Vicor Wide Input Range Mini Covers All Forklift Input Voltage Variations
The forklift came into being in the 1920s, but became commonplace during World War II, partly because of the labor shortages, but also because of the heightened need for efficient production. Today, of course, forklifts are prevalent in just about every manufacturing plant, warehouse, distribution center, or anyplace where items are stored and moved in bulk.
Our customer is a European company that specializes in the production of electronic components for the automotive industry. This particular application is a power supply for electrical, rather than gas or diesel, forklifts that are used mostly indoors. Previously, they used a number of different modules depending on the input voltage from the traction battery. The Vicor 72 V input Mini, with an input range of 43 V to 110 V, covers the complete input voltage range that they need. As a consequence, only one module is needed for all variations of the systems, resulting in lower cost for logistics and stock. These models meet the operating voltage requirements for EN50155, the key standard for railway applications, as well as EN50155 requirements for shock, vibration, and temperature.
The Vicor modules are encapsulated rather than open frame, which provides better thermal management, shock and vibration resistance, ruggedness, and reliability. The Vicor price and efficiency were a little better than their previous solution, and because of the space and thermal attributes of the Vicor solution the total cost was lower.