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Lithium-Ion Battery behind the trend of 'House Interior Show & Woodworking Girl'
As so-called 'House Interior Show' gets popular, more general customers are looking for power tools these days. And a research shows that the proportion of female customers has been growing faster, so we recently encountered a newly coined word, 'Woodworking Girl', which means a woman who, for herself, decorates interior including nailing with tools.
As power tools become more popular with female customers, power tools are also becoming wireless, light, and small-sized. And many tool makers are focusing on manufacturing stylish power tools that are smaller and lighter.
Electric tools can be classified into two types; Wired type which has to be connected to the power outlet, and wireless type that can be used with spatial freedom. In these days, wireless power tools, which is more convenient, has been reached at 40% of market share, and is go on expanding.
The most important part of power tools is none other than battery cells. Nickel-Cadmium cells were used in the past, but after the development of Lithium-Ion cells in the 2000s, Lithium-Ion batteries have been recently used in the most cases. Lithium-Ion cells has two times more energy density than Nickel-Cadmium cells so we can make them smaller, and they have longer lifetime which gives them stable performance despite frequent charging and discharging.
Installed with Lithium-Ion battery, wireless power tools become more available and are actually being used more and more. Due to the absence of plug socket and wire, wireless power tools are much convenient giving spatial freedom of movement. So we can say that wireless power tools, which Woodworking Girls can carry with just one hand, now became popularized.
[A power tool installed with cylindrical Lithium-Ion battery pack]
With the increased usage of wireless power tools, Lithium-Ion battery market for wireless power tools are significantly growing. According to TSR, a market research institute, the demand for Lithium-Ion battery cells for power tool is expected to grow from 363 million cells in 2013 to 718 million in 2016.
Samsung SDI, occupied power tool market with its world's best cylindrical battery technology
In 2005, Samsung SDI succeeded in developing power tool battery cells for the first time in Korea, and entered into the power tool market. At that time, over 90% of the market was occupied by Japanese companies. However, it was the result of our fullest effort for developing battery cells specialized in power tools based on our know-how from the past successful experiences of entering into the battery markets for laptop, mobile phone, and other IT devices
You may think that batteries are all the same. But remember that a power tool is something to drill through a concrete wall, to cut off a wooden piece, to tighten a screw, and to grind a metal surface. Due to such features, it is very important for power tool batteries to have strong power, large capacity, and stability. To extend working hours, battery capacity should be large enough. To resist vibration, stability should be a basic requirement. Especially under a heavy load, a power tool consumes drastically large amount of energy putting much stress on the battery, so the technology for high-output is essential in order to handle such condition.
[Samsung SDI's cylindrical Lithium-Ion battery and battery pack]
Samsung SDI stepped into the market with the products that have much higher energy efficiency by reducing electric resistance inside battery. Compared to the existing cylindrical Lithium-Ion battery for power tool, continuous output of battery has increased by 50%, and its mechanical strength has also increased by 33%. In addition, overcharging prevention material is put together, increasing stability and reducing the risk of fire and explosion under the unexpected circumstances, for instance, when the safe circuit of the charger is not working.
Sales to the Four Major Power Tool Makers hit 900 million cells in total
With these merits of our products, we began supplying Lithium-Ion batteries to Bosch, a power tool maker in 2005. In 2007, we were selected as the top supplier of Lithium-Ion battery and awarded Top Quality prize in recognition of our product quality and technology.
Once our technology achieved recognition, Samsung SDI's power tool batteries received subsequent attentions from world's major power tool makers including TTi, Stanley Black & Decker, and Makita. As a result, total sales to the four major makers until the last year exceeded 900 million cells. Such impressive achievement led us to the top place in power tool battery market. Samsung SDI is now occupying 50% of power tool market, which had been dominated by Japanese companies.
In August last year, we presented '21700' battery with improved energy efficiency to a higher level, for the first time in the market at the show 'Eurobike 2015' held in Germany. Cylindrical battery that has been mainly used so far was '18650' battery, which means 18mm in diameter, and 65mm in length. But the appearance of new applications created more demand for high capacity batteries, so Samsung SDI has developed '21700' battery, which has improved energy capacity by maximum 35% compared to the existing batteries. Applied to power tools, electric bikes, laptops, and other various applications, '21700' battery is expected to become a new standard for cylindrical battery in the future.
What an amazing role such a small cylindrical Lithium-Ion battery plays!
On the basis of our competitive power that allows us to hold the top place for 6 consecutive years in the world's small-sized battery market, Samsung SDI continues to make efforts to find new application markets and customers in addition to power tools. Please look forward to the new challenges of Samsung SDI's cylindrical batteries.