Samsung SDI is planning to make a 150 billion won (US$128.31 million) investment to improve the safety of batteries and set up a task force (TF) team to innovate the product safety after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. This is to expand infrastructure to strengthen the safety of batteries.
Samsung SDI announced on January 23 that it has installed an emergency situation room at the Cheonan plant in South Chungcheong Province and established a production safety innovation TF team right after announcing the recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in September last year.
The TF team is the largest in scale with the involvement of 100 executive and employees for three divisions – development, production and technology and quality and verification. At that time, Samsung SDI President Cho Nam-seong said, “We are now standing at the crossroads of life and death of the company. Whether we work together for a complete overhaul or fade into the mists of history will depend on our determination.”
Samsung SDI first expanded safety management items in the development sector. It strengthened the detailed management items at the development stage in order to fundamentally prevent the compression of electrolytes, which is the cause of the issues with the Galaxy Note 7.
In particular, Samsung SDI added the X-ray inspection process on all products in the production and technology sector. The company established the zero defect system to miss a million to one possibilities with the X-ray tests on all products, instead of existing sampling methods.
Samsung SDI also enhanced the verification process on complete products in the quality and verification sector. The company increased the number of samples by more than 1,000 times to millions of cells and carried out tests under harsher conditions to detect the minutest defects.
In its bid to verify improved results, Samsung SDI asked a third party to evaluate its products before and after the improvement, and secured an objective verification result of the improved safety. Based on it, the company is confident that its sales will significantly increase in the first quarter this year compared to that before the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.
In fact, its polymer battery sales has already started returning to the levels before the Galaxy Note 7 issue from November last year and it is putting up a good show in obtaining car and energy storage system (ESS) orders, according to Samsung SDI.
An official from Samsung SDI said, “Even global smartphone makers are placing more orders for polymer batteries to Samsung SDI. Especially, Samsung SDI’s batteries are highly likely to be used in Samsung Electronics’ next smartphones.”