International Paper Fast Charges its Growth

Don’t Get Fossil-Fooled
December 22, 2017
“The most important arguments were the cost savings Mahou was able to achieve using Fast Charge…”

Fernando Barros, Purchasing Manager

With a three-shift, 460,000 square-foot facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.- based International Paper was looking for ways to save money and improve workflow. Their 85 battery-powered lift trucks worked well, but operators were spending 40 minutes each shift waiting while the battery was changed in each truck. And it wasn’t just the 2 hours per day per truck in battery changes that were slowing them down. The room where they stored all the extra batteries was taking up valuable floor space. The changing equipment required specialized maintenance and the safety risks involved with changing two-ton batteries made everyone uncomfortable.

The lift truck dealer for the Cincinnati site suggested they switch to a fast charging system, and International Paper’s management studied their options. With fast charging, they would only need one battery per truck, and they could recharge the batteries while operators took their scheduled breaks.

International Paper knew that there would be an initial investment for the fast chargers, as well as upgrades to the site’s electrical infrastructure. But the elimination of the battery room, battery changes, and extra batteries canceled out those initial costs.

“Basically, it was a wash,” says Len Schroer, operations manager. “We’re really benefiting from improved productivity,” says Schroer. “By eliminating the battery changes, we’ve reclaimed 40,000 hours per year. That adds up to about $1 million in reduced labor costs each year.”

Safety has improved as well. Allocations for worker’s compensation has greatly declined. “We haven’t changed the headcount. The layout is exactly the same. But, operationally, it has allowed us to grow.

We have reached production numbers in this facility we didn’t think we could get to,” says Schroer. “It was the right decision.”

Industry Application Fast chargers
Paper and Paper Products 3 shifts, 6 days a week 30
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