Perhaps someone has these misconceptions, customization just tailors design the compact size, and relatively higher cost. However, the existing battery product has more limitations, it is suitable for individual consumers and much enough to fulfill their needs. For industrial applications, there are circumstances where a battery pack has to function in a very specific manner, conform to particular measurements, or fulfill other highly precise requirements. In such instances, a custom-designed and built battery pack is often necessary.
So in this article, we discuss the advantages of customized battery with the case study, something you need to notice, and how it creates value to your company.
The Four Advantages of Customized Battery:
Similar to most portable electronic devices, the battery of wearable devices are complicated, some specific requirements to the shape, size, durability, discharge rate, and other functions.
Of course, we (consumers) all wanted much light, handy, and durable electronic devices. Different types of battery and technology can reach more requirements for wearable devices.
Moreover, currently the most popular among wearable devices are lithium-ion (Li-ion) and lithium-ion polymer (LiPo, Li-Po, LIP, Li-poly) batteries, the small lithium-ion polymer batteries or LiCoin rechargeable batteries are mostly used.
Wearable devices like a wristband, smartwatches, smart ring, etc., which we often encounter every day, can customize the shape of the battery in order to optimize the space, size, and weight of the product. Curved Lipo battery in a Shaped Battery series.
The curved strip battery can be installed in a ring-shaped band, and it has some features of large capacity and low self-discharge, which enables it to maintain a longer performing time and solve the capacity problem of the wearable device.
In addition to the Curved Shape battery, the shapes currently developed are:
- Ultra-Thin Battery
- Round Lipo Battery
- Triangle Battery
- Hexagon Battery
- Ultra Narrow Battery
- C Shape Battery
- D Shape Battery
- Polygonal Battery
Don’t let battery destroy your product design
As we know, there are many smart glasses (like VR glasses) on the market, and various functions. In order to detect the user’s physical condition, such as the step counter, heart rate calculator and analysis of sleep quality, etc., most of these devices are equipped with different types of sensors, including accelerometers and gyroscopes. In order to allow users to see virtual images through the glasses, they install the image projected devices on the glasses, which also requires lots of electricity to support.
Secondly, in order to meet the design and its functions, the battery should also be designed in different shapes to fill in the space of the product. Therefore, for battery manufacturers, customize the shape and size of the battery depends on their specific needs, and the precision of the sculptures is continuously improved. Therefore, breaking through the boundaries of existing products may not be impossible.
Targeted Customization by needs
We have received a request from a customer to tailor-made the battery for medical users. Due to the special functions and environmental conditions of their products, we provide the customization solution to them.
Why they need a customization solution, because the battery required conduct discharge high current in a short period in a low-temperature environment, the cold outdoor environment near -30 to 40°C. Also, the battery must allow continuous output at 12V at -40°C, achieved a few seconds of 2.5A discharge with the protection of a battery management system (BMS). The special requirement like that is cannot be met by existing battery products, so we need to work with engineers to tailor design this battery for them.
As we know, the battery performs in low-temperature will affect the discharge current and capacity, only a few kinds of batteries can be used in an extremely cold environment. Currently, most of the low-temperature battery products on the market can only be charged and discharged at about -20°C. Therefore, existing battery product’s specifications may not be able to conform to their products, and their sizes are also needed to customize, thus companies need to find a battery company that has the ability to produce the low temperature and high discharge cells for them.
In addition to temperature, what others can be customized? There are 6 features below:
- Charge Current
- Discharge Current
- Usage Temperature
In terms of customized services, the customer’s requirements are related to their unique product design. Whatever the specifications, size and application areas of the battery, it is a business secret of customers. Therefore, most of its information will be strictly confidential and will not be disclosed until it is approved by the customer.
In this session, we divided as “Short-Term Cost” and “Lifetime Cost” these two parts.
At first, you might think that the price of a custom battery is higher, but it’s not entirely correct. There is various 3C product in the market, which have their own patent and design. Thus, the matching battery must be perfectly matched with the product. If there is a difference in shape or size, the company may have to adjust the design of the product to cater to the battery, thus modify or even redesign the product. In this way, the customized battery not only makes the product more versatile, but also increases the efficiency of launching new products and reduces the overall cost.
In addition to the purchase cost, there are some additional costs before and after the sale, such as battery design, R&D, after-sales transportation costs, technical support, and maintenance warranty, etc., are included in the considerations. Let say an international battery company, will cooperate with SME and local re-seller all over the world, which can closer to customer and provide support, so directly deliver batteries to customers is easier. It can be seen that the customization solution can reduce unnecessary costs from products and services, can concentrate resources on more competitive and valuable works.
If the purchased battery will be used for a long time, in terms of long-term cost, the life span of the battery, using cycle, the safety of storage, and the maintenance cost in the future should be considered in comparison with the cost of purchase.
Perhaps most of you have used or using lead-acid (LA) batteries. Lead-acid battery are mostly used in the field of energy storage due to its following features:
- Low price
- Raw materials are easy to explore
- Stable performance
- Easy to recycle
- Suitable for high current discharge
The lower cost of materials thus the lower purchase cost, but its performance and life span are far less than lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries. At the same size comparison, the LiFePO4 battery has more capacity, longer life span, either of high temperature and low temperature resistance, safety and environmental friendly. Despite the higher upfront cost of LiFePO4 battery, but free of the maintenance cost, and cost of replacement. Let say we compare the total cost of ownership LiFePO4 battery, to three equivalent size off-the-shelf lead-acid battery technologies, in the long run, the average cycling cost of lithium iron phosphate battery is lower. And these savings make it more valuable than lead-acid batteries, making them more suitable for long-term investments.
Precautions of customization
Custom batteries are not suitable for everyone. As mentioned before, it may be better for individual consumers to purchase existing battery products directly, so there are some parts to be aware of before choosing a customized battery solution.
Which chemistry is more suitable for your product?
Not each chemistry provides the same performance in every application, and it’s important to determine which chemistry is best for your needs. As I mentioned before, Lead Acid (LA)Battery is economical but there are many complex long-term costs like the cost of replacement and maintenance.
As a result, battery companies have a significant role in this situation, providing specific battery solution for customized voltage or capacity you may need, and providing the right chemicals for your application.
Communication with the synergy effect
When you decide to customize the battery, the information provided is not comprehensive enough, it will not only affect the efficiency, but also the performance of the end product.
If customer requests, the customized battery can also be packaged. Most of the packaged batteries will be equipped with protective plates, wires, plug wires, housings, etc., and perhaps need to install FPC soft cable, some needs plastic shells, such as RC Car’s battery,and may need to add communication protocols, such as car batteries. Therefore, these product use polymer lithium batteries involving high current, shell and different color, etc.. Detailed expression of requirements and parameter requirements can reduce many unnecessary errors.
Does the company have a relative qualification for some specific application?
If you are work in the automotive industry, you might already know with this qualification. This is a special agency established in 1996 by the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and associations to coordinate the international automotive quality system specifications. The full name is the International Automotive Task Force (IATF), and the IATF 16949 technical standard. It is an international standard applied in the automotive industry to further standardize the requirements of the quality management system of various organizations in the automotive industry.
There are also some international certifications in the industry that are required for the internationalization of battery companies and for the production of high quality batteries.
ISO 13485 is the only globally recognized quality standard for medical devices, including the design, production, operation, monitoring, transportation, installation, and after-sales service of medical equipment. The terms of ISO 13485 are similar to the US FDA medical equipment management system CFR Part 820. In addition to improving the company’s medical equipment and process requirements, it is also a shortcut and entry condition for the company’s products to enter the international market.
The ISO13485 standard is developed to complement the ISO 9001 standard and covers the quality management and assurance systems of manufacturers and suppliers of medical products.
UL (Underwriter Laboratory)
This is a US safety certification. If you want to enter the US market, you will have to obtain this qualification to test the safety of the battery products. The detailed test content can be seen here.
CE (COMMUNATE EUROPIEA)
Indicates that the product meets the requirements of a series of European directives such as safety, hygiene, environmental protection and consumer protection. Confirm that the product has passed the corresponding conformity assessment procedure or the manufacturer’s declaration of conformity, which is the “passport” for the product to be allowed to enter the EU market.
This can be said to be the basic in the battery qualification certification, which is to ensure that the battery products through the high simulation, high and low temperature cycle, vibration test, impact test, 55°C external short circuit, impact test, overcharge test, forced discharge test, to ensure lithium Battery transportation is safe. If this test report is not available, civil aviation will ban lithium batteries for air transportation.
This article is written by Grepow. If you want to learn more about battery, and customized battery, please visit our official website or blog to read more articles, or directly communicated with our specialists.