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How lithium-ion forklift batteries are a game-changer for the paper and packaging industry

2023/05/06 | Lithium Forklift Battery | 0

Industry Challenge

A typical paper roll may be loaded, transported and unloaded 4-16 times on its way from the paper mill to the printing press. All stages of this transport chain require powerful, dedicated handling equipment to minimize downtime and operating costs.

Newsprint, coated paper, craft or linerboard – high-volume, uninterrupted processing of paper rolls, pulp and waste bales requires powerful equipment. The power supply usually needs to be so rugged and reliable that you can run it non-stop.

Until recently, Class I and II forklifts using tilt and swivel attachments were primarily powered by LPG internal combustion engines or lead-acid electric motors. Both have their own set of problems, but three main ones are common: run time, high energy costs and pollution.

The pulp and paper industry is an "edge" industry for Li-ion technology. Its material-handling needs range between those industries where electric forklifts have traditionally been available, such as small warehouses and supermarkets, and super-heavy industries, such as mining, where huge machinery consumes so much energy that conventional wisdom says it cannot be used converted into electricity. "We're proving that's not true," said Haley Ning, director of marketing at BSLBATT. "The paper industry was one of the first heavy industries to adopt lithium-ion batteries, but others will follow."

Pulp and paper facilities are ready for conversion because they generally have access to electricity and stable infrastructure with a consistent grid; in contrast, many mining operations are located in undeveloped areas. "Our battery offers great potential for paper processing," says Felix Du. "Furthermore, where hygienic handling is a mandatory requirement - such as paper converting and packaging, including food packaging - the absence of harmful fumes and low maintenance are important."


Lithium-ion batteries are better suited to meet the needs of the paper industry for three shifts a day in loading and unloading, factory, warehousing, onboard, transport operations or demanding recycling applications. Clean and safe lithium batteries are powerful enough to support the most demanding applications, extending runtime and reducing energy costs.

BSLBATT lithium batteries are designed and manufactured for demanding applications and offer a high level of expertise in paper handling. We help our customers transition from lead-acid batteries to lithium-ion batteries to successfully move paper rolls and bales through the supply chain. BSLBATT batteries support the handling of large sized rolls in paper mills, printing plants and converting plants.

Our customers are freed from the acrid odors, acid spills, exhaust fumes and noise pollution from lead-acid powered electric trucks. Where hygienic handling is required, such as paper processing and packaging, including food packaging, the safety and zero routine maintenance of BSLBATT lithium-ion batteries is very important.

Benefits of Lithium Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries run 25% longer than lead-acid batteries. Lithium-ion batteries can also be safely discharged to 20% capacity, while lead-acid batteries can only be safely discharged to 30%. This enables forklifts powered by lithium-ion batteries to last longer, which is key to maintaining productivity.

Li-Ion batteries can be recharged in 1 to 2 hours and have the opportunity to charge for 15 or 30 minutes without permanent damage to battery capacity. This helps workers recharge the battery between shifts or when workers take breaks, extending battery life.

Lithium-ion batteries require far less maintenance. With little time left for maintenance, more warehouse and manufacturing operations are looking for options that allow them to redirect workers to moving products instead of maintaining batteries. Lithium-ion batteries do not have to be "watered", unlike lead-acid batteries where the electrolyte level must be checked regularly, usually weekly.

  Employees must also regularly inspect lead-acid batteries to:

- Make sure the water level does not drop below the top of the lead plate (approximately every 10 charge cycles)

- Check the water to make sure its pH is between 5 and 7

- Make sure to leave enough room for the liquid inside to expand

- Regularly equalize the battery and ensure temperature control throughout the charging process

Lithium-ion batteries have a simpler charging process. Downtime of any kind can be costly, so using a battery that includes an easier (and faster) charging process can help put the battery back into service.

To charge a Li-ion battery:

- The forklift operator simply drives the vehicle to the charging station.

- Leave the battery in the forklift and the driver connects the Li-Ion battery to the charger

- Since the lithium-ion battery is rechargeable, the forklift operator can recharge the battery during a break or at the end of a shift.

- Once the battery is fully charged (full charge typically only takes 1 to 2 hours), the operator can disconnect the battery from the charger and resume work immediately.

The charging process for lead-acid batteries is complex and time-consuming:

- The forklift operator must drive the forklift to the designated battery charging bay.

- Special lifting equipment must be used to remove the lead-acid battery from the forklift and place it on the rack where it will be charged.

- The charging process lasts about 8 hours.

- Afterwards, the battery will be left where it was charged or shipped to a designated cooling area to cool down for another 8 hours.

The time-consuming process of recharging the lead-acid battery interrupted workflow because if the operator wanted to keep using the equipment, another battery had to be installed, which took about 15 minutes. This reduces productivity at a time when warehouse managers are struggling to keep productivity at an all-time high. It also means that another battery has to be purchased and installed in the forklift.

Lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, help businesses increase output by extending the life of forklifts and allowing warehouse managers to more efficiently utilize staff to meet production demands.

How BSL lithium-ion forklift batteries are changing the paper and packaging industry

Case 1.

A Taiwanese paper mill is retrofitting new lithium batteries with a Yale ERP45VM forklift. 4500KG. The Electric Buffer Tire Trucks are all 83.2V powered by a 1400Ah BSL Li-Ion battery.

Six trucks carry the rolls to the loading and unloading warehouse, where they are stacked in warehouses for distribution. There are also two trucks for excursions with rolls that need to be rewound.

All 8 trucks run on one battery, which will last all day, with quick opportunity recharging sessions during breaks and lunches.

yale forklift lithium batteries

Case 2.

A large Israeli paper mill is using a Yale ERP55VM6F2170 to retrofit new lithium batteries to feed the production line. The end of the line is served by eight Yale ERP55VM6F2170 forklifts, which have all recently switched from lead-acid powered electric trucks to BSL lithium batteries. There are 5500 KG capacity trucks equipped with 2267KG paper roll clamps and BSL lithium batteries with 2200KG installed. 8 Yale ERP55VM6F2170 forklifts do very heavy duty – 3 shifts per day, averaging 4,800 hours per year! This is well beyond any industry standard rental (approximately 1500-2000 hours per year).

Powerful, durable BSLBATT lithium batteries are the best choice when you need to maximize uptime and safely handle paper and pulp products.

Also for pulp and paper manufacturers, sustainability is another factor. It was a "eureka moment" for Haley Ning to realize that many of his clients had internal mandates to reduce their factories' carbon footprint. "Forklifts may not even be an area they're thinking about helping achieve those goals," he said. "Switching from lead-acid batteries to lithium means switching from dirty to clean energy. Efficiency is common in every industry.

You'll save money along the way on lead acid. In Israel, it can cost 5-10 times more to run a truck with a lead-acid battery, depending on where you live and work. Our experience is that we can help someone reduce their total cost of ownership by 25-30% over five years,” he added.

yale forklift lithium battery


BSLBATT is known for producing some of the most durable, reliable, safe, and trouble-free Li-ion batteries for applications where durability, speed, and energy efficiency directly impact the bottom line.

BSLBATT lithium-ion batteries help reduce downtime by taking advantage of breaks to opportunistically recharge when operations are most convenient. Zero routine maintenance and energy efficiency provide quick cost savings.

Lithium-ion technology is the best forklift battery to help the paper and packaging industry achieve warehouse and operational efficiencies. The benefits of using lithium-ion batteries can help achieve these operational efficiency goals. Fleet managers in the paper and packaging industry can improve operational efficiency by implementing lithium-ion batteries in their forklift fleets.

About the Author

Lithium Forklift Battery

Since 2012, served as chief engineer in our company, won a “Hefei gold worker" and another honorary title, its lead type low-temperature water system 76 Ah aluminum shell lithium iron phosphate power battery won the fifth worker in Hefei title of “Excellent" technology innovation achievements, Leading the development of ternary aluminum shell, water system lithium iron phosphate aluminum shell, water system lithium iron phosphate plastic shell and other products.

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