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Preventative Maintenance for AGV Batteries

Automatic guided vehicles (or automated guided vehicles, depending on who you ask) are touted as the future of material handling. They’re driverless forklifts or carts that follow paths through floor implants, pre-programmed routes, or by using cameras or laser guidance. As advanced as AGV technology has become in recent years, one thing about these devices will be familiar to anyone who has worked with traditional electric forklifts: the battery. Many AGVs use batteries that are very similar — even identical — to electric forklift batteries. Some may use NiCad, lithium ion, or even hydrogen fuel cell batteries, but AGVs that rely on counterbalance to lift loads overwhelmingly favor flooded lead-acid batteries. That’s why users of electric forklifts will already be…more

Battery Handling Systems, Inc. Boosts Production

January 23, 2017 – St. Louis, Missouri — Battery Handling Systems, Inc., a leading provider of forklift battery handling and warehouse equipment, invested in two major pieces of manufacturing machinery designed to speed up production on their all-steel products. These new purchases include a second laser cutter and another computerized press break. The new manufacturing equipment will allow BHS to offer made-to-order equipment for their customers, with industry-leading turnaround time for all purchases, said Katy Cortinovis, Marketing Manager at BHS. “Now we can cut more steel,” she said. “Like, double time. We can produce the same great products on a tighter schedule, so our clients can start realizing the benefits of, say, an Operator Aboard Battery Extractor without delay.” Computerized…more

Collaborative Automation and the Reshoring of American Manufacturing

Between 2000 and 2010, the United States lost 6 million manufacturing jobs. Pundits and politicians offer a variety of explanations for how and why this happened. Depending on their political affiliation, talking heads might blame offshoring, illegal immigration, or bad trade deals. Among these conflicting ideas, there is one point that everyone seems to agree with: Workers are being replaced by increasingly effective machines. Automation is certainly a factor in the decline of high-paying manufacturing jobs. But the claim that “robots are taking our jobs” fails to tell the whole story. In fact, American automation might be the key to reclaiming manufacturing as a national strength. A manufacturing segment dominated by automation won’t lead to the worker’s paradise of previous…more

An Industrial Revolution in the Battery Room: Industry 4.0 and Battery Care

Think back to fifth-grade history class. You were probably taught that the Industrial Revolution took place in the early-to-mid 19th century, when the steam engine reshaped manufacturing techniques in dramatic ways. Well, things have changed — including history. Industrial academics now say that there wasn’t just one Industrial Revolution. There were four of them, and we’re in the midst of the fourth, or “Industry 4.0,” today. So what does all this have to do with improving a facility’s use and maintenance of industrial batteries? As it turns out, quite a bit. The Data Revolution of Industry 4.0 If the steam engine heralded the first Industrial Revolution, then the second was marked by the rise of the assembly line. Automated manufacturing…more

OSHA Updates Rules on Work Surfaces and Fall Protection; Will Your Personnel Lifts Comply?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a final rule on one of its most far-reaching safety standards for general industry. On January 17, 2017, all employers must comply with new standards designed to protect workers from the risk of falling off of work surfaces. This is a serious issue in the warehousing industry. As pallet racks have grown taller and taller, driven by the economics of vertical space and technological advances in high lift trucks, the need to lift staff to the upper reaches of the facility has increased substantially. Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming changes to familiar OSHA standards, particularly as they relate to personnel lift devices that attach to forklifts: The changes…more