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  Tobias Storz

Tobias Storz, M.Sc.

Research Associate
department: Machines, Equipment and Process Automation
office hours: to be agreed
room: 130, Geb. 50.36
phone: +49 1523 9502620
Tobias StorzDfe5∂kit edu

76131 Karlsruhe
Kaiserstraße 12


Tobias Storz, M.Sc.

Area of Research:

  • Production of batteries
  • E-Mobility

 

Curriculum Vitae:

since 06/2018 Research Associate at the Institute of Production Science (wbk) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
09/2015 - 05/2016 Study abroad and research on shear-thickening fluids at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
10/2010 - 10/2017 Study of Mechanical Engineering at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

 

Publications

[ 1 ] Storz, T.; Altvater, A.; Hofmann, J.; Scharfer, P.; Fleischer, J. & Schabel, W. (2018), "The Smart Battery Maker – a concept for automated flexible and agile production of cells". Tagungsband zur International Battery Production Conference (IBPC) 2018, eds. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Arno Kwade, pp. 18-19.
Abstract:
Present day battery production happens almost exclusively in large production lines where each machine is responsible for one step in the process chain. This results in low cycle time and low production costs per unit, but also in a largely inflexible production. With an increasing number of different applications and electric vehicle models, requirements for the battery systems and each battery cell varies in size and materials used. To test and judge the performance of a novel battery cell type before going into production, research and performance tests on ready-to-use batteries are inevitable. Prototypes are usually assembled manually at high costs, with no possibility to scale up their production and with typically low reproducibility. To handle this problem, a „Smart Battery Maker“ (SBM) pilot equipment, which produces battery cells with varying dimensions and materials, is being developed. The goals of the SBM are the proof of concept of fully automated prototype machinery that executes various production steps with a high reproducibility and the adaption of cell production steps to agile manufacturing. Different-sized pouch-cells are to be manufactured by the SBM equipment in small batches under industrial production conditions with minimal change of tools or equipment. To achieve this goal, the partners, namely KIT (wbk, TVT-TFT, IAM-ESS) and Fraunhofer ICT, will agree on different electrode and separator materials as well as different cell formats to be processed. The processability and reproducibility of overall production processes with the considered materials and cell formats have to be checked and verified. A prototype coating equipment for agile electrode production will be designed and built, as well as a compact robot cell that handles the production steps of single-sheet stacking, contacting and pre-sealing. To prevent any unwanted interactions with water, a dry room atmosphere and microenvironments will be considered for cell assembly. Electrode and separator sheets will be delivered to the SBM robot cell by a novel material transportation system that guarantees a protective microenvironment throughout transportation. Potential safety risks will be identified and quantified to ensure lawful operation. Quality assurance regarding reproducibility, safety and overall battery cell quality will be implemented. This includes a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis of all considered processes. Furthermore, the battery cells produced by the SBM will be tested on electro-thermal stability and will be compared to commercially available Lithium-Ion battery cells (e.g. by EUCAR Hazard Levels). By validating the SBM pilot equipment, the partners prepare the ground for a possible adoption of this agile concept by the battery cell industry. Production scale-up is easily manageable by using multiple robot cells, flexibility is given by the possibility to quickly adapt each equipment to different cell dimensions and materials.

[ 2 ] Storz, T. & Fleischer, J. (2019), "A new concept for agile production of battery cells". AABC 2019, eds. AABC.
Abstract:
Despite the wide range of applications and requirements, standardized cells are used for a lot of products. Standardized cells can’t fit all the different needs of the various battery driven products. Our hypothesis states that product manufacturers will demand batteries adapted to their requirements for electric properties and installation space. This will result in a growing variety of battery cells regarding dimensions, format and materials. This trend is already visible in batteries for consumer electronics like smartwatches and smartphones. To keep up with varying customer requirements, cell manufacturers will need suitable, flexible machinery to avoid large reconfiguration costs for every new type of cell. As a solution, an agile type of cell production equipment will be developed at KIT. Inspired by modern combustion engine manufacturing, the production system will consist of redundant robot cells of different types. Every type of robot cell will be responsible for a defined set of production steps and will be equipped with easily exchangeable production modules accordingly. Thus, the robot cell consists of the robot as a central handling, various production modules that execute the production processes and a microenvironment casing that ensures optimal climatic conditions for each production step. The production modules will be designed to use kinematic, tool-independent processes if possible and quick tool change if necessary to ensure flexibility. By adding or removing robot cells, the production system is scalable in ramp-up and ramp-down of products. Since a wide range of cells can be manufactured by the flexible equipment, the investment costs can be recovered over multiple product lifecycles.

[ 3 ] Hofmann, J.; Halwas, M.; Weinmann, H.; Wößner, W.; Schäfer, J.; Hausmann, L.; Wirth, F.; Storz, T. & Schild, L. (2019), "Transformationshub Elektromobilität in Baden-Württemberg" in Auf dem Weg zur Elektromobilität – Wettbewerbsfaktor Produktionstechnik , eds. Fleischer, J.; Lanza, G.; Schulze, V. & , ., Shaker, Berlin, pp. 1-29. ISBN/ISSN: 978-3-8440-6953-2
Abstract:
Die Automobilindustrie steckt in einem Transformationsprozess un-geahnten Ausmaßes und Ausgangs. Ob durch striktere europäische Abgasgrenzwerte, den Zwang lokaler Emissionsfreiheit oder den Druck des chinesischen Marktes beim Kampf um eine neue Vorherrschaftsrolle - die Gründe deutscher Automobilisten zur Elektrifizierung sind vielschichtig und die Folgen kaum abschätzbar. Die Frage, ob neue Antriebstechnologien in den Markt eingeführt wer-den, stellt sich mittlerweile kein Automobilhersteller mehr, stattdessen verbleibt die Frage nach dem „wie“. Mit der diesjährigen wbk Herbsttagung „Auf dem Weg zur Elektromobilität – Wettbewerbsfaktor Produktionstechnik“ wollen wir die vorhandenen Chancen im Bereich der Produktionstechnik für die Elektromobilität aufzeigen und einen Beitrag dazu leisten, dass diese auch genutzt werden. Hochkarätige Impulsvorträge aus Industrie und Forschung schaffen die Diskussionsbasis für einen Informationsaustausch zur Elektromobilität. Die wbk-Herbsttagung bietet dabei eine Plattform für den Dialog zwischen Politik, Anwendern, Produzenten, Anlagenbauern sowie dem wbk als Forschungspartner vor Ort.

[ 4 ] Storz, T. & Fleischer, J. (2019), "Agile battery production – a novel concept for the manufacturing of battery cells flexible in format and material". IBPC 2019, eds. IBPC.
Abstract:
Despite the wide range of applications and requirements, standardized cells are used for a lot of products. Standardized cells can’t fit all the different needs of the various battery driven products. Our hypothesis states that product manufacturers will demand batteries adapted to their requirements for electric properties and installation space. This will result in a growing variety of battery cells regarding dimensions, format and materials. This trend is already visible in batteries for consumer electronics like smartwatches and smartphones. To keep up with varying customer requirements, cell manufacturers will need suitable, flexible machinery to avoid large reconfiguration costs for every new type of cell. As a solution, an agile type of cell production equipment will be developed at KIT. Inspired by modern combustion engine manufacturing, the production system will consist of redundant robot cells of different types. Every type of robot cell will be responsible for a defined set of production steps and will be equipped with easily exchangeable production modules accordingly. Thus, the robot cell consists of the robot as a central handling, various production modules that execute the production processes and a microenvironment casing that ensures optimal climatic conditions for each production step. The production modules will be designed to use kinematic, tool-independent processes if possible and quick tool change if necessary to ensure flexibility. By adding or removing robot cells, the production system is scalable in ramp-up and ramp-down of products. Since a wide range of cells can be manufactured by the flexible equipment, the investment costs can be recovered over multiple product lifecycles. As a first step towards agile production, wbk is in the process of developing and building a robot cell for battery cell assembly that covers the production steps stacking, contacting and sealing. It will feature a microenvironment and a robot for handling the cell (stack). Being part of the ongoing project “SmartBatteryMaker”, two material systems (NMC622/ graphite and LFP/ graphite) and two different cell formats (rectangular and trapezoidal) will be able to be processed in the robot cell without the change of tools. To achieve “plug & work” properties in the production modules, a service-oriented machine control will be adopted. After giving a detailed description of the agile production in general, the presentation will give an overview of a planned project to adapt the concept of agile manufacturing to battery production. Furthermore, concepts and the state of the “SmartBatteryMaker” production cell will be presented. “SmartBatteryMaker” is the first step at KIT and wbk towards a flexible, agile production of battery cells.