Features

Managing power demands in the warehouse

Jacques Smit, Director Sales Motive Power ANZ at EnerSys Australia, shares the importance of advanced technology that is more than simply building batteries and energy systems.

What is the key to being a global leader for stored energy solutions and systems? Jacques Smit, Director Sales Motive Power ANZ at EnerSys Australia, says it’s about recognising advanced technology as powering the future, not just forklifts.

EnerSys first began manufacturing batteries for industrial use over 100 years ago. EnerSys has grown to become a multibillion-dollar global industrial technology enterprise, delivering energy storage systems and solutions to customers across a wide range of industries and applications. 

When leading through innovation and pioneering the future of power there are always high expectations. Jacques says the success stems from working hand in hand with the customer and understanding their operations completely, and only then offering high levels of products and services through intelligent and flexible power systems the outcome is realised.

HIGHER AND NARROWER

Higher and narrower are terms that are all too familiar for forklift operators. But delving deeper into the requirements of Australia’s demanding warehouse environment, operators need equipment that meet the ever changing landscape as operations inside the warehouse continue to scale with the business.

Warehouses are rapidly expanding not just in size, but also in height—leading to new design innovations that are helping material handling equipment to keep up with demands. As we go higher, the demand for power does too.

In recent years, warehousing has experienced a steady increase in operating and real estate costs, inventory volume, and the number of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) processed. In addition to space, warehouse operations are also facing increasing demands for a faster turnaround to meet customer expectations and to keep space available for new stock, meaning continuous operation of forklifts and equipment to fulfil orders around the clock.

Jacques says that to remain competitive as e-commerce becomes a more widespread means of distributing goods, a more extensive use of existing warehouse space has become necessary.  “To optimise the available space, warehouse storage systems are being designed to store product higher and with height comes demand for power, and this is where the NexSys range has you covered,” he says.

POWERING ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY IN AUSTRALIA

EnerSys has successfully developed and delivered technologies to help advance the Australian and New Zealand materials handling industries, specifically to the DC power sector. Not only is the technology optimised, but it’s also a game-changer for meeting a sustainability strategy.

Looking at the technology itself, NexSys PURE batteries have taken forklift batteries into the next generation by adding an advanced carbon additive to its proprietary Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology for increased cycle life and higher energy throughput.

NexSys TPPL batteries typically cost less as an initial investment compared to Li-ion batteries and provide sufficient performance for light to medium-duty equipment, while the higher energy density of Li-ion batteries provides the performance needed for the heavier-duty equipment. 

Jacques says with faster and more flexible recharging, NexSys PURE TPPL batteries provide greater flexibility in deploying equipment through increased run time and reduced dependence on having to be fully recharged. “NexSys TPPL batteries, along with hybrid approaches that take advantage of both chemistries, may provide operators with cost-saving options to remain competitive in a changing market.”

He reflects on the reaction of the customer that is most satisfying. “It all comes down to tailoring the offer to achieve a sustainable power outcome that requires certain features. EnerSys uses our state-of-the-art power selection software to provide the user with a sustainability report for outcome,” Jacques says. He adds that customers that engage with the NexSys range of advanced technologies are amazed by how effortless they can run their operation and achieve throughput instead of focusing on battery related tasks. “Not only are they achieving savings in TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) but improved efficiencies through using NexSys technology.”

KEEPING UP WITH DEMAND 

“Nothing moves without power,” Jacques says. In the world of fast-paced logistics, the consistent supply of power is key to any operation to ensure optimised, yet consistent and sustainable power.

“Having the right technology in place tailored to suit your operation will ultimately support your growth. The wrong selection can be a costly and inefficient mistake,” he says.

There is rising concern about the end-of-life of new technologies that are approaching the materials handling market. “NexSys PURE batteries are 99 per cent recyclable. This product delivers equivalent features through alternative chemistry to lithium which allows it to be a sustainable powerhouse for the market,” Jacques says.

“In the modern-day operation, it is our experience that power should be ready all the time to react to demand,” Jacques says. He highlights that NexSys technology is responsive to this demand and highly recyclable, supporting sustainability efforts and reducing emissions and gasses. “We are proud to boast a 99 per cent recycling figure in our TPPL range and it can be handled locally by EnerSys to take care of disposal.” EnerSys also manages a cradle to grave process that provides the customer with a disposal certificate ensuring compliant disposal of batteries.

In keeping with global leadership, EnerSys has locations in all major cities in Australia to offer a National Service footprint. “Our major facilities in Melbourne have full manufacturing capabilities from large industrial telecommunications shelter systems to the battery tray we build a forklift battery into,” Jacques says. The EnerSys team employees qualified AC electricians as well as DC Technicians in all states to support the full power service required.

See www.enersys.com/en-gb

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