Breakthroughs, Branching Out, and Big Things to Come: Liminal Looks Back on 2023
December 20, 2023

A note from Andrew Hsieh, CEO & Co-Founder of Liminal:

The electric vehicle transition is speeding up, and Liminal is accelerating right alongside it. This year, we debuted our first-ever in-line battery inspection solution, welcomed new advisors whose expertise has already proven instrumental, and deepened our approach to collaboration. It all adds up to a major inflection point for Liminal and the perfect springboard into another year of growth.

Launching the First Comprehensive Ultrasonic In-line Inspection Solution

Rapidly achieving and maintaining high quality in lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing remains a major hurdle in the EV transition. The limited availability of real-time, in-depth insights on quality is a significant bottleneck in production. The launch of our new in-line EchoStat® inspection solution is a big step toward speeding things up.

With EchoStat, battery makers can inspect 100% of their cells seamlessly within the manufacturing flow to detect critical defects and predict their performance. This boosts the ramp up of high-quality cell production, reduces process waste, and accelerates the transition to affordable EVs.

The transition to in-line systems is a significant inflection point for Liminal and a key differentiator for our solutions. Launching this new product also presented numerous challenges that required our team to work together like never before. But our foundation of trust and collaboration—with each other, our partners, and our customers—enabled us to achieve this incredible milestone.

Expert Advisors to Guide Next Steps

As we prepare to expand our impact going forward, we’ve recruited industry experts to help guide our growth.

We often look to the semiconductor industry for inspiration, especially when it comes to the value of data and inspection in enabling manufacturing yield and quality. Jihyun Tornow’s product management and business development expertise in that field, and ability to clearly communicate key value propositions, has been an incredible resource.

Likewise, Kenzo Nagai’s decades in Li-ion battery manufacturing and first-hand experience on the factory floor has proven invaluable, as he is a widely trusted and respected expert in the industry. He provides a deep and nuanced perspective on the challenges our customers face and how we can create value by solving them.

Of course, our customers are large organizations composed of myriad people and functions, each with their own priorities. Navigating these complex dynamics is much simpler now that we can call on Denise Gray for advice. A proven leader and engineer with experience in the automotive and battery sectors, she’s deeply familiar with what it takes to build successful partnerships and organizational relationships.

2024 and Beyond

While 2023 was a productive year for Liminal, it was uneven for EV and battery markets as a whole. Demand for EVs is still accelerating globally, but not at the rate that automakers had expected. Cost has a lot to do with that, as do concerns with battery performance. And as automakers’ expectations on cell quality, safety, and reliability continue to increase, this adds pressure to battery manufacturers’ already significant challenges.

While this has caused some near-term uncertainty for battery cell makers, a near-term slow-down gives battery manufacturers time to implement manufacturing innovations that can reduce cost, improve quality, and speed up production. That gives us a major opportunity. With solutions for off-line testing and in-line inspection, we’re entering 2024 well-positioned to become a trusted partner for battery quality.