Fourstar Connections Blog

Successful Design for Manufacturability Collaboration between Fourstar and Ambri, Inc.

Posted by Steve Marian on Dec 7, 2016 11:23:48 AM

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Fourstar Connections Provides Strategic Services to Ambri, Inc.

Fourstar is honored to announce a successful, solutions-based collaboration with Ambri, Inc., a visionary leader in developing and commercializing the Liquid Metal Battery electricity storage technology with global transformative relevance. 

Ambri engaged Fourstar in June of 2016 to urgently manufacture their System Test Stand (STS) Balancing Boxes, which provide system connectivity and monitoring of vital system functionality.

Fourstar launched a concerted up-front, design for manufacturability (DFM) effort entailing design review, optimization of internal wire and cable routing, component compatibility verification/optimization, tooling assessment, development of sub-assembly hierarchy, creation of multi-level BOMs, drawings, manufacturing process documentation, visual aids, and test methodology. Fourstar also introduced ink-jet wire marking to this assembly, which improved manufacturing efficiency. These efforts resulted in Fourstar delivering fully functional STS Balancing Boxes to Ambri on-time, while enabling Ambri to reallocate their engineering resources.  

This successful new product launch of Ambri’s STS Balancing Box program has led to Fourstar’s support/manufacture of Ambri’s outboard cabling, necessitating the processing of high-temperature wire, which presented Fourstar with a unique set of manufacturing challenges to overcome. 

In addition, Fourstar is honored to be manufacturing Ambri’s test box equipment.      

Ambri’s Challenge

Today, the electric grid is the largest supply chain in the world with no warehouses. The electricity we use is generated moments before we use it. To provide reliable power all the time, the electric system is built to meet the highest levels of demand, which in most locations, occurs only a few hours per year. As such, asset utilization of traditional generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure is low. In addition, as we integrate more and more renewables on the grid, like wind and solar, there can be a supply-demand mismatch: we can’t control when the sun shines or when the wind blows, so at times we are generating power when we can’t use it.

Ambri’s SolutionDesign for Manufacturability_Fourstar_Ambri_1.png

Ambri is commercializing the Liquid Metal Battery, an innovative approach to grid-scale electricity storage. Ambri’s Liquid Metal Battery technology will fundamentally change the way power grids are operated on a global basis, helping utility companies, independent power producers, transmission operators, and end-users. Ambri will better integrate renewable resources like wind and solar, creating a cleaner electricity infrastructure. Ambri will offset the need to build additional transmission, generation and distribution assets, which will lower electricity costs. Ambri will enable users to reduce their electricity bills and improve reliability in the face of an aging grid.

Ambri’s TechnologyDesign for Manufacturability_Ambri_Fourstar.jpg

Ambri’s Liquid Metal Battery technology is distinct from all other electricity storage options now available or in development, as it is the only battery where all three active components are in liquid form when in operation.

The base unit for Ambri’s system is a fully-sealed Liquid Metal Battery cell. Cells are strung together within a thermal enclosure to form an “Ambri system,” which is connected to the grid with power electronics, is modular, and can therefore be customized to meet specific requirements. 

Ambri's Liquid Metal Battery is a low-cost solution using earth-abundant materials and can respond to grid signals in milliseconds. It can store up to 12 hours of energy and discharge it slowly over time. It operates silently, is emissions-free, has no moving parts, and is expected to last over 15 years.

As a sustainability-focused company, Fourstar deeply respects Ambri’s development of and commitment to this truly impressive transformative technology, and we are very proud of our DFM efforts and working relationship.  

If you are a customer looking for sustainable and socially responsible cable assemblies or complex box build solutions for your design for manufacturability needs, we would love to hear from you and find out more about your needs.

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Topics: design for manufacturing

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Finding a Better Way

Fourstar partners with leading companies to problem solve, innovate, and find better ways for New Product Introduction (NPI) and Design for Manufacturing (DFM) initiatives.

What you get:

  • Our project management and manufacturing expertise
  • Comprehensive range of products and solutions
  • Advanced IT systems
  • Exceptional customer support

From cable assemblies to complex box build solutions, we can quickly ramp up to meet target dates and volume requirements. We are dedicated to helping you improve program efficiency, enhance product performance, speed time to market, and lower total cost of product.

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