Lithium batteries play an important role in warehouse operations. They offer a host of benefits that can streamline operations and make sites more efficient. As online shopping in Europe has more than tripled over the last decade, producers want to deliver products to consumers as quickly as possible. To do this, they have started to implement many regional hubs in their supply chain operations rather than a centralised warehouse. Warehouses also need to maximise space and storage to navigate the site in the most efficient way. However, manufacturers also face increased pressure to make their supply chains more sustainable. One way to reduce the carbon footprint of these warehouses is to switch from lead acid batteries to reliable and durable lithium batteries. We have outlined the various ways in which lithium batteries can reduce labour costs and benefit warehouse operations, particularly material handling and floor care. Lithium batteries are easily compatible with the efficient automated guided vehicles commonly found in warehouses, are safer, last longer and reduce the space needed for storage.
Lithium batteries are compatible with automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and can reduce labour costs.
Minimise costs by providing the safest option for both AGVs and users.
Lithium batteries are the most cost-effective option
Lithium batteries take up less space and can be stored/used in colder temperatures.
Lithium batteries are compatible with automated guided vehicles (AGVs).
As companies now often focus their operations in regional centres, rather than centralised warehouses, it can be a challenge to fully staff these sites. A lot of handling is required for a warehouse to be fully operational, so companies have begun to reduce labour costs by relying more and more on AGVs. Lithium batteries are well suited for use in AGVs due to their long service life, fast charging capabilities and minimal amount of maintenance required.
By investing in long-life lithium batteries to power AGVs, labour costs can be drastically reduced. Since much of the handling performed in a warehouse can be done by AGVs, using these machines for mundane tasks eliminates the need to spend time and resources training workers. To make the most of the switch to AGVs, warehouse operators should equip them with the most durable and reliable lithium batteries to avoid frequent replacement costs and minimise charging and recharging times.
As operations have expanded faster than staff in many warehouses across the country, most warehouses are also experiencing employee turnover and, as a result, are understaffed. To overcome the difficulties of not having enough workers, warehouses can rely on AGVs to do much of the same work at a lower cost. A one-time investment in a lithium battery with a warranty of up to 5 years and fast charging times can maximise warehouse capabilities and minimise inefficiencies caused by maintenance, frequent recharging or site under-employment.
Lifepo4 lithium batteries made by NCPOWER minimise costs
Employees are physically safer when handling lithium batteries compared to lead acid batteries. Less maintenance is required, which minimises exposure to hazardous situations for workers. When handling these batteries, employees are much more protected, experience fewer work-related injuries and have potentially less costly workers' compensation claims. When flooded lead-acid batteries (FLA) are charging, they release a noxious gas and must be stored in a battery box vented to the outside. FLA batteries also contain liquid and should be stored in an upright position. These conditions make it more likely that users will encounter fumes, spills and, in the most severe cases, fires, the repairs of which can accumulate.
Energy storage systems such as NCPOWER's LifePo4 lithium-ion phosphate batteries offer the safest lithium chemistry on the market. NCPOWER batteries are not cobalt-based and therefore have superior chemistry due to a strong covalent bond. As a result, NCPOWER batteries are not prone to thermal runaway or fire and do not require additional cooling systems, as most lithium cobalt-based batteries do. In addition to having more stable chemistry, lithium batteries equipped with the NCPOWER system also come with a well-designed battery management system (BMS) that protects against overcharge, over-discharge, unregulated temperature and short-circuit conditions. Reduced chances of worker injury provide peace of mind for workers and minimise labour costs for operators in the long run.
Lithium batteries are the most cost-effective option
Lithium batteries offer up to 10 times longer life than lead acid batteries, which translates into significantly reduced replacement costs over time. On top of that, their performance does not diminish with use. The energy produced by lithium batteries when fully charged is the same as when they are 20 percent charged. Lead-acid batteries, by comparison, experience a decrease in power output with use. Lead-acid batteries can also discharge only up to 50 percent, which means that users do not get the full use of the battery's nameplate or rated capacity. Lithium batteries can be discharged much further, allowing warehouses to maximise the total battery capacity for each charge/discharge cycle. Many warehouses and distribution centres operate 24 hours a day and are constantly dependent on batteries, so battery replacements end up being a significant cost.
Lithium batteries require much less maintenance and replacement costs due to their durability. NCPOWER, as a Spanish manufacturer of lithium batteries, offers a warranty of up to 5 years. Lithium battery users will be able to utilise higher productivity with sustained power during use and fast charging for a lower overall cost compared to lead acid batteries.
Lithium batteries take up less space and can be stored and used in colder temperatures.
Battery storage is an important part of any warehouse. Lead acid batteries wear out quickly, especially after several years of use. Replacement batteries must be readily available to workers during their shifts so that they can install them immediately. As a result, these replacement batteries often take up an entire storage room in a warehouse. Online shopping is only growing and major retailers in the space, such as Amazon, continue to expand their operations. Product storage is becoming invaluable and warehouses are looking for ways to maximise their space. The extended shelf life of lithium batteries means that fewer replacement batteries need to be kept in the warehouse, so less storage space is needed. In addition, lithium batteries are much more energy dense and therefore take up less space per kilowatt-hour compared to lead acid batteries. This benefits warehouses because that space can be used for product storage, which increases warehouse productivity and generates profits. Maximising storage designated for products rather than batteries is the most effective use of warehouse space.
Lithium batteries allow operators to increase their uptime and decrease the total cost of ownership for customers. NCPOWER has proven that lithium batteries are a great choice for warehouse operations. The plug-and-play installation process of NCPOWER batteries makes it easy for end users.
NCPOWER lithium batteries are designed to meet the needs of hand trucks, automatic forklifts and electric powered aerial work platforms, making them an advantage for companies that want to adapt their traditional classic batteries towards lithium.
If you would like to learn more about how you can integrate lithium batteries into your warehouse operations, be sure to contact our Lithium solutions consulting team and start benefiting from all the advantages of switching to lithium by switching to NCPOWER.