A new GCT customer is the global leader in the manufacturing of furniture and home products. In order to produce such a high volume of furniture they operate very large plants along with incredibly sizable warehouses. In total, the customer has over 13 million sq ft (300 acres) of facilities for the production and warehousing of their products. To ensure the customer maintains its position as the number one manufacturer of furniture, they continuously focus on quality and improvements in their operations.
Efficiently moving the large and often heavy products around the plants and warehouses is a feat in itself. The number of different products and the diversity between the products limit the effective use of conveyors and other normal automated material handling systems through all areas of production, especially in warehousing and distribution.
Improvements are continually being made to the different forklifts and material handling equipment available to manage the products. However, as the trucks continue to grow in both size and capacity the power requirements must also grow accordingly. The increase power consumption takes a toll on the outdated flooded lead acid (FLA) batteries, especially in the case of the Class 1 Trucks with Clamp and Lifting forks.The new truck drive such high power demands that it drives up to three FLA batteries consumes a lot of time in battery maintenance, battery swapping and in the end their life is shortened due to the high use.
So while the customer improves many areas of operations, the old FLA technology is a holding area which could use improvement.
Lithium SafeFlex Solution
Green Cubes Technology (GCT) produces many different power solutions so upon hearing about the high power use case coupled with the manufacturer’s desire to continually improve its operational efficiency, the GCT engineering team began working to provide a proposed solution.
Initially the engineering team looked at various other situations where high power material handling equipment was being utilized. GCT Battery Monitors had been placed at various existing customers location.
Having a broader range of use cases allowed the team to better understand the normal FLA operating conditions along with the high-power demand operating conditions. Both discharging and charging profiles were data logged to understand the complete usage cycle.
After reviewing the data, the GCT team engineered a Lithium SafeFlex battery solution which would provide enough power capacity to support the 24 hour operations at the furniture manufacturer through fast opportunity charging during breaks and normal shift change down periods.
Along with properly selecting a capacity to support the requirements, the correct Lithium chemistry and battery management system (BMS) had to be implemented. The proper charging and balancing of the lithium cells by GCT’s BMS provides a solution which helps reduce maintenance and handling costs significantly, while outlasting the cycle life of the outdated FLA battery technology.
The Lithium SafeFlex batteries enable our customer to continue with their goal of improving operational efficiencies.