This month, Inventus Power exhibited at MODEX 2020, the leading trade show for supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution industries. Read our interview with Tom Nguyen, Director of Business Development, for show highlights and trends affecting the material handling market.
Why is MODEX an important exhibiting event for Inventus Power?
Tom: Inventus Power has 60 years of experience helping customers transition to new battery technologies. Today, many markets are recognizing the benefits of Li-ion and are starting to convert their equipment to Li-ion battery technology. Every two years, MODEX brings together OEMs of material handling applications, such as aerial work platforms, lift trucks, robotics, professional cleaning equipment, industrial and commercial vehicles, telematics, and more, so this was the perfect forum for us to introduce our products and capabilities to the industry.
What were the main industry topics people were talking about?
Tom: The main topics we discussed with visitors to our booth and among other exhibitors focused on cleaner energy sources, battery technology, 24-hour operation, opportunity charging, and serviceability. At Inventus Power, we're very familiar with all of these needs and have developed an intelligent Li-ion modular system that is deployable in nearly every industry that was represented at the show.
What products were on display at the Inventus Power booth?
Tom: Our main product focus was on our new line of standard modular batteries, U1-PWR and TRX-ion. A replacement to Lead Acid battery systems, these batteries have an integrated Battery Management System (BMS) designed with enhanced safety and communication. The U1-PWR and TRX-ion are environmentally safe, designed for indoor and outdoor use, and can be connected in series and parallel for greater power and capacity. We also showcased some of our custom battery pack capabilities for applications such as telematics, barcode scanners, backpack vacuums, and outdoor power equipment.
What technology trends, specifically in power solutions, are taking place within the material handling industry?
Tom: While most of the technology in the material handling, professional cleaning, automated guided vehicles (AGV), and automated mobile robots (AMR) are still heavily dominated by Lead Acid and Internal Combustion Engines (ICE), all of the industry leaders are developing, or have already deployed Li-ion battery systems into their fleets. This is in part to the benefits that Li-ion offers in terms of higher performance, longer cycle life, zero maintenance, faster charging, built-in intelligence & diagnostics, and an overall lower total cost of ownership. For example, many AGVs used in warehousing environments are expected to operate 24-7, and a Li-ion battery system would allow these vehicles to run for longer periods and recharge at a much faster rate.
In the material handling space, we are finding batteries must include an intelligent Battery Management System (BMS), and diagnostics that provides performance information such as the State of Health (SOH) to better manage the vehicle fleet. This progression in BMS capability prolongs the service life of these vehicles and lowers the customer’s total cost of ownership. Inventus Power's proprietary BMS software, and the ability to use a variety of Li-ion cell technologies, make both demands possible.
Why should industry OEMs partner with Inventus Power for their material handling applications?
Tom: In the area of Li-ion batteries, the most challenging aspect of deployment is system integration. Battery suppliers must take an entire system approach before shipping a Li-ion battery to a customer. We work with all of the industry leaders in cell technology, industrial chargers, and motor controllers to ensure the vehicle/machine is fully optimized for its intended use. OEM’s who partner with Inventus Power will receive global support on the integration of our battery system into their specific vehicle platform.
Additionally, we have made significant investments in our engineering, product development, and manufacturing capabilities to support a worldwide customer base through our global manufacturing footprint. We have earned the trust of the world’s largest OEM’s to help transition their motive equipment from Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) to Li-ion battery power, and have the resources needed to develop high-performance battery solutions for material handling applications.