New batteries and chargers eliminate equipment “nightmares”
A 24/7 facility modernizes its fleet to achieve sustainability objectives without compromising customer service.
Warehouse in the NewsThe State of the DC Voice Market Cold Chain Embraces Automated Storage Totes keep produce fresh from field to store JDA partners with AWESOME Vecna Robotics names CEO Daniel Patt, former head of DARPA Autonomy More Warehouse News
Warehouse ResourceThe State of the DC Voice Market Available On-Demand. Watch Now.
Piazza Produce is a produce distribution company based in Indianapolis that delivers fresh produce and specialty foods to more than 150 cities across four states. Scott Lutocka, the new facilities and sustainability manager, identified a host of equipment challenges and breakdowns including multiple lift truck battery failures. However, the company’s 24/7 warehouse was able to transition to new batteries and charger systems without downtime.
“These changes instantly made our nightmares go away, and we were able to focus on additional efficiency opportunities,” says Lutocka, who adds that his driving force is to make the company sustainable with a goal of achieving zero-waste status. “These chargers are reliable workhorses that helped improve warehouse conditions significantly. There’s also inherent value in purchasing quality equipment that lasts for years without having to make unnecessary early replacements.”
Knowing that short cycling is dangerous and costly, Piazza Produce purchased 10 four-circuit chargers (Ametek Prestolite Power) for its existing riding pallet jacks along with 45 new pallet jacks, bringing its fleet to 60. The DC’s original charging area was grossly undersized, and they knew replacing chargers would require new space in the warehouse. Since they couldn’t afford downtime to switch out existing equipment, they worked with electricians to design a new area that would keep the fleet working in its 24/7 environment. Once the entire new fleet of batteries and chargers were up and running, the team conducted training with all shifts of employees, ensuring the proper methods of charging and equipment maintenance.
“Once the system was functional, we immediately saw benefits in efficiency with more than two hours of time savings for night shifts going out for delivery the next day,” Lutocka says. “In spite of the size of the project, everything went smoothly.”
With the fleet’s daily use factor so high, short charges have been stopped and the life cycle of each battery is still on track to continue for years to come.
About the AuthorJosh Bond, Senior Editor Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.
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!
The Big Picture: Navigation Gets a Reboot for Automatic Vehicles Top 20 3PL Warehouses 2017: Growth amid change View More From this Issue