An optimal battery charging station has many major impacts, but it most importantly increases efficiency. Together, we will walk through some of these factors in setting up your businesses forklift battery charger station including ideal layout for lead-acid industrial batteries.
It takes extra time to change or charge a battery, time that could be spent on more productive things. Therefore, setting up a battery room based on the best practices can minimize this travel time and reduce wear and tear on your vehicles. Knowing how important this is, we will walk you through some of the key factors that are involved in setting up your forklift battery charge station ideal for lead-acid industrial batteries.
Step 1: Selecting the Right Location for the Battery Room
Location is the single most important factor in choosing your battery room. The location should allow for adequate space for your fleet, including size and number of trucks, and they should be able to navigate in and out without issues. Battery storage must also be accounted for, many warehouse managers often look for high ceilings as they can be helpful. Depending on your lift fleet a vertical storage system may also save up to 50% of floor space. It is also important to remember, what is your potential future growth? If a location is just enough to manage your existing fleet, but you see growth in your future, the location selected should have that in mind.
The location should also provide for efficient travel between the main working areas as well as proper electrical service near the main power feed, which helps reduce costs. With power requirements in mind, we can take a full inventory of the remaining equipment needed, such as ventilation and cooling systems.
Safety standards are also vital in choosing your location, for example, plumbing. The room must be equipped with standard safety measures such as eye washers and showers, which requires drainage. Without this ventilation, warehouses can reach deadly amounts of hydrogen gas. The room may also need hydrogen gas detectors. The room must also have adequate storage for personal protection equipment which can include but not limited to shields, goggles, aprons, gloves, as well as any other maintenance equipment or spill kits in case of a leak.
Step 2: Adding Appropriate Battery Charging Equipment
Batteries are extremely heavy, and when efficiency is everything, you will want to have a forklift battery changer located inside your battery room. This allows for quick and easy maintenance. When determining what equipment your facility needs, ask yourself:
- Will your forklifts require overhead or side extraction?
- How much space does your current charging room have for equipment?
- How often are changes made throughout the day?
With these in mind, you are left with your available choices. There are more options currently for equipment with side extractions, but still options for overhead extraction such as gantry cranes. In side extraction operations many times manual or powered transfer carriages or park and charge systems are the go-to options. In larger fleets and facilities, it may make sense to go with a fully powered Operator Aboard Battery Extractor for maximum efficiency.
The number one leading cause of reduced run time and battery life is inefficient battery changing. It is crucial your facility has in place a system that optimizes your battery’s usage. One option is the first-in-first-out system that replaces the battery with the one that has been on the rack the longest. You could also choose a more advanced system that is dependent on the current battery status. Whatever system your facility ends up with, ensure that your station gives operators the ability to properly rotate batteries in order to maximize their life.
Step 3: Even, Approved Battery Flooring
First, your floor must meet all OSHA, EPA, and NFPA standards and be able to resist acid damage. It is also hugely important that the flooring is flat. An uneven floor can cause vibration, flexing, and stress on your fleet resulting in decreased productivity. As your floor rises the amount of strain and flex increases. Your facility will save money with fewer repairs, fewer parts purchased, less downtime, and less potential for injury to your staff or equipment.
Step 4: Charger Storage
The last step is the placement of the charger itself, a crucial aspect to an optimal forklift battery charger station layout. In order to meet OSHA requirements, chargers must be mounted on shelves designed for that purpose. All chargers should be securely in all four corners and the shelves also need to be placed in such a way that the DC cable leads can connect to the battery but does not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended cable lead length. Finally, your left with maintenance. Make sure to leave adequate space to allow for easy maintenance.
Thank you for choosing Fallsway Equipment for all your material handling needs. If you have any questions, please contact us today!