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Battery Rooms Can Be Hotbeds of Waste

Six out of the eight most common sources of waste in warehouses can be found in the battery room, according to Harold Vanasse, vice president of sales and marketing at battery company Philadelphia Scientific.

The eight main sources of waste are overproduction, motion, waiting, transportation, over-processing, inventory, defects, and people. All but overproduction and over-processing are evident in the average warehouse’s battery room, making the storage area a source of considerable waste, Vanasse argues in a feature for Manufacturing.net.

The majority of these battery room wasteful practices occur due to human error. For example, if staff are correctly trained on battery life span and maintenance, they would be able to make the appropriate number of trips to the battery room to replace spent cells and those batteries would be watered and charged by the appropriate number of people.

If these processes are set up inefficiently if can also result in people moving too much while setting up batteries for recharge, and extended periods of waiting for fresh batteries by those employees on the floor, Vanasse argues.

Indeed, the main cause of limited battery run time, reduced battery life and waste in the battery room is a poor battery rotation system, according to Vanasse.

Operators selecting batteries at will are likely to get the closest battery – for a quick battery change, or the most full battery – for a longer run time. Tests show that such practices result in 30 percent of batteries being underutilized and 20 percent overused, Vanasse says.

A report out in 2009 said that corporate managers were just then starting to view lift-truck batteries as motive-power assets worthy of careful management, rather than costly burdens.

The report, mentioned in an article in Material Handling Management, said that a well thought-out battery management system, could save as much as 25 percent of the energy costs in the battery room.

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