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Are your orderpickers in danger?
You probably heard the news: the disastrous product introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smart phone. It caught fire or could even explode. This was really hurting the Samsung company image.
Also in our logistics processes we use all kinds of tools in order to improve the performance of the warehouse. And that includes the use of batteries. Are we running similar risks?
A proper comparison
However, the batteries from a smartphone are quite different from those used in logistics applications. In smartphones we see flat, tiny lithium-ion batteries, which are pushed to their limit almost permanently. This is mainly because manufacturers face severe competition. The processor, the display (backlight) and radio modules (4G and Bluetooth) are major energy consumers and need to work all day on one energy charge. Batteries are small and light and must provide an incredible power density (power / weight ratio). The user is constantly gaming, searching, browsing, sharing, watching Youtube, taking pictures and filming. We almost forgot ….. he also sometimes uses it for calling people. The life of a smartphone battery is not easy.
Now, in logistics this is a completely different story.
First, the batteries serve a different purpose:
1. Maintenance-free lead / acid (or gel) batteries are used for back-up or power failures
2. Lithium / iron batteries are used in, for example, our pick carts, which are mobile units used for order picking and they ‘tell’ the orderpicker where to place a picked item. This efficient process we call drop-to-light.
3. Lithium / ion batteries for mobile applications, such as portable voice computers used in order picking.
In short, batteries which are used in orderpicking activities only need to support the process. And each process is part of a whole warehouse system ,which collectively needs to do well. Whether you use pick carts, drop-to-light, shuttle systems or vertical lift systems, the main goal is always to maximize system availability. Perhaps system reliability is even a better word. And that is why all products, including batteries, are never pushed to the extreme, as there is always an in-build safety buffer.
In addition, the orderpickers must be sure that they can do their work without having to worry about their safety. Your employees should not only work fast, but also safe. Always. Without any compromise.
Call us when you would like to brainstorm with us about safe and fast order picking. But perhaps do not use Galaxy Note 7 then….
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