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 ushered in number three. Now that robots rule the factory floor, the stage is set for the fourth great leap in industrial practice: the Data Revolution.
It’s not enough to have automated machinery that blindly performs the same task over and over, say industry specialists like Simon Drexler of Clearpath Robotics, who spoke to industry journal DC Velocity in October 2016. Our machines need to learn from a steady stream of real-time data, which can be analyzed on the fly for truly smart automation.
“That’s where I see the industry going,” Drexler told DC Velocity. “Moving more away from the focus on hard goods and more toward the utilization of real-time data.”
Real-time data: That’s the key to running an efficient battery room, as well.
Acquiring, Analyzing, and Using Data to Optimize Battery Usage
The greatest risk to an industrial battery’s lifespan is, we’re sorry to say, user error. Forklift operators might favor a particular battery, burning through charge cycles on a single unit while neglecting others. Battery room supervisors might make a mistake on a maintenance sheet, causing sulfation through improper watering. Managers might even misjudge the number of batteries they need to efficiently power equipment without overspending.
Caring for industrial batteries is simple, but there’s a lot to keep track of. Why not leave the accounting to a battery fleet management system?
Fleet Tracker from BHS monitors batteries and maintenance tasks with the sort of real-time data that defines Industry 4.0. The system tells staff exactly which battery should be used, and when, ensuring an ideal charge and the proper rotation of assets.
The software also tracks maintenance intervals. When it’s time for watering, washing, or an equalization charge, Fleet Tracker will alert its human collaborators.
Custom reporting options distill the data so that managers can make informed decisions, lengthening battery life and reducing down-time. Reports forecast battery maintenance tasks to keep a reliable list of usable batteries in real time. Fleet Tracker even allows managers to compare data from month to month, so it’s easy to spot irregularities.
Data is the new steam power, the new assembly line. Take advantage of cutting-edge technology to realize the full benefits of investments in industrial batteries. That’s the way to build a thriving business that will be ready for the fifth Industrial Revolution, whatever that turns out to be.
“Collaborative Automation.” TheBOSSMagazine. BOSS News Network, Nov. 2016. Web. 26 Nov. 2016.
Gooley, Toby. “AGVs pioneer new paths in the warehouse.” DCVelocity. Agile Business Media, LLC., 28 Oct. 2016. Web. 26 Nov. 2016.