Having had a 130 watt Lithium-ion battery suddenly catch on fire on the job I welcome Anton/Bauer’s efforts to make batteries safer to use and transport. After all who wants to keep flying with gear that is considered to be a dangerous goods by the airlines.
Anton/Bauer invests time and resources for global compliance, highest standards from testing, packaging and recycling to training personnel, and has made a significant investment in lithium-ion (Li-ion) safety.
By adhering to and exceeding safe-handling requirements, Anton/Bauer enables customers to travel with confidence, knowing the company goes above and beyond for safety regulations.
“What we’re trying to do is be proactive,” says Katherine Finn, manager, compliance and regulations for Anton/Bauer. “There have been key regulations in place for a long time that Anton/Bauer has scrupulously followed. We know that the government will be tightening regulations, so as a company we spend an enormous amount of time and money ensuring we are up to speed with regulations, especially since there’s not just one global standard. We strive to meet the strictest requirements.”
Over the past several years, government and transportation agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Transport Association and Department of Transportation have issued bans and limitations for transporting Li-ion batteries. Well-designed Li-ion-based batteries, such as those from Anton/Bauer, have built-in safety mechanisms. One such example is the honeycomb cell design, where each individual battery cell is self-contained preventing cells that are damaged from damaging adjacent cells.
Li-ion batteries that are considered to be “dangerous goods” are those over 160 watt hours (Wh). Li-ion batteries between 101 and 160 Watts sometimes incur carry-on and check-in luggage limitations. To ensure customers carry goods that meet international travel standards, all Anton/Bauer batteries are sold with compilable packaging and inspected to U.N. standards — whether they’re classified as dangerous goods or not.
“We understand the importance of travel for many of our customers who shoot on-location,” says Shin Minowa, vice president of marketing and business development, Anton/Bauer. “We offer the utmost safeguards so they need not worry when traveling with Anton/Bauer gear.”
Starting with company personnel, Anton/Bauer ensures that no fewer than 10 employees are trained and certified to handle dangerous goods. Certified trainers come on-site every two years to train the staff in regards to shipping and handling requirements, ensuring they understand and can decipher specific labels as well as the 49CFR Code of Federal Regulations. This ensures that all Anton/Bauer products are manufactured, tested and sold within current standards. In addition, as a company, Anton/Bauer is certified by a lab that inspects its factory four times per year.
Once cells and batteries are assembled, Anton/Bauer sends them to a certified lab to partake in multiple destructive tests. This ensures that all Anton/Bauer Li-ion batteries offered for transport, such as the DIONIC® 90, HC and HCX, have passed tests T1 – T8, described in the U.N. Manual of Tests and Criteria.
In addition to developing safe batteries, Anton/Bauer has developed custom boxes for carrying Li-ion products, which allow for efficient and safe travel from the moment the batteries are purchased. Once the batteries and battery packaging go through testing, specific color-coded labels signifying U.N. compliance are applied to the batteries and packaging. Many of the company’s products are tested through more than one agency, including the packaging. Anton/Bauer sends packaging samples to Packaging Design and Testing in Glastonbury, CT to perform a series of tests that are listed in the U.N. Manual of Tests and Criteria, including a drop test and water test. This ensures the boxes meet or exceed requirements. Once the testing is completed, the boxes are stamped with a specific U.N. number, as well as the maximum weight that can be in that box and an expiration date. When going through customs during an international trip, Anton/Bauer users can simply flip the box over to reveal the certification stamp on the bottom.
Beyond product and personnel certification, Anton/Bauer belongs to the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation and Portable Rechargeable Battery Association. By being active in these organizations, the\ company is able to stay informed about recycling procedures as well as current legislation surrounding batteries. “As a company, we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to use and travel with Anton/Bauer batteries,” says Michael Accardi, president, Anton/Bauer. “By investing our time and money in a proactive manner, we hope to continue our reputation as a responsible leader in the industry.”
Anton/Bauer is committed to maintaining an open dialogue with customers regarding travel and shipping safety. Users can find more information regarding travel regulations by speaking with a customer service representative or visiting the Anton/Bauer website.
For more information visit Anton/Bauer.