Written on March 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm
Manbat Industrial/BPS/G & P Batteries
Following its acquisition of Battery Power Systems (BPS) in late 2011, Manbat has been working intensively with the BPS team to further develop their combined industrial battery presence. With more than 27 years of sales and service expertise BPS is able to offer both the materials handling and floor care sectors a well-tailored package solution, rather than simply selling replacement batteries.
As a result, IMHX 2013 has been selected as the ideal event to debut not only BPS/Manbat’s industrial business, but also sister company G & P Batteries, with a shared stand under their parent company’s ECOBAT Technologies group banner.
ECOBAT Technologies is one of the world’s leading suppliers of lead, annually converting millions of tons of lead waste into high quality lead ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelters across the globe. Among its many customers are a number of the world’s largest battery manufacturers and some of these brands are subsequently distributed nationally through BPS/Manbat Industrial’s comprehensive branch network.
Working alongside G & P Batteries, BPS/Manbat Industrial is able to offer its industrial battery and floor care customers a complete ‘battery sales through to waste management service’, which means that all its customers’ environmental responsibilities are fulfilled and certified.
One of BPS/Manbat Industrial’s primary messages for IMHX is for industrial battery buyers to put quality before price. This principle will pay dividends over the long-term as a cheap low quality product will simply not stand up to the rigours of everyday use like a quality battery. Put plainly, although it may cost a little more, a quality battery will last a lot longer.
Both TAB, one of the leading manufacturers and innovators of lead acid and Gel traction products and S.P.E Electronica, who manufacture an extensive range of 50Hz and high frequency battery chargers, are whole heartedly in support of the growth of BPS/Manbat Industrial. Both manufacturers were brought together by BPS to offer a bespoke solution that ensures the customer’s requirements and correct application are matched to provide the solution that reduces the cost of ownership.
Where the assimilation work done with BPS during 2012 has really come to the fore to provide particular benefits to its customers is in the additional support that it is now able to offer them. As a result, in addition to the quality products that it can supply and the responsible disposal process it provides, BPS/Manbat Industrial can offer them a full battery management programme.
The programme encompasses everything from the original assessment of the customer’s battery requirements, through product maintenance planning, to the eventual battery replacement. This programme maximises the lifespan of each battery and delivers the most cost-effective solution to the customer’s battery needs.
ECOBAT is the world’s largest producer of lead, which is processed through its 13 lead facilities located strategically across the globe. More than 80% of its total lead production comes from recycled lead and this means that it annually converts literally thousands of tons of lead waste into high quality lead products such as ingots, strip, wire and shot through its efficient smelting operations.
Globally, within the wider ECOBAT Technologies group there are several individual businesses that specialise in areas that complement ECOBAT’s core lead smelting origins. Therefore, there are those that produce lead products such as rolled lead sheet products, which are primarily used in the construction industry, others like Manbat that distribute finished products to a multitude of business sectors and still others like G & P Batteries, that concentrate on the collection and disassemble of products that contain lead.
This spread of businesses allows ECOBAT Technologies to operate a ‘closed recycling loop’ for lead acid batteries, which operates in the following way.
Among ECOBAT’s many customers are a number of large-scale battery manufacturers and these companies purchase lead in the form of ingots, which they then process to form the plates that go into their batteries. Their finished products are then distributed nationally through BPS/Manbat Industrial’s comprehensive branch network to wholesalers and battery specialists who in turn need a legitimate outlet for the waste batteries they collect from their customers.
These scrap batteries are collected by G & P Batteries, the country’s leading waste battery collection specialist, who dismantle the batteries into their core elements, the lead from which goes back into the lead smelting process. However, it is not just the lead that is recycled: the sulphuric acid from the battery’s electrolyte is converted into gypsum for the construction industry and the cases are reprocessed into polypropylene, which is a highly sought after element for many industries.
By working alongside its sister company G & P Batteries, BPS/Manbat Industrial is able to offer its industrial battery and floor care customers a complete ‘battery sales through to waste management service’, which means that all its customers’ environmental responsibilities are fulfilled and certified.
The combination of new battery sales and distribution, together with waste battery collection, recycling and the reintroduction of lead into the manufacturing process, means that the ECOBAT Technologies group is able to close the environmental loop.
A Lifetime Of Experience
Manbat Ltd is the UK’s largest distributor of batteries for the automotive, commercial vehicle, leisure and marine sectors, as well as being at the forefront of the mobility, motorcycle and golf markets. Its acquisition of Battery Power Systems (BPS) has now also established itself as a major player in the industrial battery sector.
Originally founded in 1952 as Manchester Batteries by Harry Pemberton and located at Turnpike Cottages in Abergele, South Wales, the business remained in the Pemberton family until 2009 and during that period the company grew steadily, establishing itself as a business committed to providing its customers with top quality products backed up by exceptional customer service. Despite the passing of 60 years, Manbat’s reputation for quality and service remains undiminished.
In 2009 Roger Pemberton retired as Manbat’s managing director and Steve Sheppard took the helm as the company started a new era under the ownership of the ECOBAT Technologies group.
As part of this global organisation, Manbat has been able to expand its operation even more rapidly and add new elements to the business that have continued to benefit its customers. Two notable examples include its move into a 3,000m2 distribution centre in Shrewsbury, which has ensured excellent product availability and the BPS acquisition mentioned earlier.
When it comes to the products in its range, few companies can even come close to the quality, availability or variety of brands it offers. So in addition to VARTA® for which it is the UK’s primary distributor, Manbat also supplies its own brand, Numax as well as Lucas, Sonnenschein, US Battery, Odyssey, Optima, and now through BPS, the TAB brand.
Manbat introduced the Numax name in 2002 and over the last decade the brand has become a significant player within the automotive sector whilst also establishing itself as the UK’s premier range of leisure and marine batteries. The Numax commitment to original equipment standard production coupled with the buying power of being a major European player, allows Manbat to offer a comprehensive range of good quality batteries at extremely competitive prices.
Manbat is also the sole UK distributor for Lucas batteries and it has been instrumental in the revival of the brand that has taken place since it won the distribution contract in 2009. As a trusted partner, Manbat was also responsible for the recent rebranding of the range.
In short, Manbat provides a complete range of products that can cater for every conceivable power storage requirement. In addition to this unchallenged level of battery supply, it offers sound advice, reliable waste collection, environmentally responsible recycling processes and excellent marketing support, with a level of customer service that only an established business with a great reputation can offer.
When Equipment Reliability Counts
Industrial battery manufacturer TAB is another of Manbat Industrial’s distribution partners and together they ensure that these high quality products, which are the ideal solution for the demands of the materials handling industry, are just a phone call away. Established in 1965, TAB now manufactures more than 1.2 million industrial cells annually.
The relationship with TAB was originally initiated with Battery Power Systems (BPS), but this longstanding partnership has taken a further step forward now that BPS is the leading company within Manbat’s growing industrial battery division.
The industrial battery market is broadly split into three segments: materials handling, which comprises of power pallet trucks, counterbalance, reach trucks and VNA; access equipment such as general-purpose scissor lifts and cherry pickers; and floor care machinery. The smaller machines will generally use multiple 6-volt & 12-volt ‘traction mono-bloc’ batteries, which range from 25 – 400 amp/h in capacity. When full traction is required TAB offer a comprehensive range of wet lead acid and gel cells in British Standard and DIN sizes, in addition we offer PzRM waterless cells, which allows the application freedom of up to 120 cycles between topping and ATEX flame proof and zoned cells.
TAB industrial batteries are engineered to provide an extremely high level of performance under deep discharge and heavy duty cycling conditions, which is the norm in the demanding forklift sector. Employing fortified plate construction, TAB industrial batteries provide a high peak capacity and increased initial capacity, while still returning an enhanced ability to recharge, which is particularly suitable for these demanding markets.
In addition to the batteries themselves, BPS/Manbat Industrial also supplies power storage accessories such as chargers and ‘auto-fill’ automated distilled water top-up systems, which prove invaluable in busy warehouse environments.
Industrial Batteries To Rely On
Manbat is the exclusive distributor of the US Battery range for the UK, which means that businesses in need of quality industrial batteries for floor sweepers and scrubbers, lifts and access equipment or similar heavy duty applications need to make Manbat their first port of call.
There are several design features that set US Battery products apart and make them particularly suitable for industrial usage. Naturally the quality of their manufacture and the materials used in the process ensure that each battery is of the highest standards. However, the Diamond Plate Technology® that is integral to the XC Xtreme Capacity range, is the key to the power and the deep cycling capacity they are capable of delivering.
Without going into the minutiae of the processes adopted by US Battery during manufacture, the Diamond Plate Technology allows it to ensure a uniformly fine crystal structure throughout the plate structure, which provides enhanced performance, charging and increases the battery’s lifespan.
Manbat is therefore keen to encourage industrial battery buyers to put quality before price and consider the US Battery XC range when replacing their existing batteries. This principle will pay dividends over the long-term as a cheap low quality product will simply not be able to stand up to the rigours of everyday use like an XC. So, although it may cost a little more, it will last a lot longer.
The latest addition to the US Battery line up is the XC2 range, which has a number of major ‘real world’ advantages over the majority of products in the market. These include a higher initial capacity, the highest possible total energy delivery over the lifespan of the battery, fast charging up to its full rated capacity – which saves both time and money – and compatibility with a wide range of chargers.
Toyota Material Handling supports the environment by embracing used battery recycling process for forklift truck batteries
As part of its ongoing drive to be more environmentally aware, Toyota Material Handling UK has implemented a process to recycle forklift truck batteries.
In what is believed to be an industry first, Toyota has worked with WB Powersource and
G & P Batteries to create a triage system that maximises the life of traction batteries and also the recycling potential of spent batteries.
The three way partnership enables Toyota Material Handling UK to recondition and recycle ex-rental contract forklift truck batteries and has resulted in an environmentally friendly, auditable process whilst also delivering significant cost savings over a twelve month period.
Paul Bradshaw, Fleet Centre Manager for Toyota Material Handling UK conducted a review of its operations and identified an opportunity to recondition and recycle the trucks’ spent batteries instead of just selling them for their scrap lead value. Toyota has a long established relationship with WB Powersource, based in West Bromwich, which supplies new batteries and is also responsible for specialist repair and maintenance. Together the companies explored the opportunities to maximise the shelf life of the batteries used by the Toyota Fleet Management Centre (FMC).
Toyota’s Fleet Management Centre based in Old Dalby, Melton Mowbray, handles up to 1,000 trucks each month, undertaking major repairs and maintenance, plus the refurbishment of Toyota and BT equipment for resale.
“Historically we have always disposed of our battery cell assets for scrap value only. The sheer volumes of used cells passing through the FMC made it almost impossible to install any practical management or recycling system. We were aware that we could maximise our assets and also be more environmentally aware if we could develop a quality testing and recycling system. A partnership with a reputable company in the battery supply and maintenance field was the best option so working closely with WB we began to explore the possibilities and developed the process we now have in place.” comments Paul Bradshaw.
WB has a long association with the Darlaston based battery collection and recycling company, G & P Batteries. Part of Ecobat Technologies, the world’s largest producer of lead, G & P works closely with sister company, Derbyshire based lead smelting company HJ Enthoven and Sons, which is responsible for recycling the vast majority of lead acid batteries scrapped in the UK.
Enthoven ensures that up to 99% of the battery components are recycled, with the majority being turned into raw materials to create new batteries in a powerful closed loop recycling initiative.
In January 2012, Toyota launched a scheme with WB where all used cells are examined under a triage system. This involves a rigorous testing process to determine whether the cells are suitable for second life use or need to be disposed of via G & P. Cells passing the testing criteria are stored and maintained by WB ready for Toyota to call off as required. End of life batteries are sold as scrap with Toyota receiving market rate for the lead value. These cells are collected by G & P and then sent on for smelting by Enthoven’s.
“The reconditioned batteries come with a full service warranty, which mirrors the overall guarantee offered on the refurbished forklifts,” said Vic Worthington from WB Powersource. “That means Toyota have peace of mind that they are offering reliable refurbished trucks.”
Over a 12 month period Toyota Material Handling UK has achieved significant cost savings through the battery reconditioning and recycling initiative, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the forklift truck market.
“The process relies on robust monitoring systems to ensure visibility of the disposal route and that the quality of the reconditioned cells is not compromised,” explained Paul Bradshaw. “As a responsible company we needed to be comfortable with the process and be able to monitor the process from the FMC right through to disposal. We have an excellent working relationship with WB and in the initial 12 month period we have had only two small warranty issues, which were rectified immediately. We’re really delighted that this initiative is working on a number of fronts for us”.
Michael Green, Managing Director for G & P Batteries said: “Lead acid batteries are classed as Hazardous Waste and therefore must be treated with respect when storing and transporting them. We created the routes for recycling them many years ago and now we are proud to be part of the world’s only company that offers true closed loop recycling of lead and lead based products. Nearly 100% of the components in batteries collected by G & P are recycled and many of them end up in new batteries, ready to begin the cycle all over again.”