Battery Technology Partners Expand OEM Access to Electrification Solutions
The Vanguard® Battery Technology Partners are helping more equipment manufacturers meet their electrification goals by aligning with premier solutions-providers across the United States to offer extended engineering support. This Q&A with Nick Moore, director of sales electrification at Briggs & Stratton, dives into what the initiative is, how it started and how the partners are transforming the way OEMs approach equipment electrification.
Q: Who are the Vanguard Battery Technology Partners and what do they do?
A: Our partners are specialized companies that provide significant engineering expertise to the small to medium-sized OEMs they work with by designing systems or subsystems. Through the technology partners, OEMs have a place to not only source components but also access to engineering expertise they wouldn’t have in house. With this engineering support, the OEMs can integrate different types of technology systems that may have otherwise been out of reach.
Q: What problems are Vanguard and the partners working to solve?
A: There is a massive emphasis and focus on electrification emerging. Most small and medium OEMs don't have an in-house engineering team that can help design and integrate electrification solutions. With the Battery Technology Partners, we’re broadening the reach of options to as many OEMs as possible. Whether it’s helping to design a piece of electric equipment or repowering an existing machine to take battery power, the technology partners can be that on-site expert. They take their expertise and geographic proximity and combine it with our battery technology to create a solution that is above-and-beyond what either of us would have been able to accomplish alone.
Q: Who was the first partner?
A: Vanguard was approached by our technology partner, Kraft Fluid Systems, at a trade show. They introduced us to this partnership idea that is a common practice in the hydraulics controls industry. Kraft was already stepping into electrification and was looking for a strong battery partner, so that's why they came to us. It really opened our eyes to the fact that there's a whole part of the market that services these smaller OEMs. Vanguard saw the value and wanted to capitalize on the opportunity.
Q: What does Vanguard look for when signing on a new technology partner?
A: We view our partners as an extension of our company and vice versa. We want to represent each other well. So, first of all, we make sure we share the same values.
We're also very clear on what the expectations are from an engineering perspective and the level of support we expect them to bring to the OEMs they serve. These partners help us amplify the work of the Briggs & Stratton Power Application Center (PAC). Our in-house PAC engineers work closely with these companies to ensure they understand the Vanguard Lithium-Ion technology inside and out. After this extensive training, these companies are able to serve as the application engineering department for the OEMs they work with.
Q: What benefits exist for the Battery Technology Partners?
A: We've heard from our battery technology partners that the training and communication resources we offer are above and beyond what they get from other manufacturers. Right after a company signs on, they go through a formal training. But, where Vanguard differentiates itself from other programs is that we don't do that training and say, “Okay, good luck.”
Our intention is to work hand in hand with that partner on an ongoing basis. Our application engineers and their engineering teams are actively communicating throughout projects to ensure the Lithium-Ion technology is being implemented smoothly. Vanguard is invested in making sure our partners are successful and that they fully understand the battery product they are presenting to their stakeholders. We want them to know the product inside and out so that they’re able to sell the value to their customers but also to ensure, from a technical perspective, the batteries are integrated properly into a machine to maximize performance.
Q: How do you see the work of Vanguard and the Battery Technology partners evolving in the future?
A: The goal is to continue to add partners to make sure that we're covering as many different industries and regions as possible. We don't want OEMs to struggle in finding access to the technology.
Between the changing emissions regulations and focus on pollutant elimination, electrification is not a passing trend. So, we see this initiative evolving and growing along with that emphasis on electrification so, along with our partners, we can be the best, most accessible solutions provider.
Q: What are you most excited about when it comes to working with the Battery Technology Partners?
A: I think the most exciting thing is the access that the Lithium-Ion product line and the partners give us to industries that we haven't participated in before. Through our partners, we’re being exposed to a lot of new product applications and challenges. That’s been a lot of fun — being able to learn about all these other industries and products that, traditionally, Briggs & Stratton hasn't participated in.
At the end of the day, both Vanguard and our partners are focused on the same end goal — to give the end user amazing product experience. Together, we’re going to make sure their equipment performs well and that we leave customers happy.
Learn more about Vanguard Lithium-Ion Batteries and how they can be applied here.
About Briggs & Stratton:
Briggs & Stratton, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, provides innovative products and diverse power solutions to help people get work done. Briggs & Stratton is the world’s largest producer of engines for outdoor power equipment, and is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of lithium-ion battery, standby generator, energy storage system, lawn and garden, turf care and job site products through its Briggs & Stratton®, Vanguard®, Ferris®, Simplicity®, Snapper®, Billy Goat®, Allmand®, SimpliPhi®, Branco® and Victa® brands. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in more than 100 countries on six continents. For additional information, please visit www.basco.com and www.briggsandstratton.com.