National retailer activates battery management system

The system has resulted in yearly savings of $237,600 at the retailer’s eastern distribution center.

By ·

Renowned for its influence in the industrial battery industry, an advanced technology solutions provider began to analyze a large national retailer’s eastern United States regional distribution center.

The analysis was primarily focused on the distribution center’s forklift operator and battery performance, as the solutions provider discovered one primary issue—poor battery maintenance had resulted in a shorter battery life and run times, along with an under-utilized personnel and an excess number of batteries.

At the time, the distribution center had 194 36-volt batteries, 544 24-volt batteries and 229 chargers. The company decided to install a battery management system in the battery room, as well as single-point battery watering systems and battery watering monitors on the 36-volt batteries. After the battery management system was activated in June 2014, the personnel collected data for two years.

Guided by data from the battery management system, the distribution center applied corrective strategies and achieved the following results in key performance metrics: battery changes, cool-down time, pallet jack and forklift batteries, scrap payment and return on investment.

After one year, the number of forklift battery changes declined by 32%, while pallet jack battery changes decreased by 22%. During the second year, forklift battery changes diminished by another 10% and pallet jack battery changes declined by another 15%.

The time spent changing batteries was reduced from seven to five minutes. And, the number of battery changes decreased by more than 30,000 per year—at a savings of $194,728 (based upon an estimated hourly wage for drivers and battery room attendants).

The distribution center’s pallet jack batteries’ cool down time increased 3.3 hours (on average) in 2014 to 12.3 hours in 2016. In addition, forklift battery cool down time increased from 3.4 hours to 12.2 hours.

The distribution center reduced the number of pallet jack batteries from 544 in 2014 to 380 in 2016—and decreased the number of forklift batteries in use from 194 to 153. And, the DC reduced the value of its battery inventory from $2,460,000 to $1,810,000, saving $650,000 on batteries that weren’t purchased from 2014 to 2016.

The distribution center also eliminated 138 24-volt batteries (at a scrap value per battery of $400) and 34 36-volt batteries (at a value of $761 per battery) for a one-time scrap payment of $81,074.

Prior to 2014, the DC averaged $213,000 in battery purchases each year. After implementing proper battery management practices, the distribution center increased the life of its batteries by four to five years or more, while also reducing the number of batteries required. In 2016, the distribution center spent $137,883 on new batteries—35% less than it spent in 2014.

The distribution center’s net cost for management equipment was $58,000, which included the battery management system ($100,000) and the battery watering and monitoring systems ($39,000)—minus the money earned from the scrapped batteries ($81,000).

Additionally, the distribution center’s net yearly savings totaled $237,600, which included labor savings ($195,000) and equipment savings ($42,600).

Philadelphia Scientific
(215) 616-0390

 


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!

Latest Whitepaper
Insider Q&A: The Robotics Revolution is here. Is your company ready for it?
Download this free Insider Q&A with Matt Wicks, VP, Product Developent, Honeywell Intelligrated for his unique perspective on robotics in the modern-day warehouse.
Download Today!
From the February 2019 Modern Materials Handling Issue
Mobile collaborative robots have increased productivity and throughput at GEODIS’ Indianapolis e-fulfillment center.
Modern’s System Report: Robots at GEODIS
ProMat 2019 to showcase record number of exhibitors, 45,000+ attendees
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
The Impact of e-Commerce on an Organization’s Fulfillment Operations
This exclusive research study, conducted by Modern Materials Handling on behalf of Honeywell, investigates the consequences e-commerce has on an organization’s fulfillment operation.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
System Report: Bulking up at Canadian Tire
One of Canada’s largest retail brands took bulk handling to new levels of automation and...
Resilience and innovation at Gap Inc.
Just months before the start of the 2016 holiday season, one of Gap Inc.’s distribution centers...

System Report: Luxottica keeps it simple
Simplification and consolidation drove the design of a new 1.1-million-square-foot logistics campus...
Goya Foods’ secret ingredient: Lift trucks
The leader in Hispanic food and beverage products puts a variety of lift trucks and racks to work in...