“I am responsible for QuaLiB, a new technology for assessing and optimizing the quality of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery slurry, which is the key component of Li-ion batteries that power most electrical cars, laptops, mobile phones, and other electronic devices.
This data holds massive potential for waste and energy reduction. I develop algorithms and models that use the measured data to evaluate the slurry quality and its dependence on the extruder parameters. This information is then used to automatically control the battery slurry production process to achieve the best possible quality. As the system collects sensor data every single second, it detects deficient quality immediately and is able to intervene at an early stage to ensure that only high-quality product proceeds to the next production steps. This reduces waste and therefore energy and costs: The downstream processes to produce a ready-to-use battery from the battery slurry are expensive and consume a lot of energy.
We have successfully completed the first lab trials in Uzwil, Switzerland and in the Bühler battery lab in Wuxi, China. Currently, two large-scale QuaLiB systems are installed at a production site of a Chinese customer, which is why I work closely together with my Chinese colleagues.
The challenges I face in my job are very complex and require the collaboration of diverse people to be solved efficiently. The QuaLiB project could not be successful without the support and inputs from battery technologists, automation experts, engineers, and the colleagues who are in close contact with the customers and understand their needs. I really enjoy this interdisciplinary work because it offers the opportunity to see multiple perspectives and different approaches.”