Hello, I am Rami Younis and I joined the team as a minor student this year. I will be responsible for the accumulator management system (AMS), the AMS makes sure the high voltage battery that is used stays in a safe state.
The battery is a big container full of lithium cells, these cells are sensitive to temperature and the voltage also has to stay within bounds. This is done by measuring all 144 cell voltages and most of the temperatures. In case anything goes wrong the battery has to be electrically disconnected from the car, this is done with 2 big relays.
To do this a lot of pcb's have to be designed that go into the accumulator container. When designing these a lot of things related to manufacturing have to be taken into account, recently we went to TPB, this company assembles the pcb's. There we learned how the pcb's are assembled and how to design for manufacturing.
For example, at TPB components are placed with a vacuum pick and place tool, for them to be able to do this anyone in the team who makes pcb's have to choose components that this machine can pick up, otherwise less reliable and more time consuming methods of assembling are required.
After some presentations with information about the assembly process we also got a tour trough te factory to see how everything is done with our own eyes. The level of automation was pretty impressive, the bare pcb's get loaded into a line of machines and at the end all the components are on it without any human intervention. Of course once in a while the machine makes an error, but in the line of machines there are error checking machines that can find components that are placed wrong or not at all. They even send back the wrong pcb to be fixed automatically.
Going to TBP to see how assembling works was a nice way to learn why some component choices or design decisions are made to make manufacturing possible. Otherwise a lot of design choices would only be based on performance and making everything as small as possible without thinking about physical limitations or manufacturing.