Web-Based Software Analyzes Impact of Converting Lift Trucks to Electric Power

March 25, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

EnerSys, Inc. has launched ZBC (Zero Battery Change) Designer™ software that provides interactive modeling and identifies the most efficient and cost-effective energy configuration for companies running forklift fleets. The software completes operational and financial analysis within 30 minutes, quickly providing a savings framework for each company. Often, businesses can be confused by the many different choices of batteries and chargers on the market, and they may not understand which combination will work best for their particular needs.

ZBC Designer software clears up that confusion by matching the right batteries and chargers, and in the correct quantities and configurations, according to each business' specific operational needs. It is truly an industry-first custom solution. ZBC is a program from EnerSys that allows lift trucks to operate all day on just one battery. The battery can be quickly recharged while drivers are on break, eliminating battery changes even for multi-shift operations.

"With the ZBC Designer software, EnerSys customers will see the most cost-effective and efficient way to power their lift truck fleet," says Steve Spaar, director of marketing, Americas. "Whether fleet owners want to improve productivity and reduce operating costs by converting from internal combustion to electric powered trucks, or investigate the benefits of switching from battery changing to opportunity charging for their electric fleet, the ZBC Designer software will customize a solution."

Using the web-based software, customers input specifications such as number of shifts, hours of operation, number of trucks, truck capacity and truck type. The software then provides customized recommendations, pairing the optimum battery and charger, while outputting detailed financial, operational and sensitivity analyses for the recommended solutions, including long- and short-term cost savings.

"ZBC Designer software is programmed with the largest technology portfolio in the material handling industry," explains Jeff Long, vice president of sales and service, Americas. "This allows our sales engineers to work with customers to choose from the widest variety of batteries and charger systems."

Long adds, "We can design the perfect battery and charger system for their unique operation, and provide customers with reports that explain the operational and financial impacts -- all in 30 minutes. This is a first for the industry."

Because the entire process is interactive, ZBC Designer software enables customers to explore the impact of adding shifts, accommodating seasonal spikes, evaluating yearly growth and even removing potentially redundant assets. The robust customer-focused design makes ZBC Designer software a powerful tool for all levels of material handling and lift truck fleet management.

"This software really turns the design of electric lift truck fleets into a science," continues Spaar. "Any fleet owners who want to save money by operating on one battery for multiple shifts will appreciate the custom precision analysis."