Battery Powered Vs. LPG Cleaning Solutions: Which Is Right for Your Food Manufacturing Facility?

The evolution of battery technology has improved cleaning solutions for use in environments that necessitate zero emissions. Battery powered sweeping, scrubbing and vacuuming machines are great for certain situations, but are they right for your plant? Download the report to learn more.

Karcher
Karcher
Food manufacturers are always looking for the safest, most economical solutions to keep their plant operations running smoothly. Selecting the right cleaning solutions for large food production environments can be a challenge. Cost, emissions, and mainte- nance, among many others, are all factors that figure into just how a manufacturer of food products keeps its facility clean and free of pollutants. The evolution of battery technology has improved cleaning solutions for use in environ- ments that necessitate zero emissions. Battery powered sweeping, scrubbing and vacuuming machines are great for certain situations, but are they right for your plant? Let’s have a look. Whether you’re looking at forklifts or ride-on cleaning equipment, such as sweepers, scrubbers and vacuums, you’ve likely seen comparable battery-operated and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) models in these categories. When deciding which is right for your facility, you might take a number of factors into account. Emissions In the context of emissions, the size and layout of your facility, as well as the number of machines you’ll need, may be important as you make your decision. If your facility is smaller and features cramped aisles and more constrained spaces, you might want to avoid emissions altogether, which would favor battery operated equipment, as these are zero-emissions machines. Facilities that produce food and other environmentally sensitive goods might also want to avoid emissions contamination. Battery operated electric cleaning vehicles might also mitigate cost associated with installing expensive HVAC filtering and ventilation systems. Battery Powered Vs. LPG Cleaning Solutions: Which Is Right for Your Food Manufacturing Facility? In larger, open spaces, where there is a lot of square footage and multiple shifts, an LPG model might be the best choice, as propane canisters can be easily replaced at the end of every shift, while batteries will need to be charged. This might be particular- ly applicable in warehouses and other operations that use these types of equipment for hours at a time. Mark McCullough, a product manager for Kärcher, which makes various ride-on cleaning and maintenance machines, notes this difference. “Obviously, the time to swap-out an LPG tank is a matter of a few minutes, whereas the batteries can take up to 8 hours to fully recharge,” McCullough said. Here are some battery and tank ranges for the Kärcher Ride-On Sweeper models. Noise Manufacturing facilities are already noisy places, which can inhibit communication and add unnecessary confusion to a fast-paced workplace. Battery operated equipment is very quiet, usually in the mid-60 decibel range. Bat- tery-operated ride-on scrubbers, sweepers and vacuum systems won’t add to the cacophony of the average facility. LPG or other reciprocating engine driven equip- ment may require the operator to wear hearing protection as the decibel ranges are well into the 70s. Bryan Kucinski, director of Industry and Transport for Kärcher, pointed to noise and emissions as two key advantages to battery powered machines. “There’s a lot of advantages to a battery powered machine,” Kucinski said. “One is emissions, and the other is noise. When you go into food and beverage where you can’t have emissions, that’s where the advantage is.” Battery Run Time LPG (33lb.) KM 125/130 2.9 – 3.9 hrs 3.3 hrs KM 130/300 2.5 – 3.0 hrs 3.3 hrs KM 150/500 3.5 – 4.0 hrs 3.0 hrs Cost Initial cost and the cost of operation might be another factor to consider. The current market of cheap fuel might help keep down day-to-day operations costs on LPG machines, and electric machines typically carry a higher initial price point. List prices for Kärcher Ride-On Sweepers mentioned earlier. The KM 150/500 machine is the only battery-powered machine in its size class. *Prices provided by Kärcher. The graph below, published in a blog by forklift maker Hyster and provided by NACCO, compares the cost of ownership between a battery-powered forklift and an LPG forklift over the course of five years. As noted above, the initial costs of a battery operated machine are higher than an LPG model. Context The type of cleaning and maintenance equipment any business invests in will ultimately depend on a given business’ needs and applications. When considering options, remember to think through the details of your operations: Karcher is a leading provider of battery-powered cleaning solutions for the food manufacturing industry. www.Karcher.com/US • Size and layout of your facilities • Number of machines you’ll be purchasing • Proximity machines will be operating to workers • Duration of use • Initial cost • Cost of ownership • Sterility requirements for my products • Effects on environment Cost (000s) LP Gas Electric Battery LPG KM 125/130 $34,730 $31,750 KM 130/300 $44,500 $38,000 KM 150/500* $67,500 $50,000
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