In the total cost of floor care machines, battery costs alone account for a double digit percentage. Add in premature battery failure and the additional labor costs when the machine is inoperable and the total cost of ownership can skyrocket. According to BatteryStuff.com, “A battery is like a piggy bank. If you keep taking out and putting nothing back you soon will have nothing.”
So how do we know when our piggy bank is being drained? In the past, the strategy has been hope; hope that someone regularly filled lead cell batteries with water; hope that someone plugged in the machine the previous night; hope that the machine is allowed to fully charge between uses.
Hope is not a strategy. With such a high cost component, why isn’t more done to ensure batteries live life to the fullest potential? The answer is most likely that there is no easy way to track the information. That is until now. With cloud-based fleet management systems such as IntelliTrail, a wealth of valuable information is right at your fingertips. Let’s look at how this data can help.
Ensuring employees are plugging in machines
By quickly viewing a weekly run log of a machine, a manager can visually see when a machine did not complete its full cleaning routine due to battery power running out. When this occurs, it results in either more labor to complete the cleaning or the job not being completed. With this information, managers can track which employees may not be properly charging the machine and take action to train them.
For accounts that need strict cleaning oversight, the manager might choose to receive a text or email alert when a machine stops prior to completing the task. This way, the manager can immediately adjust resources to ensure contract compliance.
Finally, the report can show when the machine was last used before the current battery issue. In locations where the manager believes others are using the machine without authorization, it allows them to take the appropriate actions to stop additional instances of misuse and abuse.
Getting the most out of battery life with proper maintenance
While some batteries are maintenance free, many on the market today still require regular maintenance. If done in a timely manner, this maintenance can extend the life of the battery. If not done, the battery is sure to fail early. Sending a simple alert to the operator and manager after a set number of hours, telling them it’s time to add water or clean the terminals provides oversight to this important task. This alert will stay in place until the operator confirms that the task is completed, closing the loop. This alone can raise the average cycles of a battery, lowering total costs. Multiplied over an entire fleet, it will add significantly to the bottom line.
Life cycle measurement
Every battery’s life must come to an end eventually. However, that shouldn’t mean a machine goes down during this time. Knowing when a battery is reaching that critical end of life stage allows a service manager to proactively change the batteries without incurring costly downtime or expediting costs. Furthermore, having that vision across an entire fleet allows for lower-use batteries to be swapped with higher-use batteries so machines with the same age have the same average battery life.
At Sealed Air, we believe that the Internet of Clean will disrupt the building care industry and provide game changing efficiency opportunities. Witness the power of data with our free trial of IntelliTrail.