The drive to go green has seen considerable uptake worldwide, with renewable energy resources making headlines as being a sustainable end to much of the world’s energy problems. This increased awareness coupled with changing government legislation has seen many industries reducing their dependency on fossil fuels and adopting a greener approach in the form of renewable resources as they prepare for a more sustainable, productive and profitable future.
Most notable is the highly-publicised phasing out of traditional fossil-fuel-powered engines from automotive manufacturers in favour of electrified variants. While not net-zero, electrified vehicles offer consumers greater levels of performance than traditional alternatives, while decreasing emissions dramatically.
As such, the material handling and warehousing industry, as a significant contributor to carbon emissions, has recently seen the implementation of similar technology in its efforts to be more environmentally friendly.
Discussing lithium-ion battery technology as a means of achieving fewer emissions in the industry, Sonia Pretorius, Inland Sales Manager at 600SA, a division of CFAO Equipment SA, says the company has long been an advocate of new technologies, and the introduction of the company’s Industrial Power business unit has allowed it to drive green practices for its customers in the material handling and warehousing industry across southern Africa.
“Our partners such as Toyota Material Handling and CT Power have the same belief in reducing our customers’ operational footprints as much as possible, and in recent years, many of our customers have requested solutions to enable them to reduce the impact of their operations,” she says. “Our forklifts, which feature lithium-ion battery technology, have seen them reap the many benefits that come with this energy alternative.”
Lithium-ion-powered forklifts offer exceptional efficiency and are able to operate for up to eight hours on a single charge, with the batteries being maintenance-free and having an approximate lifespan of five to eight years or 20,000 operating hours when compared to traditional batteries that last around three to five years.
Furthermore, lithium-ion forklift batteries do not release toxic gases when charging, which negates the need for often expensive and separate battery bays to control these contaminants. The battery’s fast charging feature also means it can be charged to 100% capacity in under two hours.
Lithium-ion battery technology can be retrofitted to almost any forklift, reach or pallet truck, and thanks to the advent of technology, the battery and equipment can be monitored in real-time to ensure operational efficiency.
“Our Industrial Power business unit is devoted to offering our customers the best green sustainable technologies to ensure greater levels of productivity, profitability and efficiency in their operations.
“With this in mind, we are currently exploring the viability of solar charging facilities for our smaller customers, which will allow them to charge their electric equipment even when the power is off, allowing their businesses to operate without interruption,” concludes Pretorius.