The shrinking of consumer and industrial electronic devices requires that their power sources continue shrinking at the same or even greater pace. For example, while modern hearing aids are marvels of micro-engineering, even more, amazing are the breakthroughs in eco-friendly rechargeable micro-batteries that can provide reliable power to such devices. California-based ZPower has delivered many of those innovative critical battery technologies, innovations that resulted in more than 145 patents. The company is perhaps best known for providing reliable rechargeable power sources in the form of tiny silver-zinc-based batteries that can deliver high power to state-of-the-art electronics in modern hearing aids and small medical devices. Consequently, ZPower is widely admired in the industry as one of the important pioneers powering the (micro-) electronic age.
Automated Manufacturing of Silver-Zinc Based Rechargeable Batteries
The manufacture of silver-zinc-based rechargeable batteries is a complex and fully automated process. Like most high-tech manufacturing, large numbers of sensors are continuously collecting data describing tens of thousands of parameters related to chemical and physical characteristics and changes in the emerging product. These data streams contain valuable diagnostic information about the overall quality of the process, and if analyzed and leveraged correctly, the data holds the key to consistent, low-variability, highest product quality and yield.
That’s where TIBCO comes in. TIBCO® Data Science allows manufacturers like ZPower to create “digital twins” of complex physical processes. These digital twins or models capture in high-fidelity the specific settings and sensor measurements that are predictive of consistent highest quality outcomes. Prediction models can also be used to drive real-time root-cause analyses and interventions to correct even slight deviations or shifts in single or multiple dimensions.
“TIBCO Data Science allows us to tweak, twist, and bend analytic routines so they fit into our manufacturing process and, for example, let us monitor battery testing,” said John Coleman, a senior data scientist at ZPower.
As a result, TIBCO solutions provide 360° end-to-end visibility of all process inputs and outputs, as well as their interrelationships. These tools allow manufacturers to continuously learn, improve, and develop new insights into their manufacturing processes, resulting in less scrap and greater yield.
“TIBCO Data Science is the most flexible package you can buy. It’s going to help give us the visibility, stability, and process control to build the longest-lasting, most energetic batteries we can,” said Coleman.
With the help of TIBCO, ZPower continues to streamline manufacturing processes. “TIBCO products are accelerating our digital innovation and transformation journey. TIBCO Data Science provides a solid foundation to transform raw data to knowledge and allows us to make decisions to improve processes,” said Nitin Arneja, CIO at ZPower.
Perhaps most importantly, manufacturers can achieve consistently better quality at competitive prices, realizing not only significant ROI but driving customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, market share, and thus business success.