Woodridge, IL -December 5, 2016 - Navitas Systems LLC (www.navitassys.com), a leading provider of energy-enabled system solutions, energy storage products, and power electronics for commercial, industrial and government/military customers, announced today that has been awarded a contract worth $422,000 and has completed initial deployment of its lithium-ion forklift batteries called Starlifter™ at the DLA's single largest worldwide site, DLA Distribution Susquehanna, in New Cumberland, PA.
The program objective is to evaluate the utility, feasibility, maintainability, and cost-effectiveness of replacing lead-acid batteries with fast-charging lithium-ion deep-cycle forklift batteries in DLA Distribution warehouses to potentially decrease total forklift battery maintenance costs and increase forklift operational readiness and productivity rates.
Commercial and government customers alike have for decades utilized lead acid batteries to power electric forklift trucks. While these batteries are relatively inexpensive to purchase, they suffer froma number of significant drawbacks including slow recharging, fading performance while discharging, constant maintenance, and productivity downtime when changing batteries. Given both the historical performance limitations of lead acid, combined with the increased prevalence of fast chargers and new power-hungry AC forklift motors, there is a strong need for a better battery solution, particularly in intensive two and three shift operations and in cold temperature warehouse environments.
The Eastern Distribution Center (EDC) of DLA Distribution Susquehanna, PA, is a 1.7 million square feet, high-ceiling building with 122 dock doors and over 322,000 storage locations. Material is moved throughout the main building via 4.5 miles of conveyor lines, 5.3 miles of tow line pulling the 1,100 carts for the Automated Cart System (ACS), and over 400 pieces of conventional, manually-operated forklifts, order pickers, and carts. The EDC operates six days a week with two day shifts. During surges, typically resulting from increased military operations, EDC may operate seven days a week with three shifts.
In the one-year assessment program, an equal number of Starlifter-powered and lead acidpowered forklifts of the same model-type will be instrumented to capture performance data in a number of use-case scenarios. Key test objectives include: Validating and implementing a lithiumbattery which could potentially save money and significantly improve the efficiency of DLA distribution center operations across the Enterprise; determining any decrease in battery maintenance, replacement costs, and labor cost; determining the impact on forklift operational readiness and productivity; determining impact on energy usage; and determining impact on worker safety.
The award comes from the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), an Ann Arbor, MI based not-for-profit 5013 with nearly three decades of Government contracting and complex, collaborative research and development management experience. Through the development of collaborative partnerships, NCMS addresses strategic issues, brings innovations into commercial implementation, and leverages the resources and infrastructure of each participant to arrive at technology solutions that improve the competitive standing of our manufacturing base. It was the first and is still the best cross-sector consortium that is addressing the competitiveness of the nation's manufacturers.
"NCMS is committed to building and strengthening the US industrial supply base by working every day with NCMS member companies who create highly innovative technology solutions, such as Navitas Systems. This award indicates the confidence DLA has in Navitas' technology and NCMS is proud to play a small role in bringing the parties together for the benefit of the DLA" said Rick Jarman, NCMS Executive Director and CEO.
"We couldn't pick a more demanding environment than at DLA Distribution to demonstrate the benefits of our Starlifter lithium forklift battery" said Mil Ovan, President/CMO of Navitas Systems. "Driving productivity improvements in material handling is doubly satisfying for us, since it directly translates to speeding needed supplies to our Warfighters. We're delighted to be working closely with both DLA and NCMS in this important endeavor" Ovan concluded.
Navitas is showcasing its Starlifter battery this week, December 5-8, in NCMS' Booth # P411 at the Department of Defense Maintenance Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where maintenance executives share relevant information, identify critical issues, discuss key topics, and increase their awareness of Department of Defense maintenance initiatives. A video being debuted at the Symposium describing the Starlifter lithium versus lead acid forklift battery trial at DLA Susquehanna is available here: http://www.navitassys.com/products-systems/lithium-motive-battery-systems.
More Info: http://www.ncms.org/