Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Improving safety in lift truck battery maintenance

Single point watering eliminates the dangers of watering by hand.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
October 02, 2012

Several years ago, the Columbus McKinnon forging and machining facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., installed a single-point watering system to support its electric lift truck battery supply. Since then, the system has reduced employee exposure while improving equipment longevity.

Before the new system, the company’s electric narrow-aisle lift truck batteries often needed watering despite unavailability of the proper equipment. Replacing water by hand lead to dangerously creative ways of reaching the cells. Improperly removed batteries could be seen balancing halfway out of the forklift. During any watering, employees were exposed to flammable or noxious fumes, battery acid, and crush hazards. Because of the hassle, some cells were not watered at all.

The new single-point watering system includes automatic shut-off valves with interconnected tubing that replaces existing vent caps. The tubing is attached to the water supply by a quick coupler, and water flows into each cell until it reaches the correct level. Batteries remain fixed inside lift trucks during filling. And, employees are no longer exposed to acid or fumes since vent caps are not being removed.

Now that water levels are no longer estimated, battery life has been extended and performance has improved. The system is simple to operate and requires little training. Watering now takes around 30 seconds per battery, compared to as much as 20 minutes manually.

Flow-Rite Controls
616-583-1700
http://www.flow-rite.com

Read more from the 2013 Casebook.

About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

American Logistics Aid Network mobilizes logistics partners to deliver supplies to difficult-to-reach areas.

In a fundamentally changed world, your approach to strategy, and your supply chain, must also change. Andrew Winston, author of The Big Pivot, discusses how business can profit from this fundamental change.

Voice-enabled work is one element in a broad management strategy to improve order accuracy, increase productivity, and reduce labor costs in the supply chain. This complimentary white paper is designed to help you speak the ROI language, and provides a calculation formula to present the performance and financial payback from a variety of voice-enabled applications.

Conveyor manufacturers revise growth estimate up from 2% to 5%.

Experienced executive joins provider of automated storage and retrieval systems.



© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA