Corwin Will is the facility manager of The Pampered Chef, a Berkshire Hathaway company, which has benefited from tremendous savings and safety improvements from installing Minit Chargers across four warehouses. The Pampered Chef warehouses face a daily challenge similar to those of all industrial facilities: trying to pick and ship thousands of items a day in the most efficient way possible.
According to Will, The Pampered Chef’s main facility in Illinois has over 600,000 square feet of space, and combined with an adjacent facility, over 800,000 square feet of space is driven every day in order to get product off the shelves and into the customer’s hands. “Within our facility, we have 6 pick modules and we can ship between 20-30,000 pages a day depending on the time of year,” says Will.
Part of that equation, of course, is the forklift equipment that moves the product around all day long. The facility has a six-high storage system in a 42 foot high building, meaning the top pallet base sits at 30 ft. The company uses double reach extended fork trucks, with 12 trucks total, not including the other ten trucks that have all the Minit rapid-charge systems in them.
“We have had the rapid charge system for going on 11 years. The concept was in its infancy ten years ago when we decided to go with it, and it was a bit of a gamble because it was so new. There was only one company that had that system available. The system went against every industry standard as far as how to charge a forklift battery,” says Will.
The company with that system, then known as Edison Minit-Charge, today operates as ECOtality, Inc. ECOtality has been developing clean transportation solutions for the industrial sector since 1989, with the Minit-Charger® being one of its many products to hit the market. The Minit Charger is a battery fast-charging technology that is designed for on-road electric vehicles, automated guided vehicles, and material handling applications. Minit Chargers can provide a safe charge for an electric lift truck in approximately 15 minutes. The benefit of the system is that electric industrial lift trucks recharge quickly and when it is convenient for workers and their various shifts.