If you’re a legacy reader of Industrial Laser Solutions, you know that battery welding, lately for electric vehicles (EVs), is a large market for all types and formats of laser welding systems. As a matter of fact, battery welding has been referenced 26.8 million times on Google (610,000 times in Industrial Laser Solutions)—and at the rate this technology is growing, these numbers could easily double by 2025.
It’s interesting that laser cutting steel, the largest single laser revenue producer, has only 1.46 million Google mentions (140,000 in Industrial Laser Solutions). In my personal files, the first reference to laser welding dates back to 1962 while laser cutting sheet metal first appears in 1968. Welding battery cases for implantables was an early success for long-pulse solid-state lasers. In 2010, Industrial Laser Solutions recognized welding implantables (batteries) as one of the top 10 industrial laser applications developed in the first 50 years of laser technologies.
It’s clear from the two features this month that you, the reader, will be learning a lot more about laser battery welding for industrial power storage units, handheld power storage devices, battery backup units, computers, phones, and tablets, as noted by TRUMPF’s Tracey Ryba and Travis Stempky (see article), and clean energy storage, delivery trucks, and public transit in the commercial vehicle market, as well as two-wheeled transit for personal mobility, identified by nLIGHT’s Tim Morris and Brian Victor (see article).
Laser technology to weld EVs has been the driver behind a host of technology advances, as both our features in this issue illustrate. Green laser processing is not new to the market, but to date has yet to find the industrial application that raises total annual laser revenues substantially. TRUMPF suggests it might, saying, “…the green wavelength lasers will play an important part in the growing electrification market.”
On the other hand, nLIGHT, which is leading a charge to beam shaping as a market booster, posits, “…beam shaping and single-mode beam quality in a single laser source adds the processing flexibility to control keyhole stability and weld quality while maintaining the high intensity necessary for welding battery materials.”