Metrology equipment for e-mobility – how can quality and engine power be ensured?

With the developments towards e-mobility, quality assurance requirements are rising. Industrial metrology needs to adapt to them. The compliance to tight tolerances for surface, contour and geometry becomes even more important, as they have a direct impact on the acoustic development and efficiency of the vehicle. Highly precise measurement systems can ensure the compliance to new standards, and obtain competitive advantages in the supplier market. Here, it is important for manufacturers to monitor different components such as the battery, motor and transmission.

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Battery and fuel cells: Higher reach thanks to perfect surface finish

An essential topic of e-mobility is increasing the range of the battery. Lightweight construction increases the range of e-vehicles and therefore the focus lays on small, lightweight parts with a high surface finish and resistance. In addition to construction techniques, longevity and stress loading of battery cells are important. The fulfilment of quality standards requires several testing steps on the battery pack and its housing.

When it comes to the quality assurance, it is important to manufacture the single components such as battery cell, battery tray and custom modules, ensuring these parts have the highest efficiency and quality. To achieve this, the relevant manufacturing tolerances must be maintained through the complete process. One of the biggest dangers occurring during operation is the risk that the battery catches on fire or explodes. The cathode and anode of a lithium battery cell are segregated by special separators which are as thin as possible while being equally thick enough. Manufacturers produce those parts within a micrometre range and tight tolerances. Highly precise metrology equipment can help to maintain these standards.

Minimisation of heavy material, and an increase of efficiency due to the perfect fit of every single component has a significantly positive effect on the range of electrified vehicles. Metrology equipment supports the quality control process from the beginning and through the complete manufacturing process. With the surface measurement systems SURFCOM NEX and SURFCOM CREST, you can measure surfaces with an accuracy of up to ±(0,8+|2H|/100) µm. Mobile measurement systems such as SURFCOM TOUCH and HANDYSURF+ make it possible to measure directly on the production line.

Electric motor, bearings and transmission: Noise reduction is in harmony with quality

A new way of driving needs new approaches in the construction of motor, bearings and transmission. In an EV, the motor and gearing are placed in one housing together, with a large reduction in components compared to an ICE system. The weight of the vehicle therefore can be reduced and with that manufacturers can generate higher range of the battery. The quality requirements remain equally high, as wear, noise reduction, and performance are still the focus of manufacturers.

Other components such as shafts and bearings require a high surface finish control to avoid excess vibration, improving acoustic properties within the cabin. In contrast to conventional and comparably loud combustion engines, background noises will be experienced with a higher amplitude.

Metrology, combined with advanced software, is essential to conduct adequate quality testing on motor, bearings and transmission. Read more in our whitepaper about e-mobility.

The optimal metrology equipment: Increase in efficiency through compliance of small tolerances

Tolerances are getting tighter and tighter with a view to increasing efficiency – not only in terms of surface finish, but also when it comes to form and geometry. Many components that require high running properties face an improvement in form tolerances such as roundness, concentricity, straightness or cylindricity. There will be positive effects on the reach of e-cars when the deviations of form and shape tolerances are decreased and wear is avoided. Highly precise measurements of roundness and form can lead directly to competitive advantages.

The RONDCOM NEX series for example makes it possible to measure all deviations of forms in the highest measurement range. With the form measurement system RONDOM NEX RS series, form and surface parameters can be measured simultaneously and conform to ISO norms. Both systems perform with a rotation accuracy of (0,02+3,2H/10.000) µm and have therefore the highest rotation accuracy in their product class. Thanks to the newly developed air bearing concept with an extreme low noise development, the RONDCOM NEX RS series is also able to measure roughness parameters – previously, only dedicated roughness measurement systems were able to do that.

ACCRETECH as partner for manufacturers of the automotive and e-mobility sector

Highly precise measurements of surface and form contribute to the increase of range, efficiency and safety in the e-mobility sector. ACCRETECH has collected plenty of experience in the automotive industry over the last decades and adapted their systems and services to the changes in the industry. Many components of the combustion engines are also installed in electrical vehicles in order to combine the existing expertise in the automotive sector with the new e-mobility – together with the customers.

ACCRETECH offers the necessary contour, form and surface measurement systems which are perfect for the increased requirements in precision. Measurement devices of ACCRETECH are characterized by reliable, low in maintenance and long-living technology. Besides that, ACCRETECH is eager to guarantee long-living systems and win-win customer relationships by offering service and maintenance performances. We are glad to assist you – contact us!

Use cases in the automotive industry

ZF uses a mobile surface measurement system, the HANDYSURF+, from ACCRETECH at the location in Steyr to conduct the first piece approval.
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At their plant in Sarezzo (BS), PEL Pintossi manufacturers a broad portfolio of workpieces for the industry. They conduct plenty of processes with increasing quality requirements there.
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Tim Wood
Regional Director North Europe
Unit 2, Leofric Court Progress Way
CV3 2NT Coventry
Phone +44 (0) 2476 651 774