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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Do your forklifts ever get a break? And for how long?

This is one of the most important factors in determining the right energy source for your forklifts.

And it makes sense. Just consider those days when you’re constantly running from morning till night time. You need ALL the coffee to stay awake, energized, and ready to go. Whereas, on those more “normal” days, you can probably get by on just one or two cups in the morning.

In the same way, your forklift fleet will have different energy needs depending on the shift cycles you run them on throughout the day. While you’ll always want to consider a wide variety of options and work with an integrated solutions provider like one of Toyota’s authorized dealers, this guide can help you make a preliminary diagnosis of whether to explore electric or internal combustion options.

Single Shift Operations

While internal combustion forklifts can provide the power and efficiency needed to run a successful single shift operation, electric forklifts should be seriously considered. Operating on a single shift, you’ll be able to take full advantage of energy efficiency savings because you can allow the forklift to sit and the battery to charge while your facility is closed.

At the same time, it may take you longer to achieve a full return on your investment in electric forklifts due to your lower utilization — a key factor in determining operation and labor cost.

Multi-Shift and Continuous-Shift Operations

You will need to consider several variables when weighing lead-acid battery and internal combustion options. The efficiency savings of lead-acid batteries are reduced the most in these operations because they are faced with needing to buy battery exchanging equipment and additional batteries — typically one for each shift. This translates into increased acquisition costs, storage space, maintenance areas, and swap times.

In this case, an internal combustion forklift option deserves serious consideration. While it is a more expensive fuel option, replacing a propane tank is quicker and requires less facility space than swapping and charging a battery.

Lithium-Ion Forklift Batteries and Shift Cycles

Lithium-ion batteries offer considerably faster charge speeds, and they can stay in the truck for multiple shifts while being opportunity charged during breaks. This means that they deliver a significant operational advantage over their lead-acid counterparts and can be considered a suitable electric option to replace propane in multi-shift operations.

However, because lithium-ion can cost up to 3x more than lead-acid, they might not be right for every operation. Single-shift operations are just one example in which efficiency returns may not outweigh the upfront costs.

View original post HERE

Posted by tfinco at 4/20/2021 5:50:00 PM
Wednesday, February 3, 2021

When contemplating a forklift fleet transition from lead acid batteries to lithium-ion, there are wide variety of factors that need to be considered including fleet size, shift number, and your operational environment. In the right setting, it’s a big investment that comes with a big return when managed properly — including a wide variety of efficiency advantages.

At the same time, as you might expect, a different power source will come with a wide variety of changes to your operational practice. Here are a few of the differences you can expect, as well as some tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible for your fleet.

  1. More Consistent Power

Whether you have a single-forklift operation or a large fleet working 24-hours a day, one important factor in delivering results is consistent power throughout the charge of the battery. Lithium-ion forklift batteries deliver consistent power and battery voltage throughout the full charge, whereas lead-acid battery charges deliver declining power rates as the shift wears on.

Bottom line: You won’t experience a lag toward the end of the lithium-ion battery’s charge, so plan your tac times and work flows accordingly.

  1. End of Life

Because lead-acid batteries have been around for so long, there are many recycling programs in place for them when they reach the end of their lives. The recycling rate on lead-acid batteries is high. Recycling programs for lithium-ion batteries are still being developed.

Bottom line: Do your research and plan in advance for the end of your lithium-ion battery’s life so you know how to handle and dispose of the old battery appropriately.

  1. Faster Charging Speeds

In the context of day-to-day operations, lithium-ion forklift batteries offer significantly faster charging speeds and don’t require charging cool down. This can help optimize daily productivity or even reduce the number of forklifts needed to complete objectives.

Bottom line: Be prepared with additional work to keep operators and their equipment busy — you may start moving faster than anticipated.

  1. Opportunity Charging

Lithium-ion forklift batteries can be opportunity charged in any setting, eliminating the need for time-consuming battery swaps.

Bottom line: Make your charging stations convenient to your operators so that they can take advantage of this option during breaks, lunch, and other windows of free time.

  1. Fewer Batteries Required

Lithium-ion forklift batteries can remain in equipment longer — to the point where one lithium-ion battery can take the place of three lead-acid batteries in a multi-shift use setting. This helps reduce the cost of storage space required for additional lead-acid batteries.

Bottom line: Figure out how much storage space you’ll actually need with the new set up, consolidate your storage space accordingly, and make use of the “leftover” space with value-adding tasks.

  1. Cost

The reality is, lithium-ion batteries do cost more than lead-acid batteries. As a result, despite the operational efficiencies they provide, they are not necessarily the right solution for every operation.

Bottom line: Before transitioning, be sure that the efficiency returns you expect will outweigh the upfront cost.

  1. Virtually Maintenance Free

Lithium-ion batteries require none of the watering, equalizing, and cleaning needed to maintain lead-acid batteries. This is a money savings in terms of both maintenance costs and downtime.

Bottom line: Make a plan to use the time you get back from this necessary maintenance for other productive tasks.

  1. Culture Change

Forklift operators who are used to using lead-acid batteries will have to change the way they do their jobs when transitioning to lithium-ion because of the need to plug the forklift in to charge every time it is not in use. This transition requires a culture change that usually includes time for a learning curve.

Bottom line: Communicate clearly and intentionally before, during, and after the transition with your operators — and give them the time they need to adjust to a new way of powering their equipment.

Original Post: Justin Albers, Corporate Communications Specialist, Toyota Material Handling

Posted by tfinco at 2/3/2021 4:44:00 PM
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A Revolutionary Approach to Your Energy Needs

What powers your operation now? What energy sources will keep your business moving efficiently and cost-effectively in the future?

However you answer these questions, Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions is our promise to continually be at the forefront of new technological development, providing reliable solutions for your ever-evolving energy needs.

As you work to optimize your fleet amid increasing environmental standards and throughput expectations, Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions is your partner at every step of the journey. We deliver service and expertise — as only Toyota can — through our commitment to quality, forward-thinking innovation, and the support of the largest dealer network in North America.

Here are five tools and services Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions offers you:

1)    On-Site Consultation for Forklift Energy Solutions

Toyota Forklift dealers offer free, on-site consultation services to help identify the best practices and energy management solutions that will work for you.

Utilizing the resources made exclusively available through Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions, Toyota dealers are uniquely positioned to optimize your operation with the latest technological innovations tested and approved by Toyota, such as:

2)    Electric Forklift Batteries and Alternative Energy Sources

An extensive selection of lead acid and TPPL batteries, as well as approved alternative energy sources (including lithium-ion batteries), allows Toyota to uniquely pair up the best forklifts in the industry with the most efficient and cost-effective power sources. Some of the potential benefits include:

  • Increased charging efficiency
  • Higher, more stable voltage supply
  • Reduced maintenance
  • Eliminate battery storage areas and charging equipment
  • Increased cycle and shelf life

3)    Forklift Battery Chargers & Accessories

Your Toyota Forklift dealer can help you increase energy efficiency and lower operational cost — simply by matching your chosen energy source with an optimal charger! They’ll use battery monitoring equipment to pinpoint efficiencies that can be gained through an appropriate battery/charger combination.

Some charger considerations include:

  • Frequency – Higher-frequency charges, which increase charge rates and can allow for opportunity and fast charging.
  • Energy Efficiency – Converting power from your facility with greater energy efficiency can lower your electric bill.
  • Multi-Voltage – Chargers with multiple voltage capabilities can reduce the total number of chargers needed.
  • Smart Functionality – Wireless communication and other smart functionality can allow expert control of charging efficiency and timing.
  • Size & Weight – Smaller, lighter-weight chargers can decrease your storage footprint and are easier to move.

4)    Service & Repair with Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions

Peace of mind. That’s what you get with Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions — because you’ll know:

  • 3,500+ expertly trained Toyota Certified Technicians are at the ready to minimize your downtime — not only on your equipment, but on the energy sources that power them.
  • You’ve got a variety of alternative energy source options that have been tested and approved by Toyota as compatible with your forklift’s electrical systems.
  • Your equipment’s warranty will remain intact should you choose a Toyota-approved alternative energy source for power.

5)    Environmental Support

Keeping up with increasingly stringent emissions regulations has never been simpler. Your Toyota Forklift dealer can assist you with CARB fleet averaging and optimizing your product mix to fit your unique application and regulatory needs.

Dillon Toyota Lift can help you apply and benefit from the energy-saving and waste-reducing practices Toyota is known for, including lean thinking and the Toyota Production System

Original Post: Shannon Potelicki, Content & Communications Copywriter, Toyota Material Handling

Posted by tfinco at 7/21/2020 7:29:00 PM
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