-world systems remain scarce. This motivates the present paper, in which we demonstrate the effectiveness of a DSE algorithm previously presented by parts of the authors with real-world data collected by a Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) at a substation close to a power plant within the extra-high voltage grid of Germany. To this end, at first we derive a suitable mapping of the real-world PMU-measurements recorded at a substation close to the power plant to the terminal bus of the power plants’ synchronous generator. This mapping considers the high-voltage transmission line, the tap-changing transformer and the auxiliary system of the power plant. Next, we introduce several practically motivated extensions to the estimation algorithm, which significantly improve its practical performance with real-world measurements. Finally, we successfully validate the algorithm experimentally in an auto- as well as a cross-validation.

Read more at Control Engineering Practice

DMEGC Lithium-ion Battery Cell Production

Inside Schneider Electric’s Smart Factory

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✍️ Author: Austin Weber

🔖 Topics: IIoT, digital manufacturing

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: Schneider Electric, AVEVA

According to Clayton, the goal of Schneider Electric’s IIoT initiative in Lexington is to boost efficiency and overall market competitiveness by introducing technologies that modernize and reinvent the control, monitoring and management processes of the plant.

It’s part of Schneider Electric’s global effort to digitally transform its factories and distribution centers. The 183-year-old company’s supply chain encompasses nearly 300 factories and logistics centers in more than 40 countries. Most of those facilities use the same IIoT technology that the company offers to its customers.

“These facilities are core to [our] Tailored Sustainable Connected Supply Chain 4.0 program, which creates a customized, sustainable and end-to-end connected supply chain across the plan, procurement, make, customer and sustain domains,” explains Clayton.

Read more at Assembly

AI tool locates and classifies defects in wind turbine blades

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🔖 Topics: AI, defect detection, quality assurance

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: Railston & Co, Loughborough University

Using image enhancement, augmentation methods and the Mask R-CNN deep learning algorithm, the system analyses images, highlights defect areas and labels them.

After developing the system, the researchers tested it by inputting 223 new images. The proposed tool is said to have achieved around 85 per cent test accuracy for the task of recognising and classifying wind turbine blade defects.

Read more at The Engineer

Smart Factory in Actual Practice – Toward Autonomous Production

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🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: SICK

In Sick’s sensor factory in Freiburg-Hochdorf, driverless transport systems curve around automated production modules and workstations operated by people or collaborating human-robot teams. “The modules are cells in which the robot performs a defined task in a fixed working environment, such as the final assembly of various sensor components,” Joachim Schultis explained, Head of Operations for Photoelectric Sensors & Fibers at Sick AG “The modules are completely setup-free; format and material changes are carried out by the control system operating in the background.”

Read more at Automatica Munich

GE to advance competitiveness of wind energy with 3D printed turbine blades

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✍️ Author: Hayley Everett

🔖 Topics: 3D printing, additive manufacturing

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: General Electric, Boeing

The project will initially produce a full-size 3D printed blade tip for structural testing, in addition to three blade tips to be installed on a wind turbine, with the hope of reducing manufacturing cost and increasing supply chain flexibility for the components.

“We are excited to partner with the DoE Advanced Manufacturing Office, as well as with our world class partners to produce a highly innovative advanced manufacturing and additive process to completely revolutionize the state of the art of wind blade manufacturing,” said Matteo Bellucci, GE Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Leader.

Read more at 3D Printing Industry