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Power Talks Ep. 8: How Warehouses are Integrating Automated Charging Into Workflows

Resonant Link
June 3, 2024

In episode 8 of our Power Talks interview series, Grayson Zulauf, Co-Founder and CEO at Resonant Link, talks to host Kevin Lawton of The New Warehouse about the challenges driving warehouse operators to automate their industrial EV charging and the benefits they’re seeing. 

Zulauf dives into how automated wireless charging for material handling equipment works and how companies are integrating automated wireless charging into their facilities and workflows. He shows how easy it is to get started and how improving the in-between processes like charging for material handling equipment can have an outsized impact in boosting operational efficiency.

This episode of the Power Talks interview series was filmed live from Resonant Link's booth at MODEX 2024. Subscribe to receive email updates when new videos are released. You'll get actionable insights from logistics and warehouse technology leaders on how to solve labor, equipment, space, and other logistics challenges.

Click play to listen to Zulauf’s interview or continue reading to get the interview highlights.

Warehouse leaders are constantly looking to reduce costs and increase their equipment ROI. That’s why they’re increasingly turning to automated wireless charging. 

Automated wireless charging saves 200-vehicle fleets an average of $1 million a year by eliminating vehicle downtime, extra equipment, charging maintenance, charging labor, and expensive infrastructure upgrades. It costs half as much to get started as other charging solutions like hydrogen fuel cells and contact-based self-charging. And Resonant Link’s wireless charger is the fastest and safest available, offering material handling fleets a way to make charging fully autonomous for manned and autonomous vehicles, and get rid of charging downtime.

No More Wondering

Lawton is no stranger to charging headaches. As he and Zulauf discuss why people are automating their charging, the first thing that comes to mind for him is how often people would forget to charge their trucks, or think they were charging when they weren’t, when he was working in warehouse operations full time. And that is a major reason why companies want wireless charging: to not have to wonder if their trucks are going to be charged and ready when they're needed. But people are switching to wireless charging for other reasons too, mainly, to drive down costs while increasing employee safety and productivity.

No Battery Swapping or Backup Batteries

Battery swapping is the number one safety concern at many facilities, because it’s so labor intensive. This process entails lifting depleted batteries out of material handling equipment and replacing them with fully charged batteries. Batteries charge in a backroom, often called a battery exchange room, and trucks need double the batteries so one forklift battery can charge while the other battery is in use. This creates wasted space and excess equipment to keep fleets running.

Charge Where Trucks Already Stop

Battery swapping, like wired plug-in charging, also wastes time. It seems faster to many to simply swap a battery out of a truck, but the reality is that between the travel time needed for vehicles to get back to the battery exchange room and the time it takes to swap batteries, it’s a time- and labor-intensive process that reduces productivity and requires well-trained, higher-paid technicians. With labor, space, and profitability challenges, businesses can’t afford to continue to use plug-in charging. 

Instead, wireless charging keeps trucks charged throughout shifts by automatically charging them where they already stop, such as loading docks and break rooms. Operators don’t have to touch anything and charging works with different batteries and vehicles, making it the easiest option for fleets of any size. Multi-shift operations are finding it particularly valuable, Zulauf shares, and as an added benefit, they like that they don’t have to change facility layouts or make expensive infrastructure upgrades to use wireless charging.

Ready For More?

To hear more insights and recommendations from Zulauf, like how customers are integrating wireless charging into their workflows, watch the full interview.

You can also learn how to get the most from your motive power batteries or overcome common challenges with automation.

And if you missed Power Talks Episode 7 with Jean-François Marchand of UgoWork, watch the replay. You’ll learn what's driving the shift to lithium-ion forklift batteries and how energy-as-a-service helps warehouse operators of all sizes maximize their material handling equipment's performance and improve operational efficiency.

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