Polish LG battery factory’s struggle to improve yields

LG Chem is going to transform its plant in Poland to maintain the No. 1 position in electric vehicle (EV) battery business. It is planning to clear up the inefficiencies through continued battery expansion and yield normalization work.

According to industry sources on the 21st, LG Chem dispatched a Task Force (TF) team to an electric vehicle (EV) battery plant operated in Kobierzyce near Wroclaw, Poland. Efficiency improvement work will be carried out until November. In December, when the work was finished, the slogan was “Newly Born Polish Factory”. The work will be carried out on inventory arrangements and stable yield maintenance.

In the meantime, the Polish plant has been working on improving management efficiency occasionally, but this is the first time that a TF has been introduced for four months. Industry experts analyze that this is because the importance of the Polish plant, which has grown in size in several tens of gigawatt hours (GWh).

In March this year, LG Chem carried out additional expansion work, such as acquiring the TV plant of Vestel, a Turkish home appliance company near the Polish plant, for 31.4 million dollars (about 36.4 billion won). The existing plant’s yield continues to increase as the production line of the Volkswagen Electric Vehicle Platform (MEB) stabilized. However, the opinion that resources are being used inefficiently in the factory came out internally according to industry sources. The conclusion is that inventory clearance is necessary. Some production lines were renovated and improved with the introduction of automated facilities.

An industry insider said, “The Polish plant has continued to invest in remodeling the production line to increase the automation rate since last year.” “It was a situation where work was necessary.”

Currently, the plant in Poland is operating under plant 1 and plant 2. Seven production lines are in operation to respond to each automaker’s demand. This year’s plant capacity in Poland is expected to reach 40GWh. LG Chem’s overall battery production capa target is 100~110GWh.