EaglePicher Technologies Opens New Facilities

March 08, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

EaglePicher Technologies announced that the company has opened two new facilities for operations: the lithium-ion (Li-Ion) facility located in Joplin, Missouri and an automated thermal battery facility in Pittsburg, Kansas.

The new $10.5 million, 24,000 square foot Li-Ion development and production facility, located in the Crossroads Industrial Park in Joplin, will produce lithium-ion products with cell/battery capacities up to 400A hours, in either a prismatic or cylindrical wound format. Li-Ion technology has tremendous growth potential in military, aerospace, aviation, transportation, portable power and the implantable medical battery industries. The facility contains mixing, coating, calendaring, blanking, stacking, activation, x-ray, testing and material diagnostic equipment. Included are dry and clean rooms for critical process steps with dedicated air handling systems for each process. It will also have a full diagnostic laboratory on-site, paperless tracking of all cell and battery build and performance data, PLC capability and bar coding for all process steps.

The 30,000 square foot Pittsburg, Kansas automated thermal battery facility has also opened for operations. EaglePicher is currently using about 20,000 square foot of the available space. The remainder will be used for future expansion. EaglePicher claims that it is the only company in the world that manufactures thermal batteries on an automated production line. Patents are pending for its automated process equipment. In addition, digital x-ray and testing equipment is used to produce the highly specialized batteries. Like the Li-Ion Facility the process areas use "Lean Manufacturing" standards. The work areas are "dry" with a relative humidity of less than 1%. Dedicated air handling for each process is used, and each dry room area is access controlled.

"We are very proud of both of these facilities," stated Steve Westfall, President of EaglePicher. "They demonstrate the technological innovation for which EaglePicher Technologies is known, and we believe they add real value to the communities in which we work. Both are up and running on schedule thanks to the hard work of our engineering teams and the cooperation and support of our community."