LOGISTICS SOLUTIONS FOR

BATTERY BACKUP UNITS

“Their innovative packaging solutions, ability to test and efforts to develop the most economical packaging are unsurpassed.”

- Bob Richard

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CASE STUDY CANDIDATE

Company

Fortune 50 Leader in web-based services

Location

Worldwide

THE PROBLEM

A leading web services provider approached Americase as a collaborative partner. Their problem: How to effectively and efficiently address the logistical needs presented by shipping Battery Backup Units. (BBU).

THE SOLUTION

The organization implemented a custom-designed Americase BBU shipping container that could be utilized in all aspects of the logistics chain from

  1. The manufacturer
  2. On site receiving/storage
  3. Ergonomic loading/unloading at the rack in server rooms
  4. Quarantine and return of damaged defective BBUs
  5. Delivery of “aged out” BBUs to disposal or recycling.

All BBUs outside of servers in any stage or use state reside in this container.

THE PRODUCT

Aluminum exterior construction design for 10+ year field life.

Designed and tested as full-containment solution in the event of thermal runaway.

Interior shuttle designed for individual BBU separation for secure transport and as a cross propagation barrier of heat/fire in the event of thermal runaway.

Removable and reconfigurable inner shuttle to future-proof packaging for possible BBU dimension changes with tech refresh.

Ergonomically designed 180 degree hinged door for ease of loading and unloading within server aisles.

Stackable design for maximum use of three-dimensional space in transport and in storage at facility.

WORKING WITH AMERICASE DECREASED

Waste Elimination
Workers Compensation

AND INCREASED

Efficiency & Productivity
In Loading & Decommissioning

“Great Service every time, I’d highly recommend them and look forward to continuing our relationship in the future.“ - Ross Mills

THE BENEFITS

  • Ergonomic loading & unloading
  • Durable
  • Stackable
  • Multi-year usability
  • ESD Design
  • Holds 60 BBUs per container
  • Reconfigurable for BBU size with changes
  • Simplified design for field repair
  • Liftable by forklift
  • All aluminum construction
  • Fire containment with segmented

Have you considered the end to end process of BBU’s in your facility and the issues posed by:

  • Workers comp claims from loading and unloading injuries?
  • Warranty claims from destruction during transport?
  • Space limitation?
  • Environmental impact?
  • Offsite storage needs?

THE CASE STUDY

Following the successful return of the Samsung Galaxy Note cell phone recall, Americase has become the international leader in the safe and regulatory compliant transportation of lithium-ion batteries. As such, a client approached us in their search to solve issues discovered regarding Battery Back Up Units (BBUs) at their data centers internationally.

The client disclosed that they were a Fortune 50 organization that was projecting tremendous growth across the web. Since they hosted their own application, they evaluated their data centers to ensure maximum efficiency regarding bringing servers online. In particular, there were some well-recognized inefficiencies in the process of receiving BBUs from the manufacturer.

Their current process required that the BBUs ship in OEM fiberboard packaging with three units to a box. Upon arrival, boxes were unloaded and staged in an unboxing/storage area where the personnel was required to: unbox the outer shipper (taped/sealed outer packaging holding three inner packages), remove and open the inner BBUs box (taped/sealed inner packaging holding individual BBU which were additionally covered an ESD plastic bag). Once each BBU had been completely unpacked, they placed them into a plastic gaylord container used to transport BBUs to the server room for loading into the rack servers.

The process was:

  1. Time-consuming (several working hours per BBU shipment)
  2. Created thousands of pounds of paper and plastic waste annually
  3. Contributed to lost working hours due to workplace injuries resulting from the poor ergonomics of unboxing, load and unloading the gaylords to load the BBUs in the server rack.

Our client tasked Americase with creating a container that could transport the BBUs from the manufacturer to the server that would be qualified for international transport, keep the BBUs protected, and be utilized ergonomically for loading to the server racks.

Initial designs were developed, and subsequent meetings led to more profound discoveries with other departments within the client’s organization. Additional concerns were discovered concerning three other areas surrounding BBUs. The client discovered a great need with respect to BBU storage during tech-refresh of server racks where BBU lifespan was depleted and needed to be temporarily stored in a safe, static-free container.

Additionally, the client recently discovered that the proximity storage of the lithium ion-based BBUs was considered a fire hazard by their insurer. The insurer required all new facilities be constructed with an isolated, fire containment room for all BBUs not installed in server racks at the cost of nearly $1M per facility.

Finally, it was discovered that there was no current solution to handle the transportation of BBUs at the end of life – either for destruction or recycling. These additional needs added to the project scope for the BBU container design.

Americase, in partnership with Fulcrum Test Labs and Hazmat Safety Consulting, developed the parameters for the container. Once the initial form-factor was determined, which could:

  1. Hold the maximum number of BBUs which allowing for the stack-ability of the containers for ease of shipping and storage
  2. Could easily be navigated through the aisles between server racks while being accessed from 2 sides
  3. Could be easily moved by both forklift and hand truck for ease of movement across the logistics chain,
  4. Limit/eliminate cross propagation of fire between BBUs in the event of thermal runaway AND
  5. Contain both flames and hazardous particles from exiting the container in the event internal or external heat/fire.

The final design is all-aluminum exterior construction with an internal removable/upgradable HDPE shuttle designed in a grid format to individually separate and isolated each BBU; the container has 2-way access housing 30-BBUs per side of the container. The design allows for natural movement within the logistics chain by forklift or hand truck with hinged access doors, which open a full 180 degrees for loading and unloading at all points of use.

Learn more:

www.americase.com/bbu