SK Innovation set to develop Lithium-Ion Battery Separators in Poland
The Korean energy and chemical firm SK Innovation, a subsidiary of SK Group, has announced its intention to build a plant in Województwo Śląskie, Poland that will manufacture Lithium-Ion Battery Separators (LiBS) and Ceramic Coated Separators (CCS).
Separators are the core material of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, with SK Innovation seeking to further bolster its offering to battery manufacturers.
SK Innovation recently announced plans to build another LiBS plant in China. The firm currently produces 360mn square metres of LiBS each year in Jeungpyeong, Chungcheongbuk-do, Korea, and its new plants will bring its production capacity up to 1.2bn square metres annually.
According to its press release, the company aims to invest €335mn in four LiBS production units and three CCS production units in Poland, with the aim of breaking ground on the project in Q3 2019 and beginning mass production in Q3 2021.
SK Innovation produces its own lithium-ion batteries for EVs as well as being a separator supplier. In its press release on 9 March 2019, it announced that it has begun construction of a new EV battery factory in Hungary.
On 27 February, Reuters reported that the factory in Hungary would cost US$845mn to construct.
SK Innovation confirmed it plans to commence mass production of EV batteries at the facility in early 2020, with a capacity of 7.5 GWh per year.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.