From laboratory mixers to pilot plants and gigafactories, Eirich production systems for LiB electrode mixtures are now proving themselves in industry worldwide and delivering impressive efficiency. For LiB manufacturers, the benefits include outstandingly low energy consumption, a minimized reject rate and a small footprint. Eirich mixers are suitable for wet as well as semi-wet and dry processing. At the Battery Show Europe in Stuttgart, Maschinenfabrik Gustav Eirich GmbH & Co KG will provide virtual 3D insights into a MixSolverÒ R12Vac gigafactory mixer for the production of electrode slurry at booth E80 in hall 10. A multifunctional CleanLine C5 one-pot processor will also be on display.
Low energy consumption
Electrode production presents plenty of important options for increasing efficiency in LiB manufacturing. Here, the Eirich mixing systems with rotating mixing vessel and eccentrically arranged mixing tool offer decisive advantages, especially in terms of electrical energy consumption. This is confirmed by measurements from laboratory and pilot machines, as well as from gigafactories. When measured on modern RV12 mixers used in production (capacity 500 l), the values for anode slurry are 15-17 Wh/l and 16-20 Wh/l for NCM cathode slurry. For comparison, the literature provides values between 300 and 750 Wh/l for slurry production in a planetary mixer. Even alternative mixing processes such as twin-screw extruders or inline dispersers cannot come close to Eirich's excellent values.
Minimized reject rates
Eirich relies on compact batch mixers such as the MixSolverÒR12Vac for slurry production. Experience from gigafactories in which Eirich technology is used shows that the number of defective electrode mixes is close to zero. This minimizes additional costs for recycling or reprocessing of raw materials and materials used. Inline rheology measurement via the mixing tool checks the individual batches for the desired tolerance range before discharge. Combined with the Conti-FeederÒtechnology, the Eirich systems ensure a continuous coater supply with identical slurry quality.
Less space required
A look at the building volume required for the mixing systems and the enclosed dry room highlights further savings potential. Four MixSolverÒunits with solids dosing and Conti-FeederÒ technology (see also system design) require only about a third of the floor space of a system using planetary mixers. The latter, with the same output, is usually built on two levels and therefore requires practically six times more floor space. Here, too, the Eirich system is superior and also takes up less space than rivals with twin-screw extruders or inline dispersers. Manufacturers who plan to use Eirich technology from the outset can design smaller building structures, which ensures considerable cost savings in construction and operation.
Also suitable for semi-wet or dry electrode preparation
Eirich is involved in numerous projects around the world involving electrode production for energy storage systems. Eirich mixing technology is also increasingly demonstrating its suitability for semi-wet or dry processing. Trade show visitors will be able to see this for themselves. The alternative technologies promise a further increase in efficiency due to factors like the omission of the classic coating and drying step in dry electrode production. The market needs structured powder mixes that the Eirich mixer can produce at tool speeds of up to 45 m/s with very good results. The main differences between the mixers used and the MixSolverÒare the motorization of the mixing tool, the mix discharge and the wear protection method. With appropriate foresight in planning, users can therefore even convert a wet processing system for dry processing relatively easily. Planetary mixers and inline dispersers, on the other hand, are unsuitable for dry processing and may therefore become obsolete in future.
Ideal for the development lab: CleanLine C5
In addition to the virtual presentation of the MixSolversÒ R12Vac, another exhibit on show at the booth will be the Eirich CleanLine C5 laboratory mixer. As a multifunctional one-pot processor with integrated vacuum capability, it can cover the full range of potential requirements, from dry dispersing, functionalizing, kneading, mixing and coating to suspending, granulating, melt granulating and more. Once perfected at laboratory scale, the formulation and sequence developed for the process in question can be transferred to production scale quickly and easily. This makes the CleanLine C5 for the development lab the ideal solution for all energy storage manufacturers who already use Eirich mixers in their production or plan to do so.
The Battery Show Europe will take place from May 23-25 at the exhibition center in Stuttgart/Germany. The battery experts from Eirich will present the company’s portfolio of solutions for lithium-ion battery production at booth E80 in hall 10.