VARTA develops and supplies smart batteries and chargers for intelligent assembly tools

In summer 2020, assembly specialist Desoutter presented its first intelligent battery and charger solutions to its industrial tools division.

This division focuses on the supply of assembly solutions and services for the automotive and off-road industry, the aerospace industry and general mechanical and plant engineering. With new standards of IEC62841 & UL 62841 being phased in for power tool manufacturers across Europe and North America, Desoutter selected VARTA to specify, design and assemble the battery and charger, which are now being supplied in mass production.

In collaboration to develop both the new lithium-ion batteries and the corresponding charger, VARTA’s experts tailor-made them to suit Desoutter requirements, with backward compatibility to the existing tools already in use. The collaboration resulted in intelligent batteries with smart electronics, increased safety and robustness and significantly higher capacity, while increasing the life expectancy. This helps to reduce the cost of ownership for Desoutter’s customers.

One of VARTA’s key development tasks was to design the new batteries to be sustainable in terms of achieving the longest possible service life. “We’ve succeeded in increasing the service life of the batteries at least by 20 per cent through electronics, for load management, mechanical design to increase robustness and physical protective measures for improved safety to prevent abuse of the battery. They prevent overcharging, undervoltage and over-discharging,” explains Gordon Clements, General Manager Solutions at VARTA. With addition of new battery data being reported to users, reporting charge cycles and state of health for predictive maintainance, were all additional benefits to users achieved during the collaboration.

The new battery design ensures that the battery cells are safely stored in individual depots. In addition, shock protection on both sides of the housing protects the interior from damage. The electronics control all charging cycles to ensure the longest possible service life. In addition, smart charging and discharging prevent the battery from ageing prematurely. “To achieve the longest possible service life, their batteries are practically never fully charged or completely discharged. VARTA’s battery specialists have accordingly developed smart electronics that monitor the operating status of all cells,” explains Desoutter’s product manager, Michael Loosen. For example, the connections are automatically disconnected in the event of impending high currents or excessively high temperatures during charging and discharging, thus preventing short circuits. This also applies if the voltage surges in one or more cells above a critical value. In addition, the battery electronics detect when the battery is not being used and automatically switch off the battery after five days.

The chargers can be used to charge both new and older batteries, with series interconnections, allowing one electrical outlet socket to power up to ten chargers. Errors during the charging process are indicated by a warning LED, and the progress of the charging is also reported.

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