Three-shift facility squeezes more out of each 24 hours

Opportunity charging allowed the company to cut its on-site battery storage by two-thirds, improving uptime, safety and profits.
By Josh Bond, Senior Editor
October 02, 2012 - MMH Editorial

McCain Foods is a global leader in the frozen food industry, with 53 worldwide facilities. Just one of its U.S.-based facilities, working 24 hours a day and five days a week, ships more than 130 million pounds of frozen appetizers per year. The three-shift facility realized it was losing valuable production time to the management of lift truck batteries. Opportunity charging allowed the company to cut its on-site battery storage by two-thirds, improving uptime, safety and profits.

To meet the demands of a three-shift operation, three fully charged batteries were required for each of the facility’s 20 electric lift trucks. To maintain uptime between shifts, the batteries were stored at the plant—posing environmental and safety risks for employees.

Through a partnership begun in 1990, McCain’s forklift provider recommended opportunity charge systems and ran time studies to identify how long operators were running their lift trucks on a per-shift basis. The data helped the company consolidate and eliminate extra equipment, including 10 battery chargers and 40 batteries.

“We were able to change the way we charged our conventional batteries,” says Alfredo Villarreal, regional warehouse manager for McCain Foods. “By moving to the cutting-edge technology, our batteries could be charged more often, in the truck, and without damage. The difference between an 8-hour charge time and 15 minutes during an operator’s break affects our bottom line.”


Read more from the 2013 Casebook.

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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