Lithium-ion Technology in Forklifts
The equipment is used in production plants at Nueva Victoria, Coya Sur and Pedro de Valdivia as well as in mine maintenance workshops.
The use of lithium-ion batteries is growing worldwide along with the development of electromobility technologies and the move towards sustainability.
As one of the world’s foremost lithium producers, and given our concern for the environment, several months ago we added cargo movement units with lithium-ion batteries to our fleet in order to replace those powered by fossil fuels.
“The technology does not release toxic gases, which aligns with our continuous improvement approach and the Company’s vision of caring for the environment and our workers’ health,” said Contract Engineer Javier López. He also noted that “the batteries are maintenance-free, which saves us time and supervision efforts related to that task.”
In order to carry out this transition, SQM worked with the German group Jungheinrich. That company’s Product Manager in Chile, Albert Miethe, explains, “We were pioneers in the development and use of lithium ions in cargo movement equipment batteries, and today we are using the safest cell technology available in the market with a system for monitoring each battery cell, thus prioritizing operator safety and operational continuity.”
Finally, in regard to other advantages that this technology offers, SQM’s Heavy Machinery Director Carolina Eyzaguirre explained, “There is greater stability because the electric system is more reliable and can be standardized. Furthermore, the electrical equipment being used is sealed, which makes it more resistant to dust, water and rain. As such, it is better for working in irregular conditions, like those found at mining sites, and under caustic conditions or close to hazardous materials, as is the case with the iodine plant.”