CATL / Site Ningde

Project focus

As the Chinese market leader in the production of lithium-ion batteries, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) is one of the ten largest automotive suppliers in the world. In 2022, the company generated sales of 48 billion US dollars with around 80,000 employees. In line with the technological innovations of Industry 4.0, CATL has been systematically building intelligent factories since the company was founded in 2011. The overarching goal is to realize a highly networked, flexible manufacturing architecture that uses Industry 4.0 technologies and combines a wide variety of platforms and systems.

The INDUSTRIE 4.0 AWARD goes to the CATL plant in Ningde (China), which is part of the Global Lighthouse Network (GLN) of the World Economic Forum (WEF). As every CATL site, the Ningde plant aims to achieve three goals of “eXtreme manufacturing”: first, to achieve a minimum defect rate, measured in ppm (parts per million / defects per million parts) in the production of battery cells. Secondly, reliability is to be guaranteed over the entire life cycle of battery products. Thirdly, the focus is on improving production efficiency and creating production capacities on a very large scale and high quality.



The awarded Industry 4.0 solution combines several elements to realize efficient production and excellent operations, which can be assigned to the following phases:

  • Factory Design: utilizing technologies such as digital twins to design and develop the factory buildings, production lines, and the equipment. For example, a 3D digital twin model simulates production operations.
  • Product Design: Precise simulation of molecular morphology changes, ion movements and electron pathways via cloud platforms. Continuous improvement of the R&D process, e.g. by analyzing more than a trillion pieces of data about the process and from vehicle operation.
  • Production and Operation: real-time process quality detection and closed-loop control are achieved by using AI. Use of AI to determine process quality in real time. Digital twins, for example, map all actors and elements of production.

Markus Quicken

Member of the jury committee of the INDUSTRIE 4.0 AWARD
SupplyOn AG

Highlight: AI-controlled process control system for coating battery cells

The process control system uses 5G transmission and AI to enable real-time detection of the membrane thickness and coating quality. It achieves defect detection at pixel level, a response time in the millisecond range and control accuracy in the micrometre range. As a result, CATL’s coating consistency has increased by 50% and coating efficiency has increased by 200%.

Highlight: smart full-process logistics system based on 5G and AGV

The plant utilizes an automated logistics conveying system. Based on a high-speed 5G network, this combines 5G and AGV applications in intelligent warehouses. The system enables unmanned logistics operations throughout the entire process from raw materials to finished products. This has improved human efficiency by 30%.

Highlight: environment energy efficiency control system based on AI

Using more than 50,000 real-time data points and ten million historical data points, patterns between system utilisation, energy consumption, energy efficiency and operating conditions in the factory are analyzed. In addition, an intelligent system will enable the site to monitor the energy consumption of its operations throughout the factory in real time.

Highlight: Predictive Maintenance based on Big Data, 5G and AI

The operating data of the machinery systems and devices recorded in real time is transmitted directly to an AI via a 5G network. The AI carries out a real-time situation analysis and fault prognosis. As results, CATL’s equipment failure rate has decreased by 60% and equipment failure maintenance costs have decreased by 41%.

  • Holistic Industry 4.0 solution that integrates all business areas from factory planning, product design and production to product utilization
  • Quality inspection with the highest accuracy for demanding product characteristics through the combination of 5G, AI and edge computing technology

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) / Site Ningde

Winner Category:
Process Industry
Automotive / battery production
Employees worldwide:
> 80,000

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