Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, has supplied and installed a Kulicke & Soffa (K&S) Asterion EV hybrid wedge bonder at the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC).

The Asterion EV gives the national battery manufacturing development facility, UKBIC, the ability to provide a wider range of welding technologies to its customers. The new wirebonder – specially created to support battery module manufacturing – complements the facility’s existing laser welding capability, meaning the facility can now offer different welding technologies dependent on the application.

Andrew Britton, UKBIC’s Business Development Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with Inseto on the installation of this new bonder at UKBIC, meaning that we can offer more welding choice to our customers. The bonder also features a non-destructive inline pull test capability to check weld quality. Also, with wirebonding, cells can be reworked and recycled more easily at end of life.”

Matt Brown, Managing Director of Inseto, added: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with UKBIC so that they can offer wirebonding as a means of interconnecting the many cells in a battery pack. Laser welding and ultrasonic wirebonding processes both have roles to play in battery pack manufacturing, but it’s the latter’s ability to place suitably sized wires that can act as individual fuses for each and every cell that’s got people interested. Also, there’s no need to pre-form complex busbars, which is the case for laser welding.

The K&S Asterion EV, one of the most advanced bonders in the battery sector, is ultrasonic and uses ambient temperature ‘friction welding.’ It can place and bond aluminium wire in the 100 to 600µm diameter range and copper wire in the 100 to 500µm diameter range.

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