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Single-point watering offers quick and consistent battery maintenance for BJ’s Wholesale Club

Casebook 2012: Time-saving watering system simplifies supply chain for BJ’s Wholesale Club
By Josh Bond, Senior Editor
October 13, 2011

Many companies rely on lift trucks to move product quickly and safely. Yet watering the batteries for them can be a hassle. One membership-based warehouse club uses a single-point system to automatically water batteries, a system that has saved the company time and money.

With more than 190 operations in 15 states, BJ’s Wholesale Club takes battery watering for its lift truck fleets seriously. Inadequate watering can prove costly for the company through decreased performance and premature battery death. To support a competitive supply chain and pass down savings to customers, BJ’s maintenance staff pays close attention to water levels.

Rather than filling by hand, an inconsistent and time-consuming process, BJ’s implemented a single-point watering system with automatic shut off valves. Vent caps are replaced with interconnected tubing that allows quick coupling to a water supply. Once connected, water flows into each cell until it reaches the correct level.

“Single-point watering systems are an important part of our battery maintenance program,” says Charles Martell, maintenance manager. “They save a lot of time—just plug in the connector and off you go. It makes life easier to have one less thing to worry about.”

Filling now takes around 30 seconds per battery, and the extended battery life and performance further aid the operation’s budget. Excess water on the floor and on top of batteries has been minimized. Safety has increased since personnel are no longer exposed to noxious fumes.
BJ’s will continue using these systems as the Jacksonville center adds 12 more lift trucks to its current fleet of 54 in the next few months.

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About the Author

Josh 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.

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