Axion Power International, Inc. , the developer of advanced lead-carbon PbC batteries and energy storage systems (earlier post), has completed and begun operating its new improved continuous roll carbon sheeting line. The carbon sheet is a critical component of Axion’s proprietary negative electrode.
To date, it has been manufactured by hand utilizing several identical stations to provide enough carbon sheet to satisfy existing PbC battery production needs. However, manual carbon sheeting production has never been viewed as the long-term solution necessary to meet Axion’s projected PbC product sales growth, its cost improvement targets or its quality control specifications.
An automated production system was the long established goal and this second generation continuous-roll carbon sheeting production line, when coupled with Axion’s robotic negative electrode production line, completely automates the manufacturing process, and makes it scalable and replicable.
This is a giant leap forward for us and allows us to make a better product at a reduced cost. It’s the final step in automating our complete activated carbon negative electrode manufacturing process and it brings us tighter quality control, better production yields, meaningful production quantities and significant labor cost reductions. In the last 30 days alone we have increased finished carbon sheet throughput by more than 25%.
Now a crew of two, running the new manufacturing line, can produce 300 percent more finished carbon sheet product than could a crew of 10 operating the previous manual process, and can do so with less waste and improved quality. Additionally, the new process has resulted in a modest gain in carbon sheet energy capacity due in part to better homogeneity throughout the manufactured sheet.—Axion Power’s Chairman and CEO Thomas Granville