Philipp Wunderlich studied materials science at RWTH Aachen University and entered battery research in California in 2014 by investigating electrode materials fornext-generation battery technologies. In the following years, he developed high-energycarbon electrodes for post-lithium-ion batteries as part of his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry and Electrochemistry. After that, Philipp worked as a postdoc in the Battery Components & Recycling group at the chair of production engineering of e-mobility components of RWTH Aachen University. In 2020 he became a project manager at umlaut, a group of consultancies and engineering firms that was eventually acquired by Accenture, a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital and consulting.
As of today, he is senior manager at Accenture’s Industry X and head of the battery consulting resort. He and his team are providing technical advisory and engineering services to the European battery industry. Their key topics are battery industrialization in Giga factories, energy storage solutions, circular economy,and digitalization in the battery value chain. Philipp has been speaker on various international industry events and conferences, where he presented insights on future battery materials, market strategies and smart battery production.
Lithium-ion battery technology has reached maturity through extensive research over the last decades and is now gaining significant economic scale thanks to the transformation of the automotive industry. Europe is now preparing its industry for a rapidly growing demand in sustainable energy storage. The last years have shown that the numerous projects for large-scale battery cell production plants are accompanied by announcements for the creation of local supply chains. Next to the established Asian players, the emerging local market comprises powerful automotive OEMs, who still undergo the digital transformation themselves, but also agile startups who think “digital first”. The race is on and the next years will show who will succeed in setting up Giga factories and conquer marke shares in the mobility, energy and industrial sectors.
In this presentation, we share cross-industry perspectives and insights from Europe’s emerging battery market to critically assess the role of digitalization in this domain. Are digital technologies a chance to catch up on leading cell manufacturers or will it only play a minor role in an unpredictable market that is driven by global raw material supply dynamics and constant technological evolution?
We will present case studies of state-of-the-art solutions that are being mplemented in the battery value chain and especially in lithium-ion battery cell production. Technology solutions like digital twins, machine learning, IT/OT architectures, traceability, robotics, and automation are considered to make the cell production in modern Giga factories more efficient, cheaper and sustainable. The big challenge is that battery manufacturing is a unique multidisciplinary process that leads to a highly complex electrochemical device. On top of that, battery technology keeps evolving in short development cycles. This requires proper battery data management not only in the production phase,but across the entire product lifecycle, which begins with the mining of the raw materials. At the end of the battery life, downstream in the value chain,battery users and recyclers are looking at digital solutions such as the battery passport or software platform for battery management. They do it not only to comply with EU directives or thrive for a closed-loop battery economy, but also to gain a competitive advantage through the application of digital technologies.