General Motors
GM's Ultium lithium-ion batter pack, one of the units comprising the fuel cell for the automaker's EVs.

Siemens, LG Aim to Digitize Battery Manufacturing

Dec. 14, 2021
Siemens and LG Energy Solution are in partnership toward a “quantum leap in battery manufacturing,” with a digitalization program that will launch at GM’s Ultium Cells joint venture in Tennessee.

Siemens AG struck a partnership with lithium-ion battery developer LG Energy Solution foreseeing increased cooperation in battery manufacturing – specifically in digitizing production process. Under the terms of their memo of understanding, the two companies will coordinate steps to promote “the process of battery manufacturing intelligence at LGES production facilities worldwide.”

Cedrik Neike, a Siemens board member and CEO of Digital Industries, predicted that the cooperative effort “will work on (a) quantum leap in battery manufacturing.”

The agreement is notable because LGES is the partner of General Motors in the production of the automaker’s Ultium lithium-ion batteries that are the foundation of its electric vehicle program. GM and LGES established the Ultium Cells joint venture to manufacture those EV batteries, and the Ultium Cells plant at Spring Hill, Tenn., will be the first site for Siemens and LG’s collaboration.

“We believe the partnership with Siemens AG will efficiently promote LG Energy Solution’s digitized manufacturing processes, ultimately enabling LGES to provide the finest services to our clients,” stated CEO Young Soo Kwon. “The process of manufacturing intelligence in producing batteries is becoming a critical factor, especially as LGES continues to advance the quality of its products while expanding production base worldwide.”

Siemens has developed a “digital enterprise portfolio” for battery manufacturing that LGES will adopt to accelerate its own digitalization plan. Together they will collaborate on a “digital twin roadmap” to promote operational stability, and develop training programs for future workers.

The Ultium Cells plant at Spring Hill is expected to begin production in 2023. The joint venture has two other plants in development now, and possibly more, to support GM’s EV program which calls for making 30 all-electric vehicles available worldwide by 2025. GM has said EVs will comprise 40% of all its North American offerings by 2030.

GM’s Ultium EV battery technology “provides the building blocks for everything, from mass-market to high-performance vehicles,” according to GM, and reportedly can delivery 450 mile on a full charge. The automaker also maintains that by 2025 Ultium packs will cost 60% less than the batteries in use today, with twice the energy density expected.

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