East Penn Manufacturing Co. is pleased to announce the opening of its Oelwein Fill, Form, and Finish and Distribution facility beginning early in January of 2018.
The company held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on February 9th attended by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg. The ceremony was an opportunity for the company to honor the hard work of the employees in Oelwein and all of the support from the State, City, Community, Contractors, and other valued partners.
“It has been a decade since we started our first distribution operations in Oelwein, and we are extremely pleased that we became a part of this community,” said Bob Flicker, COO of East Penn. “To see us progress through the construction to the operation of this remarkable new facility speaks to the amazing partnerships of all parties involved. We can’t thank our East Penn employees enough for their contributions that have gotten us to this point. This is a very proud moment for us all.”
East Penn Oelwein serves as a strategic location to enhance the product support of the company’s customers in the Midwestern United States and other key points across North America. East Penn also operates a manufacturing facility in
Modern lead batteries are the product of millions of dollars of research and innovation by the lead battery industry, and today's state-of-the-art lead-based energy storage technology serves a diverse array of applications.
The video tells the story of both expected and unexpected uses of lead batteries. Beyond providing energy storage for over 270 million vehicles and 65 percent of forklifts in the U.S., lead batteries improve the reliability of renewable energy facilities and protect the $1 trillion U.S. communications infrastructure with uninterruptible power supply. This same technology is also utilized by first responders to rapidly deploy lighting and other mobile electronics during emergencies. In addition, the U.S. military relies on lead batteries to provide onboard power to ground support vehicles to keep our troops safe and powers vehicles used for bomb detection and disposal.
"Our industry is leading the green energy storage revolution," said Jeff Elder, president of Battery Council International (BCI). "Over the past 16 years we have invested more than $50 million to improve the lifetime, performance and reliability of lead batteries, transforming their ability to fulfill the needs of ever-changing and more demanding applications. Today, we provide over 75 percent of the world's energy storage capacity, and look to play a larger role in helping renewable energy storage facilities reliably deliver clean energy to more people.
"We're pleased to release this new video, 'Storing Tomorrow's Power Today,' in conjunction with National Battery Day to highlight some of the hidden ways lead batteries power our society today, and the innovative ways lead batteries will continue to provide essential energy storage in the years to come."
The sustainability, reliability and scalability of lead battery technology make it a key tool to achieve the goal of a green energy future. For example, lead battery innovations enable vehicles to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions through start-stop technology which is expected to prevent two million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, or the equivalent of 211,000 U.S. households.
Offering solutions at almost one-third of the cost of comparable energy storage systems, lead battery technology is used in many solar and wind facilities to regulate the variability and increase reliability of on-demand power. They store excess energy when demand is low and release it when demand is high, ensuring a steady supply of energy to millions of homes.
Lead batteries power our everyday lives in ways seen and unseen. They also power the economy. In 2016, the U.S. lead battery industry enabled more than 95,000 jobs and contributed more than $28 billion in total economic output to the national economy. On National Battery Day and every day, there are many good reasons to celebrate this technology that is essential today and for years to come.
Posted By BCI Headquarters,
Thursday, February 15, 2018
February 15, 2018
CHICAGO --- Battery Council International (BCI) is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Executive Vice President, Kevin Moran. Moran assumed the role on February 12, 2018 and is based in BCI's Washington, D.C. office.
Moran previously served as a Director in the Chemical Products and Technology Division at the American Chemistry Council (ACC). In that role, he managed several product-specific industry councils, developed strategic relationships between government agencies and associations, and led successful federal, state and value chain advocacy efforts.
"His experience within the non-profit industry and familiarity with advocacy initiatives will benefit the unique needs of our association," said Jeff Elder, BCI Board President. "We look forward to starting the new year with strong leadership, allowing us to bring value to our membership and the lead battery industry as a whole."
Moran also spent two and a half years as Legislative Director at Bipartisan Policy Advocacy Network where he managed a diverse portfolio of high-profile BPC groups and projects. Moran was previously Director of the Washington office for the Western Governors Association and also counsel to former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ). He has a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Posted By BCI Headquarters,
Friday, February 2, 2018
A study released on February 1 revealed that the U.S. lead battery industry enables more than 95,000 jobs for American workers and contributed more than $28 billion in total economic output to the national economy in 2016. This release comes on the heels of President Donald J. Trump's State of the Union address, where he restated his commitment to bolstering U.S. manufacturing and infrastructure, of which lead battery manufacturers and recyclers play a vital role.
The study, Economic Contribution of the U.S. Lead Battery Industry, prepared by the Economic Development Research Group at the request of Essential Energy Everyday and Battery Council International (BCI), demonstrates the positive economic impact lead battery manufacturers and recyclers provide to thousands of American workers and their communities. Employees of the lead battery industry cumulatively earn $6 billion annually, with average salaries among mining and recycling employees reaching $83,606, while manufacturing employees see similarly high salaries of $62,343 --- providing livable wages and access to the middle class for workers regardless of their education level.
"As demand for renewable energy increases, the need for sustainable and cost-effective energy storage increases as well. The lead battery industry's circular economy helps create an extremely sustainable, environmentally friendly form of energy storage that produces significant economic benefits for the communities where we operate," said Jeff Elder, president of BCI.
The increasing demand for energy storage in renewable energy facilities, as well as lead batteries' essential uses in the nation's infrastructure that encompasses transportation, logistics, communications and critical backup power, produces a direct economic output of $11.2 billion from their manufacture and recycling.
From the study ---
"Lead batteries are among the world's safest and most reliable sources of energy. Whether starting a car, storing power from a solar panel or powering a communications tower, lead batteries provide essential energy every moment of each day to millions of people around the globe. Lead batteries are also among the most environmentally sustainable manufactured products, with a recycling rate of 99 percent. The industry, built on 150 years of proven and progressive technology, operates on environmentally sound principles, provides a growing base of meaningful employment and contributes to the economic development of the communities in which its products are made. The lead battery industry is a vital contributor to our global energy needs and to the development of essential energy."
"Our industry is proud of its contribution to the national economy and role as a provider of green manufacturing jobs. Compared to many other private industry sectors, salaries in the lead battery industry are 59 percent higher for mining and recycling workers, and 19 percent higher for manufacturing workers. These jobs assure a foothold to the middle class in an era when manufacturing jobs are in decline," added Elder.
"Through smart, future-focused energy storage policies, we will continue to provide the essential energy storage that powers more than 270 million cars, trucks and numerous other applications around the world every day, and delivers billions of dollars in economic benefit annually."
Posted By BCI Headquarters,
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
East Penn Manufacturing Co. has promoted Chris Pruitt to the position of Chief Executive Officer and President effective January 1, 2018.
Mr. Pruitt has been with the company since May of 1994. He joined East Penn as the Controller and has held numerous financial positions including Chief Financial Officer in 1999 and President in 2014. Mr. Pruitt has played an instrumental role within the company over the past 23 years working closely with the Breidegam family and senior managers in successfully overseeing many critical areas of the business.
With this transition, former CEO, Dan Langdon, announced his retirement after 32 years of service, and will now transition to a role on the Board of Directors. Since assuming the role of CEO in 2014 and President in 1994, Mr. Langdon has worked in collaboration with the Breidegam family and an accomplished leadership team to help the company achieve significant growth that has earned him the highest level of respect among his fellow co-workers and other industry leaders.
“We cannot thank Dan Langdon enough for the tireless service and leadership that he has brought to this company,” said Dan Breidegam, Chairman. “My family and I are pleased to continue to work with Chris to help move this company forward. He has been a pillar in our company, as well as the community, and he will continue to uphold my family’s vision and values.”
“We would all like to congratulate Dan Langdon on his retirement and sincerely thank him for his leadership,” said Bob Flicker, COO. “As we move into the New Year, we will continue to build the company and carry on the legacy of those who came before us. I will continue to work with Chris Pruitt, Dan Breidegam, and our leadership team over the next few years to prepare our company for the next generation.”
Posted By BCI Headquarters,
Monday, December 11, 2017
Updated: Thursday, November 30, 2017
What do you find most interesting about the lead battery industry?
That our campaign theme “Essential Energy Everyday” so accurately describes the industry and its products. Until joining BCI I had no idea how prevalent lead batteries are in our lives and that we unknowingly experience their power dozens of times a day. I knew there was a battery in my car, and if I had really thought about it might have realized they power golf carts and forklifts. But they’re everywhere! Maybe the reason the general public doesn’t recognize or consciously think about lead batteries is because they are so widely used, and function so reliably – we can spend our time worrying about other matters because lead batteries are on the job and keep our lives humming along.
What do you feel are the most pressing issues the industry is facing?
The real possibility that policymakers may move too quickly to mandate replacement technologies that aren’t ready for prime time. We’re experiencing an enormous amount of attention around electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries. In some parts of the world it seems like there is a regulatory rush to set target dates to phase out lead batteries and move to lithium-ion. But the facts that newer technologies are vastly more expensive than lead batteries, that there are questions about ethically sourcing components like cobalt, and that only around three percent are recycled receive less attention. We need to ensure that there is a level playing field for all technologies.
Our research has shown that policymakers believe our industry is old, dirty and facing obsolescence. Talk about fake news! We need to change that perception, and I believe we can. For example, the same research found that when policymakers learned of our high rate of battery recycling they viewed the industry more favorably. We saw that same reaction from California regulators last month during a public workshop to discuss whether the state should move to impose more regulations on lead batteries and move to alternative and “safer” technologies. They were surprised to hear even an NGO speaker and frequent lead critic raise questions about the sustainability of lithium-ion batteries compared to lead batteries.
Why is the Advancing Lead Batteries Communications Initiative (ALBCI) so crucial to the future of lead batteries?
To remain a viable industry in a rapidly changing energy environment, we have to tell our story and the initiative provides that platform. Regulatory bodies are buying into the hype of lithium-ion batteries generated by the excitement and mystique of Tesla and Elon Musk. He’s a visionary billionaire who aims to send cargo to Mars in five years, followed by people within the decade. How do lead batteries compete with technology from someone who is bringing our childhood fantasies to life?
That’s the role of the initiative, to be the storyteller for the lead battery industry to the people who influence our future. We aren’t running a consumer campaign, we’re narrowly focused on the 1200-1500 regulators and lawmakers at the federal and state levels who shape energy, transportation, health and environmental policies.
Through social and digital media we will tell them about technology advancements in the industry and the vital role of lead batteries to power our economy. Lead batteries aren’t in the developmental stage like some chemistries, they are well understood and can meet energy storage needs today, not some future day. We’ll surprise them with the fact that all electric vehicles (with the exception of one model) also have a lead battery. We want them to understand that as the country’s energy policy has shifted from energy production, to energy storage, lead batteries play an important role in that transition.
Other chapters of our story will center on worker safety programs and voluntary pledges that have successfully reduced blood lead levels. As mentioned earlier, our near perfect recycling rate delivers a powerful, documented, sustainability message. Early next year we’ll publish a study that will provide details on the economic contributions of the industry, the number of jobs we provide, and the fact that these are well-paying manufacturing jobs.
Our biggest hurdle to success will be mining our member companies for real-life examples to bring color to our narrative. We want to hear about how you’ve helped customers solve problems, the cool application you’ve developed or how you’re making a positive difference in your community. These examples will be turned into social media and blog posts that vividly make the industry “real” and engage our target audiences. I encourage everyone who reads this to feel free to call or email me with examples that help tell this story.
The bottom line is that for decades we’ve been quietly delivering solid, reliable products. But in a changing marketplace that chases the shiny new thing, we must discard our modest persona and proudly tell the very good story of the lead battery and recycling industry
Posted By BCI Headquarters,
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Updated: Thursday, November 16, 2017
Today, in conjunction with America Recycles Day, BCI released their new National Recycling Rate Study which shows that lead batteries have a recycling rate of 99.3 percent. The near perfect rate of recycling is attributed to industry investment in a state-of-the-art closed-loop collection and recycling system that keeps 1.7 million tons of batteries out of landfills annually.
The new study also confirms lead batteries as the most recycled consumer product in the country and speaks to the commitment of the lead battery industry to provide safe, sustainable energy storage. As the most accessible, highly-sustainable battery technology, lead batteries' innovative applications also reduce CO2 emissions in vehicles through start-stop battery technology, help power hybrid and electric vehicles, and enable smart grid technology that improves the reliability of wind and solar farms.
"Our goal is to recycle and reuse as many batteries as possible as part of our commitment to provide an environmentally-friendly source of energy storage," said Mark Thorsby, executive vice president of BCI. "On average, a new lead battery is comprised of more than 80 percent recycled lead battery material. Every component of the battery, from lead and plastic to sulfuric acid, is recyclable which reduces waste, ensures that they are properly disposed of and decreases the need for virgin ore mining."
The state-of-the-art closed-loop process that ensures lead batteries' high rate of recycling is recognized by the World Economic Forum and MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics as the world's most successful example of a circular economy-featuring the design, production, transportation, recycling and recovery of vehicle batteries.
"We are proud of our consistent recycling record and the fact that lead batteries provide essential energy storage to power millions of cars, buses, airplanes, trains and logistic networks as well as back-up recovery systems that protect life, investments and data in emergency situations," added Thorsby.
Posted By BCI Headquarters,
Thursday, November 2, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2017
WASHINGTON - A new video features heartfelt stories from employees and community leaders who share their experiences working in an industry that prioritizes safe, sustainable and innovative practices in the workplace. Supported by Essential Energy Everyday, the "Good Neighbors" video showcases the dedicated people behind the great companies that make up the lead battery manufacturing and recycling industries, and their commitment to being good neighbors in their communities.
The video covers many of the reasons why it's exciting to work in this industry. From new technologies that make work safer, to the story of an employee whose job has enabled her to build homes for herself and her parents, the powerful video provides an inside look into the innovative work behind advanced lead batteries. These personal experiences also touch on the industry's commitment to protect the environment, contribute to the local economy and volunteer for local charity initiatives.
"Being a good neighbor is paramount to the more than 20,000 people working in the lead battery industry," said Jeff Elder, president of Battery Council International. "Our commitment to them is to provide a safe work environment and to ensure that our presence in the community makes it a better place to live and raise a family.
"We support our communities by providing scholarships, donating to local charities and finding innovative solutions to protect our environment. We take enormous pride in these efforts, and recognize our role as an essential and vital employer in the locales where BCI member company facilities operate."
The innovative work to advance batteries to help protect the environment is the focus of millions of dollars of research by the lead battery industry, automobile manufacturers and numerous universities. Through these research and development efforts we have found ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and improve the cycle life and power delivery capabilities of batteries in numerous applications around the world.
Lead battery manufacturing is one of the most sustainable industries in the country and generates nearly $30 billion in positive economic impacts for the United States every year. At a recycle rate of more than 99 percent, lead batteries are recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as the most recycled consumer product in the U.S., and their circular economy (producing, distributing, collecting spent batteries and recycling) helps ensure their continued sustainability.
U.S. Representative Charlie Dent agrees with the messages in the video, noting that "lead batteries are being recycled at a remarkably high rate." He also added that "lead batteries are going to be a part of our future, and there is a lot of opportunity for the battery industry more broadly."
Posted By BCI Headquarters,
Monday, October 30, 2017
As you know, BCI has a close relationship with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). On Thursday, October 19, they updated us on their efforts to advance the President's major tax reform package through Congress, which cleared a significant hurdle when the Senate passed a budget resolution. The NAM tells us that although this is an important milestone, tax reform is not assured, and it will take grassroots advocacy from the entire manufacturing community to get across the finish line.
Share your voices and your stories. Share your story of what tax reform would mean to your workers and your company - and ask them to do the same. NAM has made it easy for you and your employees; simply answer these key questions here. The NAM can then use those stories to show lawmakers why their support for reform means bigger paychecks, more jobs and more manufacturing in the United States.
Engage manufacturing workers. As manufacturing leaders, we need to ensure our employees understand why it's important that we fix our outdated tax code, and this messaging can help you. We need to articulate the impact that tax reform will have on manufacturers and their families.
Urge your team to speak out. We need manufacturing employees to call on their members of Congress to act on tax reform without delay. Please encourage the members of your team to reach out to their elected officials by sending them this link to take action on tax reform. When speaking with your employees, ask them to text "ActOnTax" (all one word, no spaces) to 52886 to send a message to their members of Congress to act on tax reform.
Posted By BCI Headquarters,
Friday, October 13, 2017
The Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) is organizing a half-day seminar on November 24 to discuss the technical and economic aspects of lead battery technology for utility and renewable energy storage applications.
The workshop will highlight the performance, economic and sustainability advantages of using lead batteries in these applications and contracts this with other types of batteries. Recent successful demonstration projects will be described, and delegates will have an opportunity to discuss the options for battery energy storage with industry experts.
This seminar is free to attend, but delegates must register with Maura McDermott at email@example.com by Friday, November 3. The full agenda can be found here.