UK-based Ilika Plc is making significant steps to implement its manufacturing strategy for Stereax solid-state batteries, using some of the recently over-subscribed £14.2m investment which showed investor support and belief in the technology.
Ilika has awarded a contract for the procurement of a bespoke evaporation tool (Tool 1) which – with the longest lead time of manufacturing equipment required for FAB implantation – will be ready in Q4 2020. Tool 1 will enable rapid deposition of cathode materials for Stereax batteries and with a 70x productivity increase compared the current pilot line capability, it can produce thousands of wafers a year.
Production of its Stereax microbatteries will be done by a third-party fabrication facility (FAB) and responses to Requests for Information from four FABs in Europe and North America have already been received.
All of this is part of Ilika’s strategic change to move to a manufacturing company of its pioneering solid-state battery technology for tomorrow’s MedTech and Industry 4.0 devices. In a connected world where one size does not fit all, the fact that these microbatteries are customisable address key challenges of powering things from smart contact lenses to industrial condition monitoring equipment. Ilika is working with an ecosystem of OEMs who have various ranges of power requirements.
Whilst the company has followed UK Government guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic with many employees working remotely, the headquarters remained open and business momentum continued enabling the manufacturing strategy for Stereax solid-state batteries to remain on track. It is expected that the Stereax pilot line at the University of Southampton will shortly reopen.
Trading for the year ended 30 April 2020 have been in line with management expectations and full year results will be announced in July.