For years, the Austrian food and drink manufacturer FELIX Austria has been increasingly relying on batterypowered forklift trucks in its production logistics. Step by step the food specialist is replacing its forklift fleet with electrically powered trucks, with a constant focus on operating costs and energy efficiency. Battery charging technology from Fronius ensures optimum performance with minimum power consumption. FELIX is thoroughly impressed by the devices from the Austrian technology leader – but that wasn’t the case to start with.
The largest production site is at the headquarters of FELIX Austria in Mattersburg. The majority of the almost 30,000 tonnes of products that the company distributes annually are produced here. A fleet of 36 forklift trucks ensure all raw materials, ingredients, packaging and end products are in the right place at the right time.
In the past, the forklifts at FELIX were predominantly powered by gas. Over time electric stackers were added and in 2014 it was decided to convert the entire fleet to battery. To cope with long driving times, the stackers are partly fitted with back-up batteries. As the expensive batteries are often in use and therefore come under a lot of strain, a reliable, efficient and gentle charging process was especially important for this.
When searching for a suitable provider, FELIX was recommended Fronius by Linde. The Perfect Charging Division of the globally active company based in Pettenbach, Upper Austria, specialises in all matters relating to the charging of traction and starter batteries. However, initial contact was somewhat sobering.
“When I first heard from Fronius what the prices of their battery charging systems are, I said ‘There’s no need to say more,’” remembers Lorenz Fasching. At first glance, the investment seemed simply too high in comparison with other suppliers.
However, this impression was quick to change, after Alexander Thier, Area Sales Manager for Fronius Perfect Charging, calculated the enormous savings potential on ongoing operating costs for FELIX. “We often encounter scepticism at first,” he recounts. “The technology used is often not clear, so the differences in price between 50 Hz transformer technology, simple HF chargers and our technology can be daunting.”
With its Selectiva battery charging systems, Fronius has in its portfolio the most advanced technology for charging traction batteries in the world. Their innovative Ri charging process, which adapts to the effective inner resistance of the connected battery, allows for especially gentle and efficient charging depending on the age, temperature and state of charge. “Every charging process takes place according to an individual characteristic, which drastically lowers energy consumption and CO2 emissions whilst simultaneously extending the service life of the battery,” says Alexander Thier. This is especially noticeable in the operating costs: energy bills fall and the expensive lead batteries need to be replaced less often. The purchase costs are thus paid off after only a short while.
FRONIUS PERFECT CHARGING