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Innovation Spotlight: JLG's Advanced Battery Monitoring System

Expert Q&A - Aug 21

Innovation Spotlight: JLG's Advanced Battery Monitoring System

Jennifer Stiansen
Director of Marketing
JLG Industries

Battery monitoring in electric-powered MEWPs (mobile elevating work platforms) like scissor lifts and boom lifts can provide important information about the health of these machines, including the battery’s charge and usage.

Analyzing this data can provide superior diagnostic information on the battery and charger system, which delivers significant details to equipment owners and users that enables them to make more accurate service decisions.

Using advanced technologies to monitor and track battery health like the JLG® Advanced Battery Monitoring System allows you to be more productive and efficient in managing your electric equipment fleet. This app provides concise, actionable data that fleet managers can use to ensure fewer worksite interruptions and improve project completion times. 

Below are insights from JLG Project Engineer Stefan Eshleman on this system…
At A Glance Battery
What types of data does the JLG Advanced Battery Monitoring System collect? 
Mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) batteries can be monitored for many different things, but none of these different things are as important as the State of Charge (SoC). Knowing how much charge is remaining in a machine’s battery pack, and what can be done with it, can drastically improve the MEWP’s efficiencies and performance on any jobsite. 

Question: What does SOC % mean?
Answer: State of charge % (SOC %) refers to the relative level of energy left on your machine when compared with a fully charged machine.

Today’s battery monitoring from JLG is sophisticated enough to not only analyze the machine's battery charge, but our Advanced Battery Monitoring System also shares information on battery usage and provides superior diagnostic information on the battery and charger system. Components include a new Smart Charger, which logs the charge history and details on the machine controller, and a Mobile Control hardware module that provides wireless connectivity and interaction.

The JLG system’s components provide real-time, actionable information, including accurate state-of-charge, battery depletion tracking, fluid level monitoring and charging history. All information is available in an intuitive mobile application that empowers users to make informed decisions about their machine's energy system.

Access to this level of battery information provides several key benefits for machine owners and operators, including:

  • Increased Uptime: Machines that lose charge during the workday slow productivity. Owners and operators can analyze depletion tracking and current status at the fleet level to gain a better understanding of the batteries and charger in seconds, without the time-consuming process of visiting each machine.
  • Reduced Maintenance and Replacement Costs: The application's actionable data encourages machine owners and operators to follow best charge/discharge practices that can lead to a 40% improvement in battery life. Additionally, this tool helps reduce up to 70% of charger replacements that are performed in error due to a lack of actionable data.
  • Time Savings: Time-consuming charger algorithm changes are simplified, so maintenance can be up to eight times faster. Additionally, service technicians will spend less time changing batteries and/or chargers, and instead can monitor them to make more productive decisions about battery maintenance.

How can the data from the Advanced Battery Monitoring System used? 
JLG’s battery monitoring system delivers great detail around the charge history, allowing users to make more accurate service. The additional functionality of the highly-accurate state-of-charge details, coupled with the feature-rich mobile application for battery monitoring, will lead to lower total cost of ownership for our customers and equipment users. By providing concise, actionable data, fleet managers can use it to ensure fewer worksite interruptions and improve project completion times. 

Question: What are the most common reasons why batteries fail?

Answer: Improper charging/discharging. For optimal battery usage, batteries should maintain an 80% SOC to reduce battery deterioration. Proper charging and discharging methods are detailed in the JLG Advanced Battery Monitoring app, under the “I” icon.  Another common cause for battery failure is improperly watering or failure to water batteries. Only distilled water should be used for watering. 

How can this data help with servicing and maintaining the batteries on JLG electric-powered MEWPs?
As mentioned above, the types of troubleshooting that this data can help with include: State of Charge, battery depletion tracking, charging history, alerts/notifications on issues with the batteries including freeze warnings.

With JLG’s battery monitoring system, machine operators can access battery data in several convenient formats based on their needs. They can use the new Smart Charger on its own and access data with a handheld analyzer or pair the Smart Charger with the Mobile Control hardware. Users can then access data from a wireless mobile application available to download in the Apple App Store.

The JLG mobile app gives operators access to battery information when they are within 30 feet of the machine or group of machines that are actively in use or plugged in for charging. This gives a one-to-many connection locally that drastically improves the data's effectiveness and operator convenience.

Question: Why would the battery not be charging if it is plugged in?  

Answer: Check the power source where the charger is plugged in.  The power supply could potentially be turned off, not plugged in, or have poor power quality (e.g., low voltage power pole).

Additional details on the impact of battery monitoring, care and maintenance can be found in the following articles:

To learn more about the JLG Advanced Battery Monitoring System, click here

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