Toshiba's latest addition to its SCiB line-up of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, the SIP modules, target automated guided vehicles (AGV) and other types of industrial equipment.

As tools for supporting work flows, the availability and reliability of AGV—or mobile robots—are key concerns. However, typical AGV use lead batteries that suffer from long charge times and short lifecycles.

Toshiba's SIP modules integrate a battery management unit that manages voltage and internal temperature, facilitating easy replacement of lead storage batteries. Typical, widely used lead batteries have a charge time of 8 to 10 hours, but SIP series modules charge in 20 minutes, according to the company. Lead batteries have a short life, and need to be replaced in roughly two-year cycles, but Toshiba said its SIP series maintains over 80% battery capacity for about 10 years of use.

Toshiba’s new modules are also smaller and lighter, approaching only one-fourth the weight of lead storage batteries, and can be used in temperatures as low as -30°C, making it suitable for equipment that operates in low-temperature environments, such as cold storage and refrigerated warehouses.

Toshiba SCiB spec (cr) Figure 1: Spec of SIP series (Source: Toshiba)

The new modules will be available starting April.