WHO WAS THE CUSTOMER?
Megapower is a collaborative Research and Development program delivered in conjunction with AMTE Power, a leading battery cell manufacturer and one of the only companies making cells in the UK today.
AMTE are targeting the next generation of battery cells with innovative products designed specifically for high-performance cars and heavy goods vehicles to help decarbonise travel and freight. The Ultra High-Power cell has been developed with automotive OEMs to provide superior charge and discharge rates and is the product of focus on this project.
WHAT WAS THE BRIEF?
The MegaPower project focuses on validating readiness for scale-up through pilot production of the innovative next-generation Ultra High Power (UHP) Li-ion pouch cell for a Gigafactory.
It is funded by the Automotive Transformation Fund, supported through APC, Innovate UK, BEIS and DIT.
Physical production samples, of a quantity and quality will be produced to support the case for the commercial viability of scaling up the UHP cell in the UK. It will also include samples to validate technical qualification through battery safety and automotive readiness testing.
The Gigafactory plant is necessary for AMTE to enter battery supply contacts with automotive customers. It will bridge the gap between low volume output and very high-volume output from a Gigafactory site.
Such a project will also support the UK automotive and wider EV sector, by providing domestic battery cell supply of Li-ion products in a common 300×100 pouch format, helping current automotive OEMs remain onshore and not need to leave the UK to secure battery cell supply. It will also likely attract further foreign investment in the UK automotive sector, as currently our very limited battery cell supply chain is seen as a blocker to new companies setting up in the UK versus mainland Europe.
WHY WERE HSSMI BROUGHT IN?
In addition to derisking the industrialisation of the UHP product it is important to develop the business systems such that they are sufficient for high volume manufacture. HSSMI is ensuring that critical systems such as a Quality Management System and Business Operations (ERP, PLM, etc.) are developed in parallel with the facility and IT design. These activities are important for meeting the supplier requirements from Automotive OEMs, ensuring efficient facility installation and start up and reducing the overall time to steady state production.
WHAT DID HSSMI DO TO DELIVER THE RESULTS?
HSSMI is delivering on 3 key areas: development of a Quality Management System with AMTE Power, specification of IT Systems and the definition of a ‘digital thread’ that will provide the IT backbone to help integrate enterprise IT systems and unlock the future ‘digital twin’.
1. Quality Management System (QMS) – Automotive OEMs expect suppliers to comply with ISO 9001 principles and ideally IATF 16949 (evidence of the implementation of ISO 9001). HSSMI is guiding AMTE Power in the process of implementing a compliant QMS for high volume manufacture utilising systems already in place at the lower volume Thurso Facility and HSSMI best practices. Delivery of this work is not only critical to securing AMTE’s future as a preferred supplier but ensuring that manufacturing equipment and systems are integrated seamlessly from day one minimising the timeline to revenue generating operation.
2. HSSMI is hosting specification workshops – to outline critical requirements for the various operations Systems required to run the company as a high volume suppler. Subsequent specification documents have enabled AMTE to engage in Request for Information (RFI) activities. Careful consideration of the systems early in the facility design process enables strategic selection of software packages reducing the number custom systems, overall expense and delays of getting the facility online.
3. Integration of the ‘Digital thread’ as the IT backbone – in order to unlock the benefits of a ‘digital twin’ as an advanced production management system, it is critical that a robust ‘Digital thread’ is in place first. A digital thread provides the IT backbone for managing all data relating to product development, manufacturing and project management and ensures there is a single source of truth when sharing, storing, accessing and updating information. This makes it easier to integrate and harness digital tools, connect up Enterprise IT systems and gets rid of silos of redundant information. On the project, HSSMI is helping AMTE to define such a system with a particular focus on the PLM system integration.
IMPLEMENTING A QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM TYPICALLY ENABLES MANUFACTURERS TO ACCESS HIGH VOLUME, COMPETITIVE MARKETS, ENSURES PRODUCT IS BUILT TO COST AND ACHIEVE PROFIT MARGINS.
The following steps outline the key phases of implementing a QMS:
- Business Processes – Mapping Order to Delivery Flow.
- Define Quality Policy, Quality Objectives and Identify Defects (Design and Process).
- Develop Documents and Records.
- Define Quality Process.
- Determine Training Needs.
- Use the QMS, Review and Act.
- Accreditation (ISO 9001, IATF16949).
Contact us today for a short initial conversation on how HSSMI can help your organisation achieve its strategic goals.