Li-Ion Batteries Cost of Ownership Reduction

Industrial

Reducing the cost of ownership

The Need

The lifetime cost of powering their warehouses was high due to the frequent need to replace the Li‑Ion batteries.

Reducing the cost of ownership was vital for our client, the world leader in the construction of fully automated robot warehouses. The lifetime cost of powering their warehouses was high due to the frequent need to replace the Li-Ion batteries in the robots. They wanted to explore new solutions for significantly reducing these costs to support their rapid growth plans for the future.

The batteries have a limited life and frequently need replacing, impacting on the productivity of the robots on the production line. These batteries can also be negatively impacted by other variables in the working conditions like temperature, electric compatibility and charging infrastructure. All of these factors created a multi-layered project, requiring expertise from across the whole BlueThink team.

Reducing the cost of ownership

The Solution

By analysing the whole super system we discovered 9 contributing factors to the cost problem that could be individually improved.

We used our proprietary analysis methodology to expose the exact technological bottlenecks. By analysing the whole super system we discovered 9 contributing factors to the cost problem that could be individually improved. Additionally, some of the actions taken to mitigate the situation were also impacting productivity and generating extra costs.

A large brainstorming session was held involving many BlueThink senior engineers to maximise on the cross-sector knowledge within the team.

This activity generated many possible solutions with different application horizons which is what the client wanted.

The Solvers Network were then engaged to identify the necessary technologies and suppliers to support these ideas. The client selected three of the options to carry out a detailed gap analysis and find the winning idea.

Reducing the cost of ownership

The Result

Reducing the cost of ownership of the batteries cut costs across their whole operation.

This highly complex environment experiencing rapid growth required many different experts to identify the best solution. Key members of the project team included a PhD qualified engineer, an aeronautical engineer and a mechanical engineer. Plus, expertise from the entire BlueThink senior team for the brainstorming session, with around 100 years of experience between them!

Reducing the cost of ownership of the batteries cut costs across their whole operation, positively impacting on efficiency and CAPEX. All the solutions proposed involved existing technologies

transferable from other sectors, making them readily available to implement. The leading solution showed a potential 50% saving in cost of ownership, which included a 90% saving in CAPEX costs. There are now several patent applications pending, as the application of the ideas is new in the client’s sector.

The contribution from the Solvers Network was key in selecting and evaluating the best products and estimating the costs. This network is unique to BlueThink and makes it possible for us to deliver completely innovative solutions like this one.

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