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February 2017
Where is the material handling industry headed in 2017? Read this month's cover story - "New technologies streamline warehouses" to learn more.

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AMETEK Prestolite Power celebrates 100 years of battery charger manufacturing 

AMETEK Prestolite Power, supplier of industrial battery chargers and fleet management solutions, celebrates in 2016 its 100th year of manufacturing battery chargers for the material handling industry. Originally manufactured by the Hobart Brothers Battery Charger Division, Prestolite Power industrial battery chargers have set the industry standard worldwide since 1917. Its first charger, the HB Battery Charger, was not built by machine, but primarily by skilled laborers, who witnessed firsthand the very beginning of the technology. When compared with today’s advanced technology chargers, it is impressive to consider all of the developments the industry has seen since 1917.

“Since its inception, Prestolite Power has sought to provide innovative, industry-leading products that help its customers maximize productivity in their environments,” comments Jim Lichtenberg, Business Manager for AMETEK Prestolite Power. “From the beginning, when the concept of battery charging was new to the world, up until today, when battery chargers now include capabilities that never could be imagined a century ago, Prestolite Power was and remains on the leading edge of battery charging technology.”

When the industry began one hundred years ago, battery chargers basically consisted of a motor that generated an electrical charge. They were all mechanical and very inefficient at charging batteries. American manufacturing was at its height of importance. Companies often employed the entire population of some small towns. While times have changed and assembly lines have been updated with the latest technology, the early adapters of battery charging technology developed the core methods that are still used today.  As times have changed and industry has evolved, Prestolite Power has continued to push the limits of what its chargers can accomplish. Improved data collection, application of precise controls and high efficiency now serve as the cornerstones for battery charger technology across the industry.

Prestolite Power today offers multiple options for every customer need, including single shift, opportunity and ferroresonant chargers that feature the company’s most advanced technology. Prestolite’s most recent industry advancement is TruBID, the first charging system of its kind to accurately measure specific gravity and identify an undercharged battery so it can be properly recharged. Considered an engineering breakthrough by industry experts, TruBID reports an accurate measurement of specific gravity, minimizing sulfation.
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