Most warehouse managers can agree: time is money. Taking steps to increase productivity while cutting down on wasted time should be a priority for every warehouse. But when it comes to forklifts, battery charging can be a tedious task that costs precious hours. Since forklift fleets are the workhorses of many warehouses, improperly charged forklift batteries can stall entire operations and cause productivity to suffer.
For warehouse managers looking for ways to receive the most out of their forklift batteries, opportunity chargers may be an effective alternative method to increase efficiency.
What Are Opportunity Chargers?
Opportunity chargers are a charging system that allows batteries to be charged several times during a shift, which is about eight hours in total. This enables one battery to be used in a forklift much longer than a traditional battery. With opportunity charging, a battery can last multiple shifts—which means time that would have been spent changing dying batteries is now saved..
As opposed to traditional forklift battery chargers, opportunity chargers are charged to about 80 percent during vehicle downtime. This takes only about ten to thirty minutes, as opposed to the eight to ten hours it takes for a conventional vehicle to charge.
When Would I Use an Opportunity Charger?
Since opportunity chargers only take a fraction of the time it takes to charge conventional batteries, they are best reserved for warehouses with multiple shifts that need to utilize as much time as possible during these shifts. Batteries generally last just long enough to get through two-shift operations by charging up to 80 percent during employee breaks or downtime.
For warehouses with multi-shift operations who want to be as productive as possible during a two-shift span, opportunity chargers may be ideal. The warehouse design would need to be optimized for opportunity chargers by installing strategic charging stations so batteries can be charged during breaks when needed. Once a week, opportunity chargers must be 100 percent charged to be fully equalized.
Top Benefits of Opportunity Chargers
This alternative charging method offers a plethora of benefits for facilities with multi-shift operations looking to increase productivity while reducing time spent on operations.
With batteries being charged by opportunity chargers, employees don’t have to stall operations to change batteries. Instead of hours of charging, batteries only need to be charged between ten and thirty minutes. This can conveniently be done during employee breaks where there is already downtime, so any further productivity is not lost.
Optimize Aging Batteries
Opportunity charging can extend the lifespan of aging batteries since it charges the batteries throughout the day. Warehouses with older batteries may wish to change to opportunity charging to receive the greatest ROI out of their motive power investments.
With less time spent changing spent batteries, employees can spend less time traveling to and from battery-changing rooms. This reduces the chance of slipping and fall or tripping on something on the floor as employees rush to get to the battery-changing room. Leveraging opportunity chargers also reduces the chances of an employee suffering injuries as a result of handling heavy and spent batteries in and out of forklifts more often than necessary.
Lower Capital Expenditures
Speeding up the charging process allows for forklifts to be increasingly more productive during shifts than if they were charged via conventional chargers. Since singular batteries are charged at 80 percent capacity continuously rather than repeatedly replaced throughout the day, the number of total batteries is reduced. Less batteries results in reduced maintenance costs and lower operational costs due to lost productivity and downtime.
Optimize Your Warehouse with Opportunity Chargers
While opportunity chargers can be an effective alternative to conventional means of forklift battery recharging methods, they are not ideal for every warehouse. Since they need to be charged at least once a week to 100 percent, they are not the most effective solution for warehouses with around-the-clock operations.
Additionally, a warehouse’s layout should be optimized with opportunity charging stations strategically placed near break rooms so employees can quickly charge batteries during downtime.
So, if your warehouse design and shift schedule fits the requirements for opportunity chargers, then it may be an effective solution for increasing operational efficiency and reducing costs.
Whether you have more questions about this alternative charging method, or want to browse an extensive opportunity charger inventory selection, SSE can help. Contact one of our experts today and see how opportunity chargers can make a positive change in your warehouse operations!