Are Batteries Draining Your Productivity?

Posted by Advanced Mobile Group on Apr 21, 2023 8:00:00 AM


Unexpected errors or connectivity issues can cause delays in your warehouse production. It’s never ideal to have workers standing around waiting because their technology is unusable. Some issues cannot be avoided, but one that you can prevent is dead batteries. Here’s what you should be doing to prolong the battery life of your handheld devices.

The Importance of Handheld Devices in the Modern Warehouse

In our personal lives, most of us think nothing of holding massive computing power in the palm of our hands. But warehouses and distribution centers have been slow to integrate these tools into the work environment. 

A combination of surging eCommerce sales, supply chain issues, and labor constraints have promoted warehouses to implement technology solutions. Adopters of handheld devices in the workplace are enjoying a variety of benefits in all aspects of their business:

  • 230228-creating-an-efficient-unstoppable-ideal-warehouse-3Improved productivity — The primary benefit of handheld computers is that it makes information accessible from anywhere. In a warehouse, this means pickers and packers can get up-to-minute information at their fingertips. 
  • Improved accuracy — Where warehouse workers have access to connected handheld devices, this improves information accuracy, eliminates paperwork, and reduces duplication of effort. 
  • Improved transparency — Handheld devices offer workers and management real-time information, which improves transparency. With this better data, the business can reduce bottlenecks and avoid issues before they arise. 

But, to enjoy these benefits, the devices need to work throughout the day. This becomes a question of how your business can better manage the battery life of its handheld devices. 

How Batteries Work for Your Handheld Devices

As technology evolves, we’ll need access to more batteries to power a wide variety of devices. Part of leveraging these devices to improve your operations is choosing the right battery for your needs. When you work with your business partner, here are some of the factors you’ll want to consider:

  • Temperature — Exothermic reactions can take place due to high battery temperatures. It’s vital to follow safety guidelines to remain safe. Research the different types of batteries to find one that will function at the temperature you need. 
  • Power density — This refers to the maximum discharge rate per volume or unit mass. Some devices, like smartphones and laptops, require low power density. Other devices, like power tools, require high power density. 
  • Energy density — Energy density refers to how much energy a battery can store. This plays a large role in determining how long your battery will last between charges. 
  • Lifecycle — Batteries must have stable energy and power density over their lifecycles. This is essential for long battery life between charges. 
  • Cost-effectiveness — Your battery’s overall performance should align with its cost. 
  • Shelf life — How long will your battery or device sit on the shelf before you need it? Depending on your answer, you may need a battery with a slow discharge rate. 

Unfortunately, batteries in handheld devices aren’t easily replaceable. Instead, you need to be conscious about device usage and care to prolong the life and usefulness of these tools. 

Maximizing the Battery Life of Your Warehouse Handheld Devices

There’s nothing worse for a worker than seeing a “low battery” indicator on their handheld device. With these tools becoming so essential in the warehouse, it can paralyze work and damage productivity when they aren’t available. 

This is challenging because, while these devices have tended to get smarter and faster, the lithium-ion batteries that power them haven’t changed much since they were invented over three decades ago. In the meantime, here are some of the top ways you can increase your warehouse device’s battery life:

1. Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Li-ion batteries don’t perform well in extreme heat or cold. Avoid leaving devices exposed in areas with direct sunlight or minimum ventilation. If it’s cold, consider placing an insulated cover over the device. 

2. Try Partial Charging

230425-are-batteries-draining-your-productivityIt might seem counterintuitive, but fully charging a device can actually be bad for its battery. Also, using a device until the battery reaches 0% is equally bad. The best way to extend the life of your handheld devices is to charge them frequently and partially. For example, charge them to about 80% and use them until they reach about 20%. 

3. Reduce Screen Brightness

A simple way to reduce the drain on your batteries is to lower the brightness settings on the screen. Some Android devices use adaptive brightness, which can overcompensate in darker warehouses. You can manually adjust this for better results. 

4. Only Use Compatible Charging Cables

It’s not uncommon for businesses and people to use non-OEM charging cables to try to save money. While these might cost less, they can damage your device’s battery if they are made from inferior materials. Make sure you are only using compatible charging cables to avoid damage. 

5. Check Your Apps

One thing that can drain your mobile device’s battery quickly is having a variety of apps running in the background. Your workers may not be aware that these are running. Make it a regular procedure to check and shut down unnecessary apps before starting each shift. 

6. Reduce Screen Time-Out

Similar to computers and laptops, a mobile device’s screen will often turn off automatically when not in use. You can save energy by reducing the screen auto-lock time to one minute or even 30 seconds. 

7. Adjust Location Settings

One of the most important features for some warehouse workers is the ability to track location. But this also requires a lot of power. Depending on your needs, it might be enough to show that you are in the warehouse, not which aisle. In some phones, you can adjust the settings to “battery saving,” which doesn’t use as much power. 

8. Use Airplane Mode

When a device’s hardware is continuously searching for WiFi, Bluetooth, or GPS signals, this requires a ton of power. Workers might need this when they are on the floor. But the device can be switched to airplane mode when it isn’t actively being used to stop all of these roaming processes. 

As eCommerce activity shows no signs of waning and warehouses continue to improve efficiencies to meet a surge in demand, basic changes such as maximizing the utility of handheld devices can greatly improve productivity. By selecting the right batteries and having strict processes in place for their care, warehouses can continue to deliver reliable and fast service to their customers. 

Related posts

Topics: RFID, Warehouse Managment, Handheld Computer, Mobile Workstation

Did you find this interesting? Please share!