Measurement Sensors for the Electric Vehicle Industry

In the increasingly competitive world of e-mobility, efficient production of high-quality components for electric vehicles (EVs) and their batteries is critical. KEYENCE sensors are playing a large role in helping suppliers and manufacturers achieve their goals for process improvement and component reliability. Below we explore how KEYENCE's measurement sensors are essential tools for the electronics industry in meeting these new demands.

Thanks to the massive jumps in innovation and high-tech solutions, the EV — once an object of science fiction — has become a reality for many. The electric vehicle industry is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and it uses measurement sensors to ensure the quality and reliability of its products.

Importance of Precision Measurements in the Electric Vehicle Industry

As with the rest of the automotive industry, precision in the electric vehicle industry is not a matter of quality alone. It’s also a matter of vehicle performance and passenger safety. With more and more EVs cruising through urban areas, ensuring the precision and accuracy of every component — from batteries to ECUs — has become crucial. This is especially true with the rise of self-driving cars, which rely on advanced sensors and complex vision systems.

Precision measurement results in precision manufacturing, which in turn guarantees that the EVs meet the strict, rigorous standards of the automotive industry and perform efficiently and reliably.

EV Battery Component and Assembly Inspection

Batteries are at the very heart of the EV, and a large chunk of research and development in the electric vehicle industry is dedicated to battery development. Batteries are manufactured in stages, implying that the individual batteries are aligned and packed into designated cells, they’re welded together, and the electrodes are precisely positioned to ensure the correct polarity of further assembly.

All of these operations demand dimensional accuracy and precise measurement using laser profilers or displacement sensors, such as KEYENCE’s LJ-X8000 Series laser profiler and CL-3000 Series laser displacement sensor. This allows the battery assembling robots to position the batteries correctly and weld them together properly. Once assembled, these batteries are spent for subsequent visual and electrical inspections.

EV Motor Component Inspection

Any misalignment in the electric motor’s windings affects their uniformity, mechanical balance, and electrical performance, which ultimately leads to other performance issues and increased wear over time.

To minimize the chance of that happening, the EV industry relies on the aforementioned sensors to analyze the uniformity of the windings and inspect various other aspects that comprise the electric motor. This includes the motor’s shaft, stators, rotors, and housing.

EV ECU Assembly Inspection

The electric control unit is the brain of many vehicles, not just electric ones. They control engine operation, fuel consumption, and several other factors. Since they’re mostly electronics, ECUs are assembled onto circuit boards, with connectors and various other components checked for defects and proper assembly, which ultimately results in a more reliable operation.

Types of Measurement Sensors for the Electric Vehicle Industry

Making an electric vehicle is rather complex, and the majority of the process is mostly done by robots. These robots often rely on complex vision systems comprised of several seeing sensors and cameras to guide them and enhance their precision capabilities.

Machine vision systems, such as KEYENCE’s IV3 Series, paired with other 2D/3D profilers and measurement sensors, ensure that the entire production process goes as smoothly as possible without having to sacrifice the aforementioned reliability and safety of the end product.

Integrating Measurement Sensors Into Electric Vehicle Inspection Processes

Integrating measurement sensors into electric vehicle inspection helps the electric vehicle industry remain compliant with stringent industry standards and various laws and regulations. Ultimately, these integrations effectively raise the quality of the end product while also minimizing downtime and addressing production errors in a much more precise and reliable way.

Interested in improving the production process of your electric vehicle assembly? Contact KEYENCE to learn more about our advanced machine vision systems and measurement sensors, designed specifically for the electric vehicle industry.