Battery and power management provider Global Technology Systems Inc. (GTS) on Oct. 2 launched a managed service offering for mobile devices that the firm says can help companies avoid the worker downtime and lost productivity caused by mid-shift battery failures.
Known as Batteries-as-a-Service (BaaS), the product could help retail, logistics, healthcare, and manufacturing businesses avoid the financial losses triggered by the failure of battery-powered mobile devices ranging from barcode scanners to two-way radios and portable printers, Framingham, Mass.-based GTS said.
"A Lithium-ion battery has about 500 cycles of charge and discharge," JR Rodrigues, GTS' vice president of marketing, said in an interview. "As it nears that limit, its performance drops off a cliff, but all batteries look the same," so users have no way to tell how much performance a battery has left, he said.
To solve that puzzle, GTS' service includes on-site battery inventory analysis and removal of bad batteries. The package uses GTS' Tester and Mobile app to replace batteries when and where they are needed, and uses its Battery Color Coding system to identify, replace, and recycle aging batteries by using a unique color each year instead of the traditional battery color, reducing the amount of bad batteries in circulation, GTS said.
"If a battery is not good, it's a paperweight," Rodrigues said. "Whether it's for a car, a flashlight, a remote control, or a smartphone, all rechargeable batteries are packages of chemicals that degrade over time, build up impedance, and reduce their capacity to hold a charge."
Many companies resort to random battery purchases in an effort to avoid power failures, but GTS says its service helps convert that approach into an organized process with improved predictably and inventory control.
The service is the latest example of a wave of improvements being adopted by logistics operations that rely on battery power, including diagnostics, monitoring and data collection, and more sophisticated testing systems.