Equipment planning and facility layout

When it comes to planning for capital requirements related to electric material handling equipment and supporting assets there are several considerations to evaluate. How many shifts does your facility plan to run? Are there seasonal peaks that would periodically require additional equipment? What is the energy consumption of your equipment during the course of a day. Will operations be 5, 6 or 7 days a week? Having the right mix/amount of batteries and chargers will allow them to run longer and reduce the capital needed to operate.

Some multi-shift operations can benefit from opportunity charging to the extent that they will only need one battery per truck. This is a huge savings that requires a very specific charging plan. At MCP, we locate charging stations in strategic positions within the facility that make it easier for employees to plug up during breaks, lunches or shift changes. Making it easier for the employees will encourage the proper actions.

Opportunity charging requires an equalization charge every week to ensure the health of your batteries. If there are any off-days during the week, this would be the best time to provide that charge. An 8+ hour charge with an 8 hour cool down once per week will allow you to run your batteries continuously for the remainder of the week.

Opportunity charging and change-out hybrid

Some two shift and many three shift operations will struggle with a opportunity charging strategy with a 1:1 forklift battery ratio. Many times this mix can be far less than the typical recommendation of 2:1 for 2-shift or 3:1 for a three shift. A proper energy study from MCP will determine the proper number of batteries you need per truck.

Many operations can implement a combination strategy that allows for opportunity charging most of the time with periodic changes as the battery reaches a 20% state of charge. The image to the left illustrates how a combination strategy could be implemented with a narrow aisle fleet by utilizing roll-on racking and a side extraction device.

If you are struggling to maintain a heathy battery fleet, chances are good that the equipment ratio and/or charging strategy is out-of-line. Scheduling an energy study on your fleet with MCP is a great step to developing a plan that will get the most out of your assets. Allow us to help you determine the correct number of batteries, best type of battery, the proper charging strategy and battery change out requirements. Contact us today for an appointment.