A world-renowned German industrial battery company with a strong focus on quality and innovation is bringing new levels of power efficiency to busy Australian warehouses.
, which launched its Australian operation in June 2020, is now supplying viable lithium-ion battery solutions via the major forklift OEMs in Australia for new lift truck fleets and as a retrofit option.
The company's introduction to the Australian market and establishment of its Sydney-based office and assembly plant solves all of the presumed drawbacks and risks faced by forklift, warehouse cleaning and access equipment operators seeking lithium-ion battery technology. These included a lack of local backup (with prompt response in Australian time zones), straightforward sales options and unknown end-of-life procedures for spent lithium-ion batteries.
While the company's Australian introduction means good things for operations that can benefit from lithium-ion batteries, TRIATHLON Australia can also supply high-quality traditional lead-acid battery options as well as other power efficiency enhancing accessories.
TRIATHLON's introduction to Australia has been spearheaded by Craig Kenchington, a materials handling industry veteran of almost 30 years and once vice-president of the Australian Forklift Truck Association.
Mr Kenchington said he took on the role as managing director of TRIATHLON Australia as it was his opportunity to bring genuine advancements to the Australian operators he believed would benefit from well-supported lithium-ion battery solutions.
"I have worked in the materials handling industry for close to 30 years, in that time covering everything from selling hand pallet jacks to small businesses through to negotiating very large lift truck fleet contracts with major Australian retail companies," Mr Kenchington said.
"Over the years I have seen sweeping changes across the industry; one of the biggest differences is how fast-paced many businesses have become in response to Australia's gradual transition away from manufacturing to a service-based economy.
"In many cases, I that saw lead acid batteries just weren't keeping pace with the requirements of operations that have to run double shifts to keep up with consumer demands.
"I also saw the potential for cost savings and more efficient operations in lithium-ion batteries when they were first being introduced to the lift truck market. However, back then they just weren't viable in Australia," Mr Kenchington said.
The establishment of TRIATHLON Australia has changed that scenario with its strategically located Eastern Creek office, warehouse and manufacturing facility, which is run by an experienced team of industrial battery experts.
TRIATHLON Australia's business model of predominantly selling through the well-known lift truck OEMs is also an effective and trustworthy way to bring customers the benefits of lithium-ion batteries matched to their choice of industry-leading equipment.
"There are a number of compelling reasons to specify a lift truck fleet with lithium-ion batteries if you run a busy, 24-hour operation," Mr Kenchington said.
"These include genuine productivity gains from longer runtimes between charging, not requiring battery swaps or charging rooms, faster charging and the ability to conduct opportunity charging.
"Lithium-ion batteries also have a longer usable life compared to lead-acid batteries and this can generate cost savings when extending the service life of a lift truck fleet for up to 10 years.
"In practice, this means that during the life of a lift truck, you'll only need one lithium battery compared to a total of four lead-acid batteries.
Lithium-Ion battery system can be used and recharged anywhere, at any time, without the need for centralised charging stations or large battery changing equipment.
"With the conversion completed, gone is the need to have a dedicated charging room with ventilation system as no explosive gases are produced when charging lithium-ion batteries.
"Your operations will also be free from the need to perform battery swaps and the long charging cycles associated with using lead-acid batteries."
Having a pre-existing lift truck fleet specified with lead-acid batteries should not deter operators from seeking the benefits of TRIATHLON Australia's lithium-ion batteries.
"Our lithium-Ion batteries can be specified to work as a direct replacement for your current lead-acid batteries without the need for any modifications to new or existing lift trucks.
"We build our custom-designed battery trays to the exact dimensions of your lift truck's original, for a perfect fit. We also specify weights so that the counterbalance maintains the correct specification and we offer other features as required.
"Done this way, the conversion becomes very straightforward: lead out, lithium in."
Mr Kenchington's long-term experience in the materials handling industry also means that he also saw major changes to the importance of workplace safety.
"These days, safety is hugely important to the materials handling industry and it is another area where lithium-ion batteries take the lead," he said.
"They are designed so that short circuits and accidental fires are close to impossible, even when our batteries are severely mishandled, and of course there is no danger of an acid spill.
"The fact that our lithium-ion batteries are equipped with three levels of protection against shorts and produce no emissions, speaks volumes about the safety benefits our products can offer."
The growing popularity of lithium-ion batteries also coincides with heightened global awareness of environmental sustainability and increased obligations for corporations to manage all environmental impacts of their business activities.
Lithium-Ion battery systems have been designed from the beginning with sustainability in mind, having been manufactured using industry-leading high-quality materials and components to provide an exceptionally long service life.
"Our commitment to quality will also allow for successful recycling of individual components at the end of their useful life. We are so confident in the recyclability of our lithium-ion batteries that we offer some very reassuring guarantees.
"First of all, the lifespan for a TRIATHLON®
Lithium-Ion battery system in a motive power application will last a minimum of 10 years. After this period, and once the battery is not meeting the customer's performance expectations, the battery can be returned to TRIATHLON Australia for recycling at no cost.
"TRIATHLON chooses the most environmentally responsible ways to manage such batteries, including rebuilding them where possible, repurposing them for use in a 'static power' application or recycling all materials using methods with the lowest environmental impacts.
"To demonstrate our commitment to battery recycling, we have our own subsidiary company - Ubatt GmbH - within the TRIATHLON Battery Group."
The TRIATHLON name is synonymous with lithium-ion battery technology. However, it also manufactures and supplies high-quality lead-acid batteries for operators that don't require the dual-shift benefits of lithium-ion batteries.
"Lead-acid will continue to have its place in warehouses in the future; it's a time-proven 'bread and butter' approach.
"There are still plenty of operations across Australia that don't run double shifts and won't see a cost benefit from switching their lift truck fleet to lithium-ion batteries and we can supply them with high-quality cost effective lead-acid solutions.
"However, now that lithium-ion has come of age and is backed by our Australian presence and offered through OEMs, you'd be crazy to not go with lithium-ion batteries on your next lift truck fleet if you're running double shifts.
To find out more about TRIATHLON®
batteries, visit www.triathlon-batteries.com
or speak to your lift truck sales representative to find out about installing lithium-ion across your forklift fleet.
TRIATHLON Battery Solutions Pty Ltd
74 Peter Brock Drive
Eastern Creek NSW 2766