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Material Handling Equipment Battery Maker’s Material Growth

Flux Power develops batteries for forklifts and airport ground support equipment—and, according to CEO Ron Dutt, is enjoying good times.

Ray Chalmers

May 8, 2023

10 Slides

By any account, not a bad year. This past February, Vista, CA-based Flux Power Holdings Inc. reported its financials for its 2023 second quarter ended December 31, 2022. Revenue of $17.2M was up 123% compared to the second quarter of 2022’s $7.7M. Gross profit rose 294% to $4.1M over the same period. Customer order backlog totaled $30.4M at the end of last year, forecasting plenty of activity to come.

Flux Power designs and manufactures lithium-ion batteries for a wide range of material-handling equipment including forklifts, and airport ground support equipment (GSE).

The company was formed in late 2009 to develop lithium-ion battery packs for several automotive startups that eventually closed operations. In early 2013, Flux Power began a pivot, what it calls essentially a restart, directed at developing and providing the first lithium-ion battery packs to the material-handling sector, a multi-billion-dollar annual addressable market.

“Our first-mover opportunity provided an advantage compared with the very competitive automotive sector,” said Ron Dutt, Flux Power CEO. “Subsequent expansion to electrify GSE reflected our intent to apply our technology and production lines to product adjacencies using current infrastructure,” he added. In both these commercial sectors, the advantage of first-mover allowed time to develop product application know-how, customer environment and demands, channels to market, third-party certifications such as UL listing, and product service requirements.

Ron Dutt.jpg

Developing and supplying battery-related technology is also part of the Flux Power mix.

“We are in the process of releasing an updated product platform incorporating new features based on customer requests,” Dutt added. “Another exciting enhancement for customers is our proprietary SkyBMS [battery management system] technology, which offers state-of-the-art telemetry to monitor battery usage, diagnose issues remotely, and generate real-time reports on each battery pack using the cloud to enable communication anytime/anywhere. We are agnostic with respect to battery cell chemistry and continually assess adoption of new technology that has reached production stage and viable economics.”

Finding--and convincing--new customers

With Increasing attention being paid to tightening supply chains and increasing logistics efficiencies around the world, the future for electrified material-handling equipment and factory automation appears bright. “One of the most discussed trends in the past months has been the longer lead times for forklifts, trucks, and airport ground support equipment,” Dutt said. “The OEMs are experiencing lag effects of component shortages from the pandemic, including extended shutdowns of silicon fabrication plants in China. At the same time, while these delays cause lumpiness for many of us in the sector, we fortunately are bringing on new customers who find our value proposition and environmental impacts very attractive.”

Flux Power also exhibited at the major material-handling trade show, PROMAT, held this past March at Chicago’s McCormick Place. “PROMAT set records for exhibitors with more than 900, plus more than 50,000 attendees,” Dutt reported. “It was a great venue to forge new connections and have face-to-face conversations with existing and potential customers, OEMs, dealers, and sector participants. We had more dialogue and interest in lithium-ion energy than at any shows in the past. We also had more interactions leaning to potential collaborations with sector participants regarding both technology advancements and revenue growth.”

While Flux Power does not provide specific guidance on projected financials given its rapid growth, the near future reflects strong underlying growth momentum and building scale, which is a strong driver of margin growth, Dutt notes.

“Given current estimates of lithium-ion battery pack penetration in material handling of about 8%, it is still early days for potential growth,” he said. “We are focused on the continuation of our growth trajectory through the advancement of our technology, capacity, and customer and partnership relationships, and expanding into new markets. I look forward to additional announcements in the months to come.”

Click through for a look inside Flux Power’s operations.

About the Author(s)

Ray Chalmers

Ray Chalmers is a Detroit-area-based freelance writer with an extensive background supplying technical features and news items on manufacturing, engineering, software, economics, and the myriad paths of knowledge representing human progress.

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