It’s no secret that many Americans like their beer. From bars to restaurants to liquor and grocery stores, the cold brews are generally easy to find. But what most beer aficionados do not know is that distribution businesses are responsible for getting their favorite beverages to nearby locations.
This is the job of Standard Distributing Co., Inc. of Delaware, a company that serves locations throughout the state.
Having a clean and efficient warehouse is essential to Standard Distributing. The company found this mission was not being fulfilled in the battery changing and charging area for its electric lift trucks running on lead-acid batteries. The area was hard to keep clean with the batteries' daily maintenance requirements, frequent changes of the batteries and eight-hour shifts for charging and after-charging cooling.
OneCharge Inc. offered a winning solution with its Li-ion batteries. It was just what Standard Distributing needed to help its operations.
In April of 2019, the company switched its lift trucks fleet to Li-ion, a move that allowed the company to streamline its fleet from 17 trucks down to 12 to do the same job.
The flexibility to configure the lithium-ion batteries for the specific task (high lifts in a temperature-controlled warehouse) allowed to resize the trucks fleet. The Li-ion batteries can be quickly charged anywhere during small breaks and lunchtime, meaning a battery changing and charging area was no longer needed. The part of the warehouse designated for lead-acid batteries which repeatedly grew dirty was just cleared.
Switching to OneCharge lithium-ion batteries has improved the overall efficiency of material handling operations at Standard Distributing and rendered the warehouse cleaner and safer.
About the Client
Standard Distributing serves over a thousand licensees statewide, according to the business. Delaware, with a population of 952,000, has a beer market consumption of over 9.2 million cases, the company website reported.
To bring the products to these licensees, Standard Distributing works from a temperature-controlled warehouse and office location in New Castle, Delaware.
The lead-acid batteries in use by the company were creating maintenance and safety issues for the staff, adding a significant amount to the operations costs. Standard Distributing needed a safe power source for its trucks, as well as a means for eliminating the ongoing costs associated with battery maintenance.
With sustainability efforts underway and a business serving a variety of customers statewide, the cleanliness and efficiency of the warehouse are of paramount importance, according to Standard Distributing’s warehouse manager, Mike Tielleman.
The company had 17 three-wheel sit down trucks running with lead-acid batteries.
“The battery charging area was dirty,” said Tielleman, who said he was on the lookout for a way to improve this section in the warehouse.
Standard Distributing is committed to its green policy, which the company says is “raising the bar on saving energy and conserving natural resources.” Recently, Standard Distributing added the use of OneCharge Li-ion batteries to its green initiatives.
In April 2019 at the end of the lease cycle, Standard Distributing leaders considered a proposal for the same 17 sit-down trucks powered by lead-acid batteries or 12 trucks running with OneCharge Li-ion batteries. They learned a smaller fleet of trucks with Li-ion batteries could be quite sufficient for warehouse needs since opportunity charging would eliminate the necessity of having spare trucks on hand. Also streamlined would be the physical warehouse space, without the need for battery changing and charging station.
The company decided to move from lead-acid to OneCharge Li-ion batteries with the purchase of six Yale ESCO35AD 36v stand-ups and six Yale ERP035VT 36v sit-downs.
The company is pleased with the impact of the newly implemented equipment, which concurrently addressed the issues of cleanliness, safety, and efficiency.
This change fulfilled OneCharge’s promise to Standard Distributing for no downtime during work shifts for changing batteries.
As the Li-ion batteries do not need to be watered, charged or maintained daily, the warehouse’s formerly messy charging station is also no longer a concern, according to company leaders.
The elimination of maintenance needs also means safer working conditions in the warehouse, as workers are not required to work with lead-acid batteries with a risk of leaks or spills.
Using Li-ion batteries translated to a reduced fleet of trucks for the company, requiring only 12 trucks on hand in the warehouse as opposed to 17, thanks to the opportunity charging possible with lithium-ion.
In addition to cost savings, these changes also help support the company’s effort to pursue a green policy within operations.
“OneCharge Batteries ensured the switch to Li-ion was smooth and caused no interruption to Standard Distributing operations. On top of minimizing downtime during shifts, we finally got rid of the lead-acid batteries daily maintenance and messy charging area. Both are simply not needed with OneCharge Li-ion Batteries,” said Tielleman, of the process of implementing OneCharge batteries and the ensuing improvements to the warehouse facility and operational process which resulted from the change.
Advantages For All - How Li-ion Battery Technology Can Help Your Business
The switch to Li-ion at Standard Distributing Co. Inc. provided several results the company was looking for. For those also in food and beverage distributing, the use of Li-ion batteries provides a means to clean up warehouse space reserved for battery charging, a need particularly important in meeting standards of safe conditions for food and beverages.
And for those throughout the material handling industry, Standard Distributing’s experience illustrates how the implementation of lithium-ion batteries offers a chance for improved efficiencies and safer work conditions without the need for daily battery maintenance.