Corporate managers are starting to view lift-truck batteries as motive-power assets worthy of careful management, rather than costly burdens, reports an article written for Material Handling Management (MHH). A company can potentially reduce its battery and charger count through the use of a battery management system, saving as much as 25 percent of the energy costs in the battery room.
In addition, a lift-truck battery can cost up to five figures, and if that battery is replaced because of poor charging practices or inaccurate lifespan calculations, it can easily cost a company thousands of dollars, according to the article.
Typically, high-tech battery management systems are based on the collection of mission-critical data including asset IDs for each vehicle, battery and operator, which is filtered into a relational database, where the data is analyzed. Users can then generate a variety of detailed reports in Excel or PDF formats.
Mark Soetaert, director of distribution center maintenance operations for Sears and K-Mart distribution centers told MMH that their biggest savings comes from usage reports that allows them to purchase fewer batteries. It also allows the centers to quickly and accurately look at underperforming batteries to repair or replace them.
The distribution centers use the EBatt suite of motive-power management systems from Temple, Texas-based MTC, which can help companies reduce their battery inventories from an industry average of two to three per lift truck to 1.8 or 1.4 batteries.
By optimizing battery assets, companies can lower operating costs and improve profitability, reports MMH. Case-in-point: MTC told MMH that if a company reduces its battery and charger count through the use of a battery management system it can save as much as 25 percent of the energy costs in the battery room.
Supply-chain managers can also try other green intiatives in their distribution centers such as integrating material handling and warehouse management systems to reduce fork lift usage and move products fewer times.