News story

Dairy producer trials Li-ion

Wednesday, 29 July 2020 ( #985 ) - Irvine, CA, United States
A US dairy producer is seeing benefits from lithium-ion batteries
A US dairy producer is seeing benefits from lithium-ion batteries
A leading US dairy producer has boosted forklift runtime and significantly decreased charging and overall maintenance time after switching to lithium-ion batteries. The company was looking into ways to improve its operating efficiency and safety at its 13 manufacturing plants throughout the United States. The freezer and cooler environment, with low temperatures, put a lot of strain on lead-acid batteries, resulting in long charging hours and operation disruptions. Although electric forklifts are the best choice for food manufacturing and personnel safety, the lead-acid batteries were creating constant issues. Besides acid spills and fumes in the course of daily maintenance, the batteries could lose up to 33% of their power in cold environments. Because a lead-acid battery can't go under 20% of discharge, a rigid charging schedule of eight hours of charging and eight hours of cooling meant fleet performance was suboptimal. On the advice of dealer Nitco, the producer switched to Yale trucks powered by OneCharge FROST Li-ion batteries in a transition which did not require any operational or infrastructure changes. The switch at one site involves forklifts powered with batteries specifically designed and customised for each operation - OneCharge FROST I and II for freezer and cooler environment and standard American lithium for regular ambient temperatures. The warehouse manager reports a slight increase of forklift runtime and massive decrease of charging and overall maintenance time, according to OneCharge. The safety improvements are also important - there are no more risks of acid spills and fumes or risks related to swapping of heavy batteries. Other company facilities are looking closely at this case and some are already on the way to the switch to Li-ion.