Liminal Launches Automated Echostat® Platform
September 12, 2022

The first and only in-line, high-speed inspection solution that provides leading-edge battery cell manufacturers and auto OEMs with a detailed look inside EV batteries

  • Delivers insights throughout the battery cell manufacturing process; rapid testing in seconds or minutes vs. days for legacy test methods
  • Decreases production costs and improves reliability by detecting cell defects earlier and more effectively

Emeryville, CA – (SEPT. 13, 2022) – Liminal, an industry leader in EV battery manufacturing intelligence, announces the launch of its EchoStat® platform, a fully-automated commercial-ready manufacturing inspection solution that improves the reliability of EV batteries based on ultrasound and machine learning.

Scheduled to be fully operational in 2023, this in-process inspection innovation is a groundbreaking, critical advancement toward helping EV battery manufacturers achieve the accelerated production ramp rates and cost reduction required to catalyze EV adoption at scale. EchoStat’s core technology has been validated across 50 different cell types by six EV OEMs and seven cell manufacturers.

“We see potential in the automated EchoStat platform, enabling in-process control of saturation quality and prediction of cell performance and cycle life. The in-line inspection solution provides opportunities to improve manufacturing efficiency, saving resource, cost and time,” said Anders Thor, Director of Communications at Northvolt.

EchoStat is characterized by its modular, chemistry-agnostic, and non-destructive inspection process. Its inspection equipment and data analytics seamlessly integrate into cell production lines and factory automation systems allowing EchoStat customers to perform inspections at multiple points along their manufacturing process at speeds exceeding 20 parts per minute.

“Our automated system can predict cell performance with 85% or greater accuracy,” said Liminal co-founder and CEO, Andrew Hsieh. “During end-of-line QC, our new platform is more than 95% faster than existing electrochemical tests and can speed up quality assurance checks from more than a week to as little as a couple of minutes with the same result.”

“Currently, the industry relies on the same basic tools, data, and methods to ensure battery quality and reliability as are used for cell phone batteries,” Hsieh said. “This is despite EV batteries being orders of magnitude larger, being produced at vastly larger scales, and requiring much greater levels of performance and reliability than cell phone batteries.”  

Under pressure to rapidly transition to EVs, quality control and reliability have been significant challenges for automakers. Recalls from GM, BMW, and Jaguar’s recent battery recalls have cost the automakers and their suppliers upwards of $3 billion in the past year.

“The industry desperately needs new and better data throughout cell manufacturing, along with advanced analytics to intelligently use that data. At Liminal, we see an opportunity to elevate in-process testing beyond simply pass/fail, and instead to leverage rich, multi-dimensional data throughout manufacturing to enable more efficient, reliable production of high-performance EV batteries,” Hsieh said.

As Hsieh points out, “EV batteries are not commodities. They are premium, high-performance products that are the beating heart of an electric vehicle and therefore require equally high-performance inspection systems. EV adoption will be driven by better quality batteries made possible by advanced inspection techniques.”

With predictions of battery shortages and skyrocketing costs of lithium (450% increase last year according to S&P Global) poised to fuel fights between automakers, a non-destructive battery intelligence solution that helps cell manufacturers speed up production, increase output, and improve reliability will be vital to stay competitive.

“Soaring raw material costs have already led to higher battery prices; manufacturing innovations present a key tool to help mitigate further price rises” said James Frith, Principal at Volta Energy Technologies and former Head of Energy Storage at BloombergNEF. “Liminal’s EchoStat quality control solution provides a novel way to reduce scrap rates and inefficiencies during manufacturing, which will help to ensure a sufficient supply of cells that meet the cost and reliability requirements of mass-market EVs.”

Liminal is in active product evaluations with several major cell manufacturers and auto OEMs. The development of EchoStat automated solutions for battery manufacturing production lines is well underway and is currently available for pouch and prismatic cells. Cylindrical cell inspection solutions will be available in the near future. A limited number of production-scale validation partners will be accepted in 2023; interested partners are encouraged to inquire promptly.

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About Liminal

Liminal is a battery manufacturing intelligence provider delivering advanced insights that empower cell manufacturers. Liminal’s automated EchoStat platform is a breakthrough in the company’s long-term roadmap toward accelerating the global adoption of electric vehicles through mass-scale deployment of its sophisticated combination of ultrasound and machine learning analytics for EV battery quality assurance.

Liminal was founded in 2015 by top technologists from Princeton University, who were part of the 2016 cohort of the Activate entrepreneurial fellowship program. The company is backed by Good Growth Capital, University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners, Chrysalix Ventures, Volta Energy Technologies, Helios Climate Ventures, Impact Science Ventures, Elemental Excelerator, and Incite.org.

Media Contact

Melanie Adamson, [email protected]