For electronics OEMs, shipping lithium batteries and products that integrate lithium batteries has become a nightmare of shifting regulations and potential disasters. Now, two industry giants are collaborating to deliver an affordable, high-tech packaging solution to meet these demanding challenges conveniently.
Dangerous goods transport expert, Labelmaster, and aerospace technology provider Procyon-Alpha Squared (PA²), teamed up to develop and manufacture Obexion, a complete line of protective packaging solutions engineered for shipping and storing lithium batteries and devices that contain them. Using passive technology to achieve capabilities ranging from fire resistance to thermal, flame and gas management to full ballistic and pressure management that will mitigate risks by reducing the potential for thermal runways, this new brand of packaging is a one-of-a-kind solution.
Offered in multiple formats, Obexion will come in a durable, multi-use metal design for large batteries and large quantities of batteries, and a light-weight environmentally-friendly fiberbox for single use and reverse logistics needs.
“Shipping lithium batteries can be very complicated,” said Mike Pagel, senior consultant at Labelmaster Services. “The regulations change depending on battery energy content, mode of transportation, or the quantity of batteries.” According to Pagel, given the inherent hazards associated with lithium batteries, it’s important that shippers understand and comply with these regulations.
The Obexion line of packaging will not contain heavy inner packing components such as gel-packs, or heavy liners, and will not include additional pellets, other voluminous fill items, or outer packaging, which facilitates easy assembly and lower shipping costs due to reduced weight.
“The lithium batteries at the highest risk of a thermal runaway event are those that are damaged or defective,” said Rob Finn, vice president of marketing and product management at Labelmaster. “Shipping these batteries involves additional regulatory requirements like marking, labeling, shipping papers, and additional training.”
According to Finn, to cut through these requirements and allow shippers to efficiently move damaged and defective batteries to their final disposal destination, shippers can use the Obexion Special Permit packaging which offers shippers major regulatory relief while keeping the shipment safe inside the Obexion fire-resistant packaging. The Obexion package works to contain a single battery/cell event and then disperse the heat associated with that reaction so it does not affect nearby cells/batteries.
“Obexion is different because it controls the thermal runaway spread by limiting the fire and removing much of the heat so that the battery fire and heat does not propagate to the other batteries in the box,” said Finn. He added that the new product is meant to be a simple, cost-effective, and practical solution to help organizations keep their supply chains moving and their own customers satisfied.