Industry Insights
Accelerating the Launch of New Battery Technologies Through Collaborative Partnership September 24, 2013 | by Maria Koomen, Manager, New Business Development, Carestream Tollcoating and Doug Morris, CEO, Polaris Battery Labs

Today’s overall markets for lithium ion batteries are largely dominated by portable product applications.  The demand for these lithium ion batteries will continue to be strong and will experience sustained, rapid growth as a result of the proliferation of portable consumer and industrial products.  In addition to these established markets, the emergence of electric vehicle and large storage products will create significant new demand for rechargeable lithium ion batteries. These new markets are forecasted to experience exponential growth over the next 10 to 20 years.  To meet the technical demands for these diverse applications, battery material advances are accelerating with specialization and optimization.

While significant research and development is underway in raw materials, batteries and components, new battery technologies must bridge the prototype and production gaps to reach mass production.  Developing new battery chemistry is a very difficult process, consisting of material selection, characterization, design, testing and prototyping – all of which can take multiple years to complete.

The path from R&D to the pilot phase and ultimately mass production presents several challenges for many promising battery companies, including:

  • Generating samples for investors, customers and internal engineering evaluation and optimization
  • Reducing time to market, and
  • Minimizing capital and operational risks in building battery component manufacturing facilities while gaining product and quality system approval.

To help companies accelerate the launch of new battery materials and technologies, Polaris Battery Labs, LLC, a prototyping and process development resource for lithium ion battery products, and Carestream Tollcoating, a premier provider of precision toll coating services, have joined forces. The collaboration leverages the capabilities of both companies for customers interested in advanced battery and super capacitor development activities for a broad range of market applications, including consumer, industrial, vehicle and grid storage.

Polaris Labs is focused on providing lab-scale electrode and cell-assembly processing services and battery testing to OEMs, battery startup companies and material providers developing core technical advances in lithium ion batteries. By utilizing flexible processing equipment and methods, Polaris can accelerate early optimization efforts, experiment with different formulations, and create samples for testing and customer evaluation. Polaris’ line is fully customizable to meet a variety of specifications, and features the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of chemistries and processes.

Carestream utilizes precision coating methods and high-speed, wide-web assets and technologies developed for other industries to bring high yield and cost advantages to the battery and capacitor industry. Key capabilities include multi-layer coating on both sides of the web and tight thickness control.  Carestream’s contract coating services aid in development and manufacturing of novel battery components, including precision coating on foils and in casting advanced membrane materials.  Carestream is instrumental in bringing the new product recipes developed by Polaris to commercial scale-up and manufacturing quantities for their customers.

Working together, Polaris and Carestream help OEMs, battery startup companies and material developers overcome common roadblocks to commercializing their inventions.

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