EnerSys® Turnkey Solutions Enable True Warehouse Optimization

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- 11 Apr 2024 ( #1174 )
8 min read

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

While the year 2020 not only marked a new decade; it became the onset of a global health pandemic that even four years later, is still having a lingering effect on almost every operation you can think of from manufacturing to retail to e-commerce. The material handling industry is no different. In our post-pandemic market, warehouse managers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have needed to prepare themselves for the “new norm”, accompanied by a slew of unforeseen challenges to their operational resilience, including volatile energy costs, supply chain shortages/delays, labor challenges and increasing sustainability mandates. 

In fact, physical labor, including the acquisition, recruitment, and training of warehouse employees constitutes up to 70 percent of facility operating costs. Although there are still hurdles left to climb in the aftermath of the pandemic, many of these concerns can be mitigated through the selection of the right battery and charger system for your vehicle fleet. 

Thanks to a multitude of power advancements, Fleet and Operations Managers can customize their fleet’s power solutions to meet specific energy-related demands for each application including, lift trucks, pallet jacks and automated guided vehicles (AGVs). In addition, these same managers can also select from different battery and charger technologies based on their operation’s tolerance for maintenance downtime. 

Traditionally, the only choice was flooded lead-acid batteries and considerations were merely battery storage capacity and how many batteries were needed to support a particular application. But with today’s plethora of different power technologies to choose from, considerable time and research needs to be invested deciding what energy solution enables true optimization of each facility’s operation. At EnerSys® we’ve evolved with these expanded technologies and capabilities to make the selection process entirely scientific and less confusing – leveraging operational data and simulation modeling to offer optimized solutions that mitigate the risks of selecting a sub-optimal system. 

Optimization Starts with Operational Data & Objectives

At EnerSys® we collaborate directly with customers to conduct a complete analysis of operational needs and goals. This usually starts with an in-person assessment of the facility (layout, operating areas, etc.), an inventory of the equipment fleet (types, quantities, etc.) as well as an overview of the customer’s current energy arrangement, challenges and fleet operational goals. 

While customer goals and challenges are usually premised on throughput and productivity as prerequisite, they often intertwine with a myriad of other challenges, from minimizing fleet maintenance costs, to LPG price volatility to space constraints within their facility, to sustainability targets for reductions in emissions and water usage. Though these challenges are becoming increasingly common, many customers either have a portion of these, or other challenges that are unique to their specific operation. Understanding these objectives from the outset avoids a “force fit” solution and helps ensure that we are able to truly help customers achieve their objectives, in both the near- and long-term. 

Once we’ve aligned with the customer on their objectives, fleet operations data begins to be gathered – using data loggers installed on a representative sample of the customer’s fleet equipment to compile daily energy demands and other pertinent measures. This actual operating data starts to build a foundation for evaluation and identification of an optimized power solution for the fleet – even if it means different prescribed solutions based on equipment type, equipment operating hours or even functional department. 

That foundation data is then entered into EnerSys® proprietary monitoring software known as EnSite™. This advanced simulation tool then enables EnerSys® to model a myriad of different battery and charger options using the customer’s actual fleet usage data - generating customized guidance to properly size and prescribe an optimum power solution for each individual application. This enables EnerSys® customers to make a data-driven decision on their equipment power – helping mitigate the risk of adverse implications from a sub-optimal choice, based on their aforementioned objectives. 

For operations converting from LPG or some other internal combustion-based fuel, the EnSite™ modeling software can also estimate greenhouse gas emissions reductions based on the conversion to electric equipment – along with overall application performance, cost of ownership reductions and overall Return on Investment (ROI) over the customer’s typical ownership period.

True Optimization Requires Comprehensive Options

Any optimization is immediately jeopardized when your provider’s technology choices are limited – constraining your options based on their limitations. To facilitate true optimization, EnerSys® is the only single source for all major battery technologies used in material handling equipment. This includes advanced, maintenance free battery technologies like lithium-ion (li-ion) and thin plate pure lead (TPPL) as well as traditional flooded lead acid battery technologies. 

For operations that are a bit less demanding, where a more traditional flooded lead acid battery makes sense or is preferred by the customer, EnerSys® offers Loadhog® and Deserthog® battery options from our proven IRONCLAD® battery line. Loadhog® provides 17% more energy storage versus competitive designs, while Deserthog® dramatically increases watering frequency to once every two to three months. 

When operations become more demanding, but a traditional flooded lead acid battery is still preferred, EnerSys® provides IRONCLAD® Superhog® and Express® battery options. Superhog® batteries are ideal for operations that change batteries, with 25% more energy storage into the same footprint as competitive designs - meaning more work time between changeouts. For operations wanting to avoid changing, yet still prefer traditional lead acid, Express® batteries have been upgraded for the rigors of fast-charging during breaks and downtime, while still offering a 17% storage capacity over competitive designs.

For operations with more demanding applications that prefer opportunity charging or those seeking to eliminate battery maintenance altogether, EnerSys® offers advanced NexSys® TPPL and NexSys® iON batteries. For light- to medium-duty applications, NexSys® TPPL batteries offer 10% more energy storage capacity versus traditional flooded lead acid designs. For the most stringent applications, NexSy® iON batteries provide high energy capacity and are a great choice for applications involving repeated high-reaching picks or specialized attachments. 

Both NexSys® battery technologies are designed specifically for opportunity charging – maximizing energy intake when plugged-in during work breaks or between shifts. Their design also eliminates watering and long equalization charges – making them both a great choice for traditional and automated equipment.

Regardless of the types of battery technologies that are right for your application, EnerSys® has the solutions you need to empower your operational success with true optimization - no matter what your specific goals may be.

To complement our full suite of battery solutions, EnerSys® also offers a complete line of high-quality chargers for traditional material handling operations as well as specialized chargers for automated and outdoor applications.  

For conventional material handling applications, we offer our proven IMPAQ™ and Express® chargers as well as the advanced performance and features of our NexSys®+ charger – each providing dependable and efficient charging performance for their application. 

Perfect for fleets in light to moderate applications, the value-packed IMPAQ™ charger features charge profiles for flooded lead acid and certain NexSys® TPPL batteries. When applications are moderate to heavy, or if fleets have a mix of battery technologies, the advanced NexSys®+ charger offers the same capabilities as IMPAQ™ chargers, but also adds coverage across all NexSys® TPPL batteries and NexSys® iON batteries as well. For heavy, fast-charge applications requiring our Express® batteries, our specially-paired Express® chargers optimize charging performance and equipment productivity. All of these chargers operate at up to 94% efficiency and are UL certified and CEC compliant. 

For equipment operating at cargo terminals, ports, farms, rental yards and other outdoor areas, the new NexSys®+ Outdoor charger provides the advanced performance of the NexSys+® charger within an IP54 rated enclosure for resistance to dirt, water and seasonal temperatures. 

For automated equipment applications, the recently launched NexSys® AIR wireless charger offers a space-saving design with contact-free charging, eliminating the maintenance and wear associated with physical connections. Capable of charging traditional flooded lead acid, TPPL and Lithium-ion batteries, the NexSys® AIR wireless charger can handle a range of charging schedules and facility locations, ensuring more flexibility and reliability for automated operations.

Maintaining Optimization Requires Ongoing Vigilance and Support

Even after your fleet has been properly deployed with an optimal solution, there are variables that can affect it over time – from throughput fluctuations to equipment changes to operator discipline and more. 

To help monitor your fleet data and help support your daily operations, EnerSys® provides tools and services to monitor and maintain your power solution. With data monitoring tools and hundreds of authorized technicians operating from service centers around the world, EnerSys® is committed to keeping your power solution optimized – ensuring your fleet equipment delivers the expected value, reliability and performance. 

Your First Step Towards Optimization 

Once you’re ready to transform your operations, EnerSys® can help you get started - addressing your operational challenges with a data-driven power approach that includes analytics, a broad array of technologies, state-of-the-art management tools, support services and much more. Most importantly, it all starts with listening to and understanding what our customers need.  And if one of your goals is to get your optimal solution deployed quickly, we maintain inventories of our most popular batteries and chargers for quick shipment from our global distribution centers to get your optimal solution in place quickly.

With EnerSys®, you don’t need to be a fleet power expert, because you’re partnered with one. EnerSys® will showcase its turnkey power solutions to enable true optimization at several upcoming internationally recognized industry events including Intermodal (booth M010) in Sao Paulo, Brazil from March 5-7, 2024; MODEX (booth B8032) in Atlanta, Georgia from March 11-14, 2024; and LogiMAT (booth 10B09) in Stuttgart, Germany from March 19-21, 2024. Or you can visit us online at www.enersys.com

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Words of support …

After advertising with Forkliftaction.com, we got many enquiries regarding interest to be our distributor. Mostly from Europe and USA but including a few in ASEAN. We feel that the advertisement was useful and good for market expansion.

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