Automate Your Warehouse Operations with the NexSys® AIR Wireless Charger

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- 25 Apr 2024 ( #1176 )
3 min read

Harold Vanasse, Senior Director of Global Marketing, Motive Power at EnerSys

It comes as no surprise that as battery and charging technologies advance, facility managers, particularly those with automated guided vehicles (AGVs), are seeking innovative ways to optimize the productivity and performance of their equipment.

More importantly, with post-pandemic market pressures ranging from fluctuating energy costs and sustainability requirements to supply chain shortages/delays and labor challenges, end-users are interested in minimizing AGV fleet maintenance and downtime, without comprising efficiency, to lower their total cost of ownership (TCO) and achieve true automation. 

Did You Know…

Many AGV operations assume they’re unaffected by these challenges because their applications are automated. What they fail to realize is current AGV charging solutions, such as battery changing, manual plug-ins, or “hot shoe” systems, not only expose them to labor challenges and workplace safety concerns, but also have inherent operational inefficiencies that prevent true automation. For example, what happens if the employee responsible for manually plugging in and unplugging AGV batteries during charging were to miss work? The resulting downtime could grind warehouse productivity to a halt and result in missed orders that jeopardize the organization’s reputation. 

Wireless charging systems offer several advantages over traditional AGV charging methods by providing a fully automated charging operation that eliminates reliance on human intervention. Wireless chargers also eliminate the wear-and-tear associated with physical connections between the AGV battery and charger. 

Traditional plug-in charging, for example, keeps the productivity of AGV fleets at the mercy of employees, whose availability and dependability is likely impacted by the 43% percent turnover rate in the warehousing industry. And while “hot shoe” charging appears to automate the charging process, the mechanical connections between the charger and AGV require regular human intervention to clean, maintain, and even replace worn parts. Failure to routinely maintain “hot shoe” charging connections can lead to arcing and pitting and impact worker safety, equipment safety, and overall charging efficiency.

In addition to reducing equipment maintenance due to worn charging connections and downtime waiting for workers to plug-in / unplug AGVs or change batteries, wireless chargers’ space-saving and flexible design frees up valuable warehouse floor space. Unlike “hot shoe” charging, which can cause significant disruptions to warehouse floors during installation, wireless chargers can be installed in a variety of locations, including preexisting racking or individual charging stands, depending on the specific application, and can be repositioned when operational processes or warehouse layouts change. This added flexibility helps optimize the routing of the AGV units for specific missions while enabling end-users to better optimize the overall layout of their facility. 

At EnerSys, we are driven to provide our customers with solutions to achieve true warehouse optimization and keep their operations productive and resilient. Our recently released NexSys® AIR wireless charger eliminates critical operational concerns facing end-users, including worker dependence and hazards from worn charge contacts – and delivers safe and reliable automated charging across a wide range of AGV applications. Their flexible design features 100% contact-free charging pads that can be integrated in a variety of locations throughout a facility to accommodate various equipment types, charging schedules, and energy demands. For added integration flexibility, NexSys® AIR wireless chargers are compatible with multiple battery technologies, including traditional flooded lead acid, thin plate pure lead (TPPL), and lithium-ion.

NexSys® AIR wireless charger advantages:

  • Eliminate downtime waiting for workers to plug-in/unplug AGVs or change batteries
  • Alleviate arcing and pitting from worn or dirty “hot shoe” charging contacts
  • Enable charging of multiple AGV and battery technologies by a single charger
  • Protect your equipment, workers, and facilities with advanced safety features that include Foreign Object Detection (FOD) and Live Object Detection (LOD)
  • Optimize AGV productivity with flexibility to charge during inactive periods

For warehouse and material handling operations, NexSys® AIR wireless chargers enable AGV fleets to operate safely, efficiently, and reliably by eliminating worker dependence for daily operations and charger maintenance, helping maximize the productivity of AGV investments and achieve the goal of true automation. 

If you have a specific application you’d like to discuss, please visit us online at www.enersys.com and get in touch with our team today.

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