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Several leading makers of mobile computers have announced that they plan to co-develop standards for notebook and handheld devices batteries, which will allow the companies to ensure higher reliability and manufacturing efficiency of accumulators.

“Standards make things easier on suppliers because they have one set of preferences for how effectively a thing is supposed to perform, it takes you out of the realm of every company having its own individual specification. You also end up with something where there’s a lot more technical expertise going into it because you’ll have the experience of more than one company participating in making the standard,” said IPC, an association connecting electronics industries, vice president of marketing and communications Kimberly Sterling.

A report over E-Commerce Times claims that Apple, Dell, HP and Lenovo will meet next month in San Jose, California to define manufacturing and specification standards for batteries used in mobile and handheld devices. The move comes as Apple and Dell had to recall their laptop batteries due to explosion hazard. Nevertheless, Dell claims that the events are not related.

The companies are part of the OEM Critical Components Committee of the IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries and already have experience of co-working on standards. Back in May, 2005, the committee began working on standards for computer fans and less than a year from the timeframe the standard was defined. This time the firms expect the standard to be in place no later than in July, 2007.

The standard, or the standards, for notebook batteries will allow the leading notebook makers to improve manufacturing efficiency and have higher control of accumulator manufacturing process. The latter should ensure that actual producers of batteries or cells do not infringe any manufacturing rules to cut down the fabrication costs. Earlier manufacturers were reluctant to set up battery standards, as they were afraid of sharing their intellectual property and, possibly, wanted to ensure that they have the most cost-efficient accumulators for devices.

“I think things got in the way, like fear of IP (intellectual property). We’ve just got to realize that we’re not talking about IP, we’re talking about process control,” said John Grosso, Dell’s director of supplier engineering and quality John Grosso.


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