Today, battery power prevails in the warehouse. Up to a third of the available handling capacity of your fleet is reduced in each 24-hour shift due to batteries being on charge. Yet a typical warehousing operation can double its handling efficiency by hiring in additional batteries and chargers. An additional seven batteries could increase handling capacity by 100 per cent at a cost of less than £2000 over two months.

This article was first published in the February 15th 2021 issue of Warehouse & Logistics News, subscribe to the magazine by clicking here.

In a weak market, December 2020 proved to be a very strong month for Hoppecke Industrial Batteries, as it achieved over 200 per cent of its target for motive power. While the motive power batteries market is down around 25 per cent for the year to date, Hoppecke has coped well both with the coronavirus and post-Brexit trading storms. After a busy Christmas period order levels for January and February 2021 are well ahead of projections.

Mounting systems and frame technology for photovoltaic systems are the speciality of S:FLEX GmbH. A unique combination of inverters and battery chargers from Fronius ensures that S:FLEX can use the majority of this energy to supply its electric forklift trucks – and therefore significantly reduce its operating costs. The photovoltaic system generates around 100 kilowatts of power at peak times, a large part of which is fed directly to the Fronius Selectiva battery chargers via the electricity supply network on site.

Britishvolt, Britain’s foremost investor in battery technologies, has announced that it has entered into an exclusive technology collaboration agreement with Siemens. The collaboration will see Siemens provide Britishvolt with access to its automation, electrification solutions and Digital Twin manufacturing execution technology. This innovative system gives the opportunity to simulate gigaplant production processes and flows ahead of construction completion, optimising design and efficiencies. It also promises to speed up delivery times, allowing Britishvolt to stay on track to deliver the first lithium-ion batteries at the end of 2023.

Gebrüder Weiss has added a hydrogen truck to its fleet of vehicles. Instead of using diesel, the Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell model delivered to the Altenrhein branch in Switzerland runs on “green hydrogen,” meaning that this commercial vehicle can save around 80 tons of CO2 emissions annually. The Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell is a 36-ton truck designed to transport around 25 tons of goods with a range of about 600 kilometers. The truck is powered by a 350-kilowatt electric motor, supplied with electricity produced by utilizing water chemically reacting with oxygen. Instead of pollutants, all that escapes the tailpipe is water vapour.

It goes without saying that Covid-19 has profoundly affected the warehousing and logistics industry. But by anticipating and planning for the resulting operational changes, fleet managers can make sure they benefit from the new normal.

George Simpson

Features Editor

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