Axeon is Europe’s largest independent lithium-ion battery systems supplier, processing more than 70 million cells per year and supplying volume production of batteries for global markets. The company designs and manufactures large-scale automotive grade battery systems for electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. The company developed the Battery Management System giving warranted performance that is reliable and safe.
Axeon’s electric vehicle market has expanded due to interest in electric vehicles and all things “green.” Prior to this expansion, the company’s focus was on a lot of mobility products, such as battery packs for power tools, and small batteries. Now, the company places more emphasis on larger scale vehicle Battery Management Systems. However, these larger batteries, with their greater weight and structural loading, require a more in-depth engineering analysis.
Axeon implemented the design software suite Creo to develop various components of the battery. Specifically, they are using Creo Schematics to design the electrical and wiring schematics, Creo Parametric for the mechanical design, Cabling Extension to route cable directly on the model, and Creo Simulate to simulate prior to manufacture. Creo enabled Axeon to subject their battery designs to a simulated real world environment. By also incorporating Windchill PDMLink, the company was better able to manage the entire process.
With Creo in place, Axeon was able to design its Battery Systems to have optimal strength in a compact, lightweight form. Using the software, Axeon engineers looked at the structures they created and saw an early view of their performance. Before Creo, the engineers modeled the components, built prototypes, and diagnosed and resolved any issues.
Now, they design, view, and simulate the battery system under real world conditions. Simon Dobson, Axeon’s Chief Mechanical Engineer said, “Using Creo we can optimize our product designs at an early stage in the development cycle, avoiding expensive and time consuming rework phases late in our projects. The biggest challenge we have is providing sufficient energy density in our systems. Current cell technologies require us to use many heavy and bulky cells to achieve the required power capacity.”
Typical vehicle batteries deliver 300 V and require approximately 90 cells to create the battery system. Axeon’s engineers have a modular approach to the way the cells are packaged, for material handling within the plant, and to help make subassemblies that can be dropped into the larger battery system. The engineers can test the modules offline to make sure they meet the quality standard, work with the electronics, and then install the modules into a final Battery System.
“Using Creo Parametric for modeling and design helps us to meet the challenge of making a structure that carries all this battery power strong and light, so that we minimize the payload of the vehicles,” says Dobson. “Without an optimized design, you could potentially add considerable weight to an existing vehicle.”
The company also uses Windchill PDMLink to control their CAD documentation allowing them to maintain all of the specifications and design documentation into one environment. Within Windchill, engineers can create template models to drive new product structures to the rest of the organization. The engineers share this BOM detail with the procurement team so they can review the reports and begin to understand the product under development. The change management function in the software allows Axeon Engineering to keep accurate revision control of all components and assemblies as modifications are made.
Filed Under: 3D CAD, Automotive, Electronics • electrical, Energy management + harvesting, Green engineering, Software