Our unique approach to process innovation was not something that happened over night—it took lots of trial and error. However, at Group14 we thrive when presented with challenges. We knew it’d be difficult to solve the challenge of stabilizing silicon, and even more challenging to develop scalable processes to manufacture our advanced battery materials for global markets. Undeterred, we met these challenges with innovation and found success.
Group14 is a company composed of unconventional thinkers because we believe that creativity improves the process of solving all problems. It doesn’t matter if we’re developing a new strategy to scale for markets or inventing a new way to power the batteries of tomorrow. Creative problem solving is a part of Group14’s culture.
Video Transcription: Group14 VP of Engineering, Chris Timmons
At Group14, we value creativity a lot as part of our culture—it’s really driven a lot of our success and it helps us drive our innovation. Being able to come up with creative solutions to challenging problems is a big part of what’s helped us distill down our process into a relatively simple, scalable approach.
But in order to get to that point, we’ve had to take a fair amount of risks—calculated risks—but we’ve had to be quite bold, especially in the early days when we were developing the process. I think just culturally at Group14, our ability to do that—to evaluate those risks and to move on them—is driving our success.
When we set out to look at manufacturing SCC55™, our anode material, we really started with a five-step process in the laboratory. The initial phases were fairly complicated, but through a lot of innovation and development, we’ve distilled them down to two steps.There’s a lot going on in those two steps, but they are relatively simple on a broader scale, using manufacturing equipment that’s actually fairly common.
And the cool thing about this is that each of these steps is highly tunable. Not only do our BAM modules allow us to scale SCC55™, but we can tune the properties of the material to also make a lot of different products. We’re in the process of developing many new products and our existing capital infrastructure is going to allow us to meet a lot of different needs by the unique tunability of this process. It’s really cool.