Ford Motor has been granted a patent for a battery module locating tool. The tool includes a support pillar and multiple fixtures that can individually move along the pillar to position a battery cell based on specific measurements. The support pillar can also be adjusted to move towards or away from a battery frame. GlobalData’s report on Ford Motor gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Ford Motor, hydrogen fuel cells was a key innovation area identified from patents. Ford Motor's grant share as of September 2023 was 61%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Battery module locating tool with movable support pillar and fixtures

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Ford Motor Co

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11777131B1) describes a battery module locating tool and a method for assembling battery cells. The tool includes a support pillar and multiple fixtures that can be individually moved along the pillar. These fixtures are designed to locate battery cells based on longitudinal and lateral datums. The support pillar is movable towards a battery frame onto which the battery cells are placed.

In addition to the support pillar, the tool also includes a track along which the support pillar and fixtures can slide towards the battery frame. This allows for easy positioning of the fixtures and precise alignment of the battery cells vertically along the battery frame. Each fixture consists of a lateral wall and a longitudinal finger, with the lateral wall corresponding to the lateral datum and the longitudinal finger corresponding to the longitudinal datum. The longitudinal finger has a rounded edge that extends along its length.

The method for assembling battery cells using this tool involves locating each cell with individual fixtures, stacking the cells onto each other using the fixtures, and then removing the fixtures after the stack is formed. The method includes placing a first battery cell against a first locating fixture, lowering a second locating fixture onto the first one, and placing a second battery cell onto the second fixture. The fixtures are then moved away from the stack in a longitudinal direction, along a track if available.

The tool and method also involve adhering each battery cell to an adjacent cell using an adhesive. The fixtures are designed to align the cells precisely, ensuring a secure and accurate assembly. Each locating fixture is of the same size as the others, providing consistency in the assembly process.

Overall, this patent describes a battery module locating tool and method that enable efficient and precise assembly of battery cells. The tool's movable support pillar, slidable fixtures, and precise alignment features contribute to the accurate stacking and alignment of battery cells, making it suitable for battery module manufacturing processes.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.