Situation & Challenge
A food manufacturer and distributor was experiencing a host of challenges reliably maintaining power to their lift truck fleet within their cold storage distribution facility. The operation required multiple batteries per truck and battery swap mode all day. They were experiencing the need for six battery changes per day on 60% of their lift truck fleet.
The battery room was small and a major source of operational bottlenecks and safety problems. Trucks would stack up waiting for battery changes, and it was common for a truck with a newly charged battery to become physically pinned in while waiting for trucks with discharged batteries to move.
Moreover, the use of old charger technology, as well as a lack of proper maintenance, meant the batteries were only lasting an average of 2.5 years. Operational bottlenecks abounded, operational efficiency was challenged, and capital spending was excessive.
After receiving two proposals from competitors, the account selected ABT for its ability to guarantee productivity uptime along with a reduction in battery fleet size. In addition, no other battery supplier had the remote monitoring capability to give the account peace of mind that it could deliver reliable power.
After studying the operation for months, ABT introduced the customer to a hybrid concept of battery changing. This proposal would dramatically reduce both the space needed to store batteries, and the number of trucks traveling to the battery room for battery swapping. The solution included an electronic first-in, first-out (FIFO) system on the high-usage trucks, and one battery per truck using opportunity charging where applicable.