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A new approach to forklift batteries

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CENTURY Batteries has developed a logical approach to achieving the desired life and discharge performance from forklift batteries.

Century has identified that the area with the greatest influence on meeting battery expectations is the understanding of site-specific power requirements.

Drawing on its expertise developed from designing and installing dc power solutions for critical installations such as power stations and data and communications networks, Century Batteries is applying a logical engineered approach to forklift batteries.

According to Century Batteries' national sales and marketing manager Murray Craig, this approach ensures the end-user has an informed expectation of battery performance and is armed with proven methodologies on how to achieve the expected five-year battery life.

"For too long we have all got caught up in new charger and battery technologies and, though some new systems may provide better performance in some instances, they do not address the real issue -- treating each application as unique," said Murray.

"By measuring and analysing the current draw across a typical duty cycle of a forklift, we are able to match an application's specific power needs with the correct type, size and quantity of batteries, chargers and associated equipment.

"The current draw on the battery obviously changes dramatically between the various functions such as travelling, lifting and unloading with the added variable of fully loaded and empty.

“This is where all applications differ so much. Even sites that have similar lifting profiles may have vastly different power requirements due to travel distances or speed.

"We commence our engineered approach by firstly developing a thorough understanding of a sites past and present battery issues, current application of all forklifts and working hours.

"We then install state-of-the-art monitoring equipment on a forklift that is representative of each duty cycle. This provides us with the data necessary to develop the ideal power package to give the end-user the capacity they need to handle the daily workload and a five year battery life," Murray said.

As part of the package, Century Batteries also advise on the safety aspects of battery handling and maintenance.

"With the current intense focus on forklift safety by all health and safety authorities, the correct handling of batteries should be a key safety priority for all companies operating electric forklifts," explains Murray.

"We provide our clients with a complete review and recommendations on the battery room/charging area, watering methods and staff training programs.

"We can also supply the necessary tools to assist business owners and managers in protecting their employees, their businesses and themselves. These are products such as safety showers and eyewashes, maintenance kits, acid spill kits, and safety and instructional posters," he added.

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