Established in 1995, Powerlogic UK Ltd is the leading manufacturer of traction battery handling and changing equipment in the UK, and over the years has supplied its systems to many of this country’s leading retailers and manufacturing companies. Powerlogic’s battery handling equipment is now widely used throughout Britain and increasingly in Europe, producing the most technically advanced and commercially effective battery handling systems available.

Powerlogic’s battery handling systems speed up the process of handling, charging and changing traction batteries. Used in fork lift trucks and electric vehicles, these are big and heavy batteries, and changing them manually when discharged is difficult and hazardous. Using a specifically designed handling system accelerates the procedure and removes the hazards.

In 2002, Powerlogic UK Ltd incorporated PL Maintenance Services Ltd as a sister company, following requests from customers using other battery changing systems, to be able to offer a full maintenance and after sales service. Until this time Powerlogic had looked after only its own customers, but was now available to everybody regardless of the system they were using. The company’s UK network of engineers is available 7 days a week and they are widely regarded as being vital to keeping the heart of our customers’ distribution running. PL Maintenance Services Ltd. also looks after all the training requirements of our customers, both on and off site and our installation team is used widely within the industry, not just by Powerlogic.

Operators with a small forklift fleet will find that Powerlogic’s simple static changers and small systems makes battery changing safer and reduces manual input when changing a battery, and improves battery handling efficiency all round.

At the other end of the scale, large operations with 10 or more trucks will benefit from a Powerlogic powered system, which stores and charges batteries when not in use therefore reducing the space required for battery changing by up to 80%, so the system ends up paying for itself in lowered building costs.

Mark Newton, Key Accounts Manager at Powerlogic, spoke to The Grocery Trader.

The Grocery Trader – Mark, what does your role as Key Accounts Manager cover? Do you get personally involved in the design and construction of battery solutions for special customers?

The Key Accounts Manager’s role was created specifically to allow me to focus on our clients’ unique project needs. Essentially, every company has very different needs and expectations from a battery changing solution; my role is to ensure that Powerlogic creates and implements the perfect system each and every time.

I’ve been in the battery changing business for nearly 20 years now and I’ve pretty much seen it all!  My experience covers every possible battery changing scenario from the smallest single bed type up to systems capable of housing over 300 batteries on many levels. This allows me to share my knowledge and understanding, ensuring our clients get the best solution to their needs.

I, along with our team, am personally involved in just about every project, from concept through to design, construction, installation and commissioning. Working as a team allows us to provide a seamless battery changing solution that meets our clients’ specific needs.

GT – Who else is in the management team?

Steve Green looks after Design & Installation: Ted Beever heads up Engineering Research & Development: Nick Warren oversees Manufacturing: Elaine Pearson is in charge of Design & Project Management: and Mike Green leads Training & After Sales Service.

GT – Where and when was Powerlogic founded, and who set it up? Are they still involved in the business?

Powerlogic UK Ltd. was incorporated in 1995 as a completely independent supplier of battery change equipment. The need was recognised by the original five directors who all worked within the logistics industry. We are very proud that some 18 years later, four of these original directors are still very actively involved in the day to day running of the company, and Powerlogic UK Ltd. and PL Maintenance Services Ltd. are wholly privately owned and run by the directors.

GT – Can you talk us through the different products in your range?

Powerlogic are the only company that are able to offer a fully bespoke battery changing business solution. As well as creating a tailor-made system, we also offer a fully comprehensive range of products such as single tier and multi-tier transfer cars, powered pedestrian cars, single tier and multi-tier modules, static changers, manual transfer cars, bridge trolleys and pallet truck attachments.

GT – How do your static changers and small systems work? How do your powered systems work? When would you use one or the other?

This is normally tailored entirely to the client. If they only have a small fleet of trucks then typically the solution for battery change is normally a manual variety, whereas when the battery fleet grows to say 10 to 15 batteries and above we would normally look at a powered system to increase efficiency and productivity through the battery change process.

GT – In non technical terms, how do your battery transfer systems work?

We allow our users to get the most money out of their kit. It doesn’t get less technical than that!

GT – How do you sum up the benefits to the user of your Battery Transfer Systems?

Our systems bring maximum efficiency and safety to truck battery replacement and re-charging. They are extremely simple to operate, and we can provide the maintenance service back up to ensure smooth running at all times. Using a battery change system also means that there are space savings to be made within the warehouse, enabling the end user to be more productive.

GT – How do you compare with the other battery handling solution providers?

We’re the only UK-based battery transfer company who can take a project from enquiry via drawing to implementation and after sales service without using subcontractors. Our fully comprehensive in house service is second to none and allows us to manage the timescales of each project, ensuring that the quality and consistency of the end system is of the highest standard and that the project is always delivered on time and on budget.

GT – How do your products compare?

At Powerlogic we’re continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible within the battery changing industry. Our products are technologically innovative and as such are able to link in with the client’s environmental policies. Our machines are the greenest in the market due to the way in which they are controlled.

GT – The major battery suppliers often supply changing solutions to their customers. Do you supply the systems for those contracts?

Yes, we’re able to supply solutions for all major battery suppliers and have worked most recently on projects with GNB, Hoppecke and Enersys.

GT – Do you have any working relationships with the battery manufacturers?

We work completely independently of the manufacturers of both trucks and batteries and are able to provide a solution to any truck and battery on the market. However, we do of course have excellent working relationships with most of them, as we have worked with them for many years.

GT – Where do you make your battery handling solutions?

All our cars and systems are made at our own manufacturing facility in Maidstone. This way we’re able to ensure that the solution is completely tailored to the client. We’re able to oversee production time scales and ensure that quality is retained throughout the process. Using our own installation crews we’re then able to bring this bespoke philosophy onto site.

GT – Who are your major clients? Can you name them and tell us about the work you do for them?

We’re battery changing partners with Asda, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Tesco, Bodyshop, Arla Foods. B & Q. Disney Stores, Next, Pets at Home, Homebase, Stanley Tools, Unipart and Wilkinsons to name but a few.

GT – Do you cover the whole UK?

Yes, we have a nationwide network of service engineers that cover the UK and Ireland.

GT – Do you operate outside the UK?

Yes, we have carried out installations in Holland, Germany, France and Hungary.

GT – Do you have offices in those countries?

Not at present, but we are looking to increase our presence in these areas in the near future.

GT – What are your guidelines for configuring the best system for a customer’s fleet?

Initially we would recommend a site visit so that we can accurately determine the client’s needs, thereafter the most cost effective solution will be developed for the customer. We always try to offer at least two options highlighting a broader picture of what is available to them, and offering them our best advice explaining the different benefits for each option.

GT – Do you only offer standard kit, or can you tailor it to customers’ specific requirements?

We manufacture standard items of equipment, but we can, and frequently do, tailor make items to suit our clients’ specific requirements. This is where Powerlogic is unique, providing the only UK based, start-to-finish one stop shop for all battery change needs.

GT – Do you keep new machines in stock?

Yes. We carry a few smaller machines for supply off the shelf. Our larger machines are made to order, however we also offer a range of refurbished machines which are always in stock. If there is an urgent requirement, it’s often possible for us to provide a temporary car from the refurbished fleet. We’re also able to provide a short term rental solution for clients.

GT – Have you been asked to build battery charging rooms or manage existing ones?

Part of Powerlogic’s all-encompassing view on the battery changing room is our desire to not just stop at the charging of the battery. Due to the expertise we have in house, we’re able to provide anything within the battery room, from designated instant drying UV line marking, to mesh partitioning, engineer workshops, mechanical and electrical services including ventilation. We can also provide service contracts for these aspects and can provide a complete battery changing service within the battery room including the provision of personnel to carry out these tasks.

GT – Do you offer consultancy for people considering improving their battery transfer arrangements?

Yes, we are very happy to go to site and offer a free, no-obligation battery room survey, with a free checklist including ventilation and electrical supply requirements. We’re here to help!!

GT – What industry standards do you work to?

We are an ISO9001 Registered Company, with approval for Quality Management Systems related to the design, manufacture and installation of co-ordinated solutions for battery charging areas. We’re also NICEIC registered for all aspects of our electrical installations and are approved under the Safecontractor scheme.

GT – Do you supply your products direct or through distributors? What is your set up in Europe and other countries?

We do not have distributors for our products, and always supply direct. However, this may be via the battery or truck manufacturer rather than the end user of our equipment. It very much depends on the clients’ wishes and their relationship with their chosen battery or truck supplier. In the past all of our systems in Europe have been supplied via battery or truck suppliers. However, this is about to change, so watch this space!

GT – How has the last year been for you?

The last year has seen the Powerlogic brand go from strength to strength with a large number of installation projects being carried out for battery changing partners who continually return to Powerlogic for the service they receive.

We have also had the opportunity, thanks to one of our oldest clients, to trial one of our latest innovations in battery management. These trials have been hugely successful, with very positive and enthusiastic feedback, and we are excited at the prospect of now being ready to go live with this and feel that the benefits and opportunities this will bring Powerlogic and its clients over the coming years will be enormous and extremely beneficial.

GT – What do you see as the most important factors affecting your business, looking ahead?

At Powerlogic we continually strive to improve our business and the products we offer. We want to offer a cost effective, bespoke battery changing solution for every size of company.

One of the biggest factors affecting everybody is, of course, the one of renewable energy and efficiency. As we are continually looking to improve our services and meet our customers’ needs, including environmental ones, we are currently investigating possibilities in this direction. We are already in talks with a number of our clients regarding this, and thanks to the trust they so kindly show us, we hope that trials will be in place within the next 12 months. So for Powerlogic, the future is green!

GT – Where do you see Powerlogic going from here? What are you looking forward to most in business in 2013?

My brief is to try to bring the Powerlogic ethos regarding battery changing to as many new companies as possible. To this end, I’m currently working on new projects for several Blue Chip clients who are new to us and Powerlogic are continuing to push the boundaries where battery changing is concerned.

GT – Finally, how can people get in touch with you and get advice?

I’m contactable through the Northampton office on 01604 686297 or by email at Mark@powerlogic.co.uk

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