Climate change requires the use of renewable energies, which goes hand in hand with the indispensability of efficient electrical energy storages – leading to an increase in demand for battery cells. Approaches to ensure the sustainable production of battery cells lie in product-specific analyses and to improve production and recycling processes. This is only possible when traceability of the cells along the production chain is ensured.
The use of digital twins can offer a solution for this challenge. However, the concept of the digital twin is still in its infancy – a clear definition, objectives of a digital twin and its components are not yet established in the field of battery cell production. Key challenges are the identification of suitable fields of action, the approach to be taken when considering different use cases, and the technical implementation.
In this paper, we propose a procedure to identify suitable fields of action for digital twins, to select reasonable use cases for realizing the benefits of digital twins and to prototype their implementation. We present a framework that maps the various fields of action for a digital twin in the context of the sustainable factory of the future. Furthermore, the identification of suitable use cases in the respective field of action is described. Using the example of battery cell production, we show how different digital twins interact with each other. The focus here lies on the digital twin of the machine, building and product. The aggregation of the twins and their use enables resource conservation and increased efficiency in the production and enables the optimization of subsequent value creation, recycling, and remanufacturing steps.