Valve-regulated lead- acid battery manufacturer NorthStar Battery has completed an extensive expansion of its US manufacturing facilities in Springfield, Missouri, and is busy with a second expansion project to increase the factory’s production capacity to 1,8-million battery units a year.
Phase one of the expansion comprised a capital injection of $8-million and an increased factory floor space of 23 225 m2, from 18 580 m2. The new factory also uses the latest robotic and processing technology for making batteries and employs state-of-the-art environmental control systems, the company reports.
The expansion included acquiring new plate-making equipment, pasting platforms, ovens, stackers, heat-sealing equipment, expanded acid filling and formation capabilities and new end-of-line and warehousing facilities.
Phase two of the expansion project will be completed by the end of the year. This represents a further capital investment of about $60-million for a new factory, comprising 29 450 m2 of manufacturing space that will house four production lines.
In addition to premium telecoms and uninterrupted power supply batteries, local electronic solutions provider Aztec Elec-tronics offers the range of NorthStar’s premium automotive batteries, suitable for use in all motor vehicles – commercial and other, as well as for use in emergency vehicles and marine applications, where reliability is of extreme importance.
Aztec Electronics sales engi- neer Dean Marcus says that the company is the authorised African distributor of North- Star’s range of premium batteries. “NorthStar’s automotive batteries are intended for applications where vehicles or engines are required to start the first time, every time. The batteries are well suited to operate in heavy-duty applications, such as emergency services vehicles and marine applications, where the failure to start an engine may spell disaster and cost lives,” he says.
Meanwhile, Aztec Electronics believes that NorthStar batteries offer the ideal solution for reliable long-life batteries. Marcus adds that, although initially more expensive than flooded automotive batteries, NorthStar batteries offer exceptional performance and reliability, as well as a lower total cost of ownership when downtime, owing to other failed batteries, is taken into account.
Key features include a robust design, with all the elements enclosed in durable plastic, necessitating no water-level fills nor corrosion to clean. The company reports that the batteries are manufactured using advanced methods of automation that ensure production consistency and reliability.
The batteries can also be rotated in any direction, allowing for installation in any position and the three-stage terminal design ensures leak-free operation, while the brass terminals provide maximum performance. The batteries are approved as nonhazardous cargo for ground, sea and air transportation and are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and operating environments.
NorthStar was formed in 2000 by a small team of international battery engineers with over 100 years of collective experience in the design and manufacture of standby sealed lead-acid bat- teries. The company has grown to be one of the largest battery manufacturers in the world.
Further, NorthStar is ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accredited.
Edited by: Brindaveni Naidoo
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