Quality Assurance for Battery Safety and Performance

Quality Assurance for Battery Safety and Performance

Reliable components through inspection and quality data
Battery quality management in production

Battery quality management in production

Ensuring superior long-term performance

Batteries are key to range, performance, and longevity in new energy vehicles (NEVs). These factors are decisive for NEV owners and manufacturers, with safety, efficiency, and cost also crucial to success.

Reliable and long-lasting batteries require top-class materials and precise production techniques. Cells, modules, and trays must also comply with very tight tolerances during final assembly.

With industrial microscopy, computed tomography (CT), coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), and optical 3D measurement systems, the ZEISS portfolio uses software solutions to capture the quality data required to ensure battery safety and performance for electric vehicles.

Full coverage of battery applications

In the NEV sector, batteries are at the heart of a wide range of quality management applications. These span the entire battery production workflow from initial development to final assembly. Analyzing the battery materials, inspecting the battery electrodes, performing final inspection on the manufactured cells and modules, checking the battery tray – you can do it all with the ZEISS portfolio. Click the links below to explore our dedicated quality management solutions for NEV battery applications.

Battery materials

Battery materials

Material and structure development

Raw materials have a significant impact on battery performance. Key challenges in this regard include developing new active materials, ensuring a uniform and consistent supply, maintaining proper calendering pressure, and observing microscopic changes caused by aging.

Battery electrodes

Battery electrodes

Technical cleanliness

Battery electrodes play a major role in safety and efficiency, with microstructure materials analysis, inspection and timely replacement of the cutter blade, and 3D visualization of deformations all key in this regard. It is also essential to prevent particle contamination throughout via technical cleanliness.

Battery cells and modules

Battery cells and modules

Fast, high-resolution inspection

Final inspection of the complete battery module is a particularly challenging process, as the individual cells in such modules pose a number of safety risks and quality challenges. Fast test cycles with high resolution are required for all three cell types – cylindrical, prismatic, and pouch.

Battery tray

Battery tray

Inspection of structure and integrity

The battery tray houses all battery cells, connectors, control units, and the battery packs that contain numerous battery modules. As it is fully integrated into the vehicle body, its structure and integrity must be inspected at multiple intervals during production to ensure quality and safety.

ZEISS eMobility solutions at every manufacturing step

Blue Line for battery development and production

ZEISS eMobility Solutions at Every Manufacturing Step
  • Quality gate 1: material development

    Quality gate 1: material development

    Developing materials for the cathode, anode, and separator


    • Capacity, charging behavior, and battery lifetime are all defined by the materials used for the cathode, anode, and separator
    • Cell performance is highly influenced by the microscopic structure of these materials, plus the particle chemical composition and impurities


    Your benefits with ZEISS

    • High-resolution, high-contrast battery material analysis with ZEISS scanning electron microscopes (SEMs)
    • Efficient correlative analysis via patented correlative microscopy solution incorporating light microscopes and SEMs
  • Quality gate 2: structure development

    Quality gate 2: structure development

    Pre-assembly test for functionality study


    • Safe and efficient sample preparation and analytical solutions are needed to ensure cell structure quality and enable high performance
    • Original status of cell structure must be analyzed without disassembling the cell


    Your benefits with ZEISS

    • Safe sample preparation and efficient large-area cross-sectioning
    • High-resolution, high-contrast analysis of electron-beam-sensitive battery materials in low kV range with ZEISS GeminiSEM
    • High-resolution non-destructive 3D cell structure analysis with ZEISS Xradia X-ray microscope (XRM)
  • Quality gate 3: raw material processing

    Quality gate 3: raw material processing

    Incoming quality inspection


    • Incoming goods check ensures material uniformity and consistency, preventing defects that hugely impact performance and efficiency
    • Raw material microstructure visualization and check, cathode particle chemical element ratio, and anode particle purity all crucial for avoiding battery failure

    Your benefits with ZEISS

    • Meet the highest demands in sub-nanometer imaging, analytics, and sample flexibility with ZEISS GeminiSEM
    • Complete sample preparation workflow allows for fast, clear, and seamless imaging of the material microstructure
    • Supports high-resolution, high-contrast imaging of non-conductive samples
  • Quality gate 4: electrode production

    Quality gate 4: electrode production

    Technical cleanliness and burr inspection


    • Inspection of foreign particles larger than 5 μm needed due to high contamination risk during transportation and manufacturing
    • As electrode cutting may generate burrs, it is crucial to balance quality and cost by finding ideal time for blade replacement

    Your benefits with ZEISS

    • ZEISS Technical Cleanliness Analysis software distinguishes metal, fiber, and non-metal particles to estimate contamination risk
    • ZEISS scanning electron microscopes automatically state chemical composition of each particle to pinpoint root cause of contamination
    • Automated burr detection in factory environment and constant feedback to production line
  • Quality gate 5: cell production

    Quality gate 5: cell production

    Inspection of electrodes and defects


    • To avoid safety hazards and waste, it is essential to check the alignment and position of cell electrodes and identify internal defects
    • Quick, high-resolution inspection cycles are required in order to handle high cell production speeds

    Your benefits with ZEISS

    • High-resolution imaging with ZEISS 2D and 3D X-ray solutions to handle overhang, damaged electrodes, and weld quality
    • Fast and efficient full 3D digitization of complex parts in the finest detail via systems such as ZEISS METROTOM
    • 100% inline automated evaluation with ZEISS BOSELLO defect detection
  • Quality gate 6: module assembly

    Quality gate 6: module assembly

    Final check of complete module


    • Size and density of module demands the use of high-performance systems
    • Final quality check must detect typical defects including metal contamination, overhang, and electrode misalignment

    Your benefits with ZEISS

    • High-penetration non-destructive inspection via the compact and robust ZEISS VoluMax 9 titan
    • This CT solution handles large, heavy, and dense modules with its high power range and penetration strength

Extra insights into quality assurance for batteries

  • Innovations powering the transition to electric mobility
    ZEISS eMobility Solutions for Batteries
  • Stunning detail via non-destructive computed tomography (CT)
    Cylindrical Battery Scan with ZEISS METROTOM 1500
Albert Mo

Batteries are at the core of electric vehicles. Their quality assurance has top priority for manufacturers. It is simply a must.

Albert Mo

Head of Competence Center, ZEISS eMobility Solutions

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