Charging the Future: Battery Innovation with SLS

In the fast-paced world of battery technology, innovation is the key to staying ahead of the game. One manufacturer that has consistently pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in the field of lithium-ion batteries is Johnson Matthey Battery Systems. To elevate its R&D efforts, the Polish company has been successfully employing a Sintratec S2.

Battery Systems from Poland

With the capacity to produce over 3.5 million lithium-ion batteries per year, Johnson Matthey Battery Systems is a European leader in bespoke advanced battery systems. Located in the Katowice Special Economic Zone in Gliwice, Poland, the company has been at the forefront of battery development for over 20 years. The products find application in various industries, from e-bikes and power tools to healthcare and industrial cleaning equipment. What sets the company apart is their holistic approach to battery systems, from design to manufacturing, and ongoing support throughout the product’s life cycle.

Sintratec S2 at Johnson Matthey Battery Systems
The Sintratec S2 has been part of the in-house production since 2021. Image Source: JM Battery Systems

Innovating with SLS 3D printing

To maintain a competitive edge, Johnson Matthey Battery Systems has incorporated additive technologies into its research and development. The Sintratec S2, a state-of-the-art Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer, has become a game changer for the company. Jakub Szafrański, Test and Validation Team Leader, highlights the impact of the system: «Thanks to the Sintratec S2, we have the ability to manufacture mechanically resistant spare parts, as well as prototypes with thin walls. This solution significantly reduces the cost and lead time for spare parts and prototypes compared to outsourcing.»

Optimizing efficiency and throughput

Instead of relying on external suppliers, the Johnson Matthey Battery Systems engineers rapidly 3D print and verify adapters, jigs and machine components in-house using PA12 nylon. Szafrański explains how the S2 has helped the team streamline its production process: «Another advantage of the printer is its ability to increase efficiency with a relatively small financial investment. Instead of an entire system, we have added an additional material unit and the performance almost doubled. While one build module is printing, you can sieve the powder and prepare the next batch of components with the other.» In the company’s quest for continuous improvement, the modularity and scalability of the Sintratec All-Material Platform have proven to be particularly valuable.

Operating Sintratec MHS
Depowdered SLS components for battery systems
PA12 nylon parts for the energy sector
Components for battery systems are laser sintered with PA12 nylon material. Image Source: JM Battery Systems

Advancing the energy sector

With its ability to reduce costs, speed up prototyping, and optimize production, the benefits of selective laser sintering have become apparent for Johnson Matthey Battery Systems. But it’s not just about cost savings; it’s about staying agile and responsive in a highly competitive market. «The precision and production capabilities of the Sintratec S2 have allowed us to accelerate our research and development and shorten time to market», concludes Jakub Szafrański. By embracing additive manufacturing and SLS, Johnson Matthey Battery Systems has not only fortified its position as an industry leader but has also taken significant strides in advancing the energy sector as a whole.
SLS powder Mixing Process
Fresh printing powder is sieved inside the Sintratec Material Handling Station. Image Source: JM Battery Systems
Jakub Szafrański

“Thanks to the Sintratec S2, we have the ability to manufacture mechanically resistant spare parts, as well as highly complex prototypes for our battery systems.”

Jakub Szafrański
Test & Validation Team Leader
Johnson Matthey Battery Systems Sp. z o.o.

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