Regular readers of CVW – and indeed most technicians with even a passing interest in the service and maintenance of batteries – will be no stranger to Rotronics. The company is the UK partner of US-based Midtronics, boasting a suite of battery management solutions aimed at supporting OEMs, the automotive and transport industries with consultancy, training and technical advice.
The importance of battery management in the CV market cannot be overstated. The commercial consequences of battery failures on the road can be absolutely catastrophic for a business – consider, for instance, a truck missing a scheduled delivery which results in the company losing a key contract, or a bus full of passengers who demand compensation when their journey is delayed. When you also factor in that battery faults are not often visible or obvious until the last minute – when it’s all too late – it becomes clear how important an issue proactive battery maintenance is.
And yet, Ken Clark, Managing Director at Rotronics, tells me that very few operators pay much attention to how they manage batteries, seemingly failing to understand the risks to their business and not taking the necessary steps to address them. On this point, Ken says:
“If a workshop does not regularly monitor and maintain the batteries, there are hardly any obvious symptoms until it is too late.
“There are few visible signs of battery imbalance but many workshops will be familiar with the warnings of electrolyte staining and corrosion on the terminals. A quick clean is no way out of a long-term problem and the only solution is to get to the root cause – to improve battery life, battery performance and vehicle reliability.”
Rotronics is working hard to encourage people to come round to this new way of thinking – and in order to do this, the company offers full bespoke training modules designed to support its workshop and fleet customers, as part of its Battery Management Programmes. The programmes are moulded around each individual business, enhancing workshop productivity and fault diagnosis.
Rotronics pledges to work closely with its customers in creating best practices that work in each workshop’s environment, across all aspects of battery care and maintenance from start to finish. To this end, each customer is given the expertise and know-how required to use the testing and charging equipment, and the programme keeps a full record of use, allowing customers to monitor and track their fleet’s battery performance, with useful feedback provided by Rotronics.
In short, the programme is designed to introduce simple and effective testing and charging capability within service and maintenance schedules, with the key benefits being: full battery and electrical system testing in under four minutes; extension of the serviceable life of batteries, reducing ‘in service failure’ and warranty- associated costs; minimisation of risks associated with premature failure of batteries, through pro-active testing; raised workshop ability and understanding of testing practices and procedures; and increased revenue opportunities through pro-active service support testing as part of routine on-site inspection service.
1.) Battery Acceptance & Storage – validating and measuring the quality and condition of batteries purchased and how they are maintained before use.
2.) Pre-Fitment Process – Ensuring Batteries are fully charged and “in Balance” (24v sets) and are in a good and healthy condition before fitment.
3.) Review of Maintenance Processes – Rotronics will help you to create Best Practices that work alongside and complement existing workshop processes, maximising efficiencies and service opportunities.
4.) Education and Training – The company will deliver on-site training, engaging with staff, sharing knowledge and expertise on how to get the most out of the programmes.
5.) Implementation – Launching the programme ensuring everyone knows
their responsibility and the role they play in supporting the process.
6.) Monitoring Progress and Success – Rotronics will work in partnership with you, reviewing progress and offering tips and advice on ensuring the business achieves maximum return on investment.
The training element of the programme comes at no extra cost (once you’ve purchased the equipment), and the company will readily visit a workshop to lead the training session on-site. According to Ken Clark, 30 mins is all that’s needed to demo the testing and charger equipment, so it doesn’t take a huge commitment of time to get up to speed with the products. Rotronics is also looking to expand its online training offer, with a view to doing regular sessions via WebEx.
For more information about our battery management programmes please call Rotronics on 0121 526 8185
This article was published in the CVW Magazine June 2016
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