How Linear Motion Rolling Guides Address Li-ion Battery Manufacturing Challenges


As new electric vehicle (EV) advancements drive investments in an automated production infrastructure, there are aspects of EV manufacturing in which specifying an appropriate motion component requires particularly careful consideration. That’s because the heart of the EV — the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery — poses safety and performance risks that you must keep in mind when selecting motion components. To minimize these risks, it’s important to partner with a supplier that can help you select an appropriate device and offer modification options to meet the distinct requirements of Li-ion battery manufacturing processes.

Manufacturing Pain Points

Although copper is commonly used in Li-ion batteries, its hard-to-detect particles can contaminate the electrode and cause dangerous internal short circuits. Components used in Li-ion battery production should be free of copper-based substances and must not generate dust or dirt. In addition, moisture and humidity hinder Li-ion battery lifetime and performance.

Here’s an overview of how these environmental concerns affect component selection, along with the characteristics your motion components will need in Li-ion battery production:

  • Prevent contamination from copper-based metals. Because inspection does not always find copper-based metals that may cause internal short circuits or thermal runaway, it’s important to look for bearings and other components — including the lubricating greases you use with them — that do not contain these metals.
  • Moisture and humidity mitigation. Lithium reacts to moist, humid conditions inside the production area, transforming itself to lithium hydroxide and hydrogen. This reaction severely affects the battery’s charging capacity and performance, durability and, ultimately, reduces its lifetime. Li-ion batteries are manufactured in a low dew point environment where moisture is almost zero.
  • Eliminate dust and dirt penetration. In addition to the safety risks posed by Li-ion battery combustion, impurities that enter cells and electrodes can hinder ion flow inside the battery and affect its performance and lifetime. Contaminants may also lead to voltage failure.

Trouble-Free Performance

The good news is that linear guides can function reliably in challenging environments — such as Li-ion battery manufacturing — with careful selection, protection and proper lubrication. IKO has extensive expertise and a wide range of protective accessories available to create a custom product that will perform trouble-free.

For example, our Linear Way and Linear Roller Way lineup of linear motion guides includes products with stainless steel-made parts, and we also offer stainless steel crossed roller bearings upon request. Stainless steel is copper-free and desirable where rust prevention oils or dust-generating greases cannot be used.

Here’s how to customize IKO linear motion guides to meet the special requirements of automated Li-ion battery manufacturing operations:

  • Low dust generation greases. Ideal for clean environments, these greases mix a special thickener with synthetic oils to minimize dust generation while providing exceptional rust prevention.
  • A rust-preventing surface treatment. Black chrome surface treatment on the track rail and slide unit helps ward off rust. A fluorinated resin version is also available to prevent foreign substances from sticking to the parts.
  • Long-lasting, maintenance-free guides. Many IKO linear motion guides come with C-Lube, a self-lubricating system with a built-in capillary element that delivers long-lasting, maintenance-free operation, thereby saving time and money.

Specify Linear Guides With Safety and Cleanliness in Mind

When it comes to automated manufacturing of Li-ion batteries for EVs, motion components like linear guides must be constructed and outfitted for cleanliness and safety. Our lineup of linear roller guides deliver the precise linear motion these systems require, along with stainless steel options and protective accessories to help sensitive Li-ion battery elements avoid problems that stem from automated manufacturing.

For more information about IKO linear motion rolling guides, 
visit the product page.


B&P2024 B&P2024