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Lead and lead battery industries announce ambitious new targets to protect workers

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 15, 2017

BRUSSELS - Battery Council International (BCI), EUROBAT and the International Lead Association (ILA), have announced a new voluntary target to protect worker health in the lead producing and battery manufacturing and recycling industries.

Significant improvements have already been recorded in the now completed three-year voluntary programme to reduce worker blood lead levels to below 30mcg/dL (microgrammes per deciliter) and the new target of 20mcg/dL will reduce the level of lead in blood of employees still further – BCI represents battery manufacturers in North America, EUROBAT in Europe, Africa and the Middle East and ILA represents lead producers principally in Europe and North America.

The lead battery manufacturers aim to achieve the 20mcg/dL target by the end of 2025 and have established an interim milestone of 25mcg/dL by the end of 2019, while lead producers are committed to achieving the target of 20 mcg/dl as soon as reasonably practicable.

The new voluntary employee lead exposure reduction target of 20mcg/dL announced by EUROBAT today goes way beyond the current European binding limit value of 70mcg/dL and highlights why we requested that DG Employment make revision of the existing regulatory limit a priority. In 2019, lead battery manufacturers will review if the target of 20 µg/dl can be achieved even faster. The European lead battery manufacturing industry is committed to ensuring that its workforce is protected from workplace risks and to delivering a quality product that is essential to today’s transportation and energy storage needs,” said Rene Schroeder, Executive Director of EUROBAT.

ILA Managing Director, Andy Bush, said: “The acknowledged benefits of lead batteries supported by the commitment of the lead and battery manufacturing and recycling industry to go beyond regulatory compliance in protecting its employees and the environment will help secure predicted market dominance of lead batteries in many applications for the foreseeable future.”

The major step taken today to improve the protection of workers is made possible by improvements in manufacturing process technology, employee education programmes and a commitment from the lead and lead battery sector to make the continuous reduction of employee lead exposure a priority.

Mark Thorsby, Executive Vice-President of BCI, acknowledged that the formation of a strategic alliance in 2016 between BCI, EUROBAT and ILA was a major driver in being able to obtain the commitment to an ambitious joint blood lead reduction target. “In the USA we embarked on our voluntary compliance program over 20 years ago and to be able to announce a very ambitious new target across Associations representing the lead battery value chain in several regions will not only benefit the wellbeing of employees and but also help support the future sustainability of the global lead battery industry,” he said.

In transportation, more than a billion vehicles worldwide use lead batteries to start their engines and power on-board electronics. All fuel-efficient hybrid and fully electric vehicles also require advanced lead batteries in conjunction with other battery technologies. Collectively, the new generation of start-stop vehicles that use an advanced lead battery will continue to provide significant fuel savings.

Within the energy sector, lead batteries store renewable energy generated by cleaner, greener sources like wind and solar. These industrial lead batteries are the world’s most scalable, economic way to load the grid and reliably supply emergency back-up power during outages. This ensures critical medical, data and security services continue to operate.

These attributes, coupled with the fact that in the United States and in Europe more than 99% of lead-based batteries are collected and recycled to produce new batteries, makes them the most sustainable as well as a safe and lowest cost solution to the planets energy storage needs.


Rene Schroeder
+32 2 761 1653

Battery Council International
Claire Sereiko

International Lead Association
Bob Tolliday
+44 (0) 20 7833 8090

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Wiley Rein in Your Inbox

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017

The June 2017 issue of BCI's Regulatory and Legislative Update compiled by David Weinberg and his team at Wiley Rein, LLP is now available. In an effort to keep all members up to date and informed on the current regulatory and legislative issues of the lead battery industry, BCI is expanding the distribution of this update to include all employees at BCI member companies. Monthly issues are distributed to members by email.

Past Wiley Rein issues may be found in the For Members section of the BCI website.

If you are a member of BCI or an employee at a BCI member company and did not receive this update in your inbox, please contact BCI Headquarters at (312) 245-1074 or

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What is Source BCI?

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, June 15, 2017
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017

BCI provides a comprehensive set of battery data through the annual Battery Replacement Data Book. Source BCI, the digital version of the Data Book, includes over 75 years of data for more than 160,000 vehicles.

It's easier than ever to search for the battery you need. Filter by vehicle category and find the BCI group number, OEM rating information and more all in one convenient location. You can also find information on powersports numbers, BCI/DIN/EN reference and BCI/JIL reference.

To purchase a subscription code or hard copy Data Book, visit the BCI Store.

Need some help using Source BCI? BCI has created a series of "How To" videos to help you easily browse Source BCI. View the videos below and start accessing the data you need.

The "New Source BCI User" video is designed to simplify account setup and data browsing.

If you already have an account and cannot log in due to an expired subscription code, review the "Current User" video.

If you forgot your username or password and are unable to gain access into your account, reference the "Forgot Your Username or Password?" video.

Questions? Contact

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For Immediate Release: Battery Council International Releases Lead Battery Recycling Video

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Saturday, February 18, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February 18, 2017

CHICAGO, IL, USA - What would the world look like without lead batteries? Today, February 18 is National Battery Day, and to increase awareness on lead batteries, Battery Council International (BCI) has released a video featuring the recycling of a lead battery's primary components: lead, plastic and acid. According to figures provided in an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, 99% of lead batteries are recycled, making them the most recycled consumer good in the United States. The new BCI video details the process a used battery undergoes once it is returned to the retailer.

"The lead, plastic and acid are isolated from one another at an EPA regulated facility, and through a multi-step recycling process, these components become new lead batteries. This unique process allows consumers to purchase a product that is both economically and environmentally favorable," says Mark Thorsby, Executive Vice President of BCI.

Lead batteries serve many purposes. The most well-known purpose is to start vehicles such as automobiles, trucks, lawn and garden equipment, snow and water sport vehicles, motorcycles and golf carts. But, lead batteries also make possible the "start-stop" vehicle control systems that are helping vehicle manufacturers meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and reduce air emissions. Additionally, lead batteries play a crucial role in supplying backup power for cell phone towers, hospitals and data storage servers.

While lead batteries are over 150 years old, their ability to be efficiently recycled into the same, useful product has cemented their place in the energy storage world. To view the lead battery recycling video, visit

Contact: Claire Sereiko


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John W. Wirtz Passes Away at 91

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, December 15, 2016

John W. Wirtz, the man who took his father’s small family engineering business and turned it into an international battery machine manufacturing firm, died on December 3. He was 91 years old.

He was a well known, well liked and entrepreneurial businessman with a fine grasp of technical detail — including numerous patents to his name — and known for his personal generosity to those pushing out the boundaries of battery technology.

He started at Wirtz Manufacturing part-time during his vacations while at high school in the early 1940s. He worked as a machinist and as a result learnt and understood from the ground up what the machines did and why — this tradition of an early start at the ground floor of the business has continued for his son and later through his son to his grandchildren.

He was eventually to become president and owner of Wirtz Manufacturing.

After graduating from high school in 1943, he served in the US Navy until 1946 before attending the University of Michigan, where he graduated in business studies in 1949.

The combination of technical and engineering understanding and a knowledge of business proved a powerful one and through the 1950s and 1960s he criss-crossed North America as an ambassador for the firm.

Read More

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Accepting Entries for the Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Innovation Award

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, December 1, 2016

Submissions are now open for the Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Innovation Award. Click the video to learn more.  



Questions? Email with any inquiries.




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Midtronics Introduces MCC Charging Platform to Support Vehicle Delivery Quality & Networked Applications

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Willowbrook, IL, November 1, 2016 – Midtronics, Inc. today introduced the MCC-070 Controlled Charger -- the first product entry in the new MCC charging platform. The MCC-070 offers safe controlled charging to quickly service different battery types (regular lead-acid, AGM, EFB, Li-ion), app-driven charging routines, and wireless connectivity to support tracking and management of battery service data and automated software updates.

A key application for the MCC-070 is Vehicle Delivery Quality (VDQ) for OEM dealerships. VDQ ensures that vehicle batteries are monitored and maintained from the point new vehicles are received from the factory, while in dealership lot inventory, and prior to customer delivery. This process is important because batteries that sit idle for long periods degrade over time, and batteries left in a degraded state eventually deteriorate to the point of permanent damage. Damaged batteries may refuse to start for test drives or fail shortly after the customer takes their new car home, resulting in negative customer experiences and increased battery replacement warranty costs.

The MCC charging platform integrates seamlessly with other compatible Midtronics battery service equipment and the cloud-based Midtronics Battery Management Information System (BMIS) via the MX GatewayTM to support advanced battery management solutions for OEM dealership shops and aftermarket retail service garages. The MCC-070 is also functional as a standalone product.

“The battery charging product category is beginning to revolve around the connected shop," said Lance Losinski, Midtronics Platform Manager, Chargers and Networking. “With the MX Gateway network, wireless capabilities are easily integrated to connect chargers to other Midtronics equipment, as well as the cloud, to create a dedicated and integrated shop system. You don’t need an IT Department to help you get it up and running – you enjoy reliable connectivity with turn on and go instant networking.”


2 - Midtronics Introduces New Charging Platform

The MCC includes several features designed to promote an optimal user experience, including apps-based charging designed to help users get more consistent results and a streamlined user interface that helps make the MCC-070 easy to learn and use with minimal training. Vehicle information can be shared through BMIS to the MCC from battery testing completed on Midtronics devices, including the CVG-3 Convergence Module, to help define accurate charging data (voltage Ah, current, etc.), reduce user error, improve charging speed, and provide service tracking abilities. Charging session data is then stored in BMIS for reference for future battery service events.

“All new Midtronics products under development share common user interface architecture and integrate with each other and the cloud to promote seamless battery service solutions,” said Losinski. “Connected equipment allows technicians to share information between tools, maintain detailed vehicle service records, and keep equipment current with the latest algorithms as new battery chemistries and technologies emerge."

Key Features of the MCC-070 Controlled Charger:

  • Economical, easy-to-use charging solution that doesn’t require technicians to be battery or charger experts
  • Seamless integration with Midtronics equipment and data system in an advanced battery management solution; also functional as a standalone product
  • Charges batteries quickly, including new AGM and EFB models
  • Pre-programmed applications tailored to your battery management program
  • Streamlined interface simplifies charging applications
  • Offers reflash support, quick fill and full charging capabilities
  • Provides on demand current and constant clean voltage to the vehicle battery for the extended period of time required to update the vehicle computer software
  • Selectable voltage levels from 11 – 16 VDC (.1 VDC)

About Midtronics

Midtronics is a worldwide leader and provider of vehicle battery testing and management products and services. Founded in 1984, Midtronics remains singularly focused on battery management innovation. The company continues advancing the standard in its industry, supplying customers with custom battery management solutions that meet evolving needs, including those related to hybrid, electric and other new vehicle systems.
Visit for more information.

Twitter: @Midtronics

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Midtronics Recognized as Chicago’s Most Innovative Company

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Friday, October 7, 2016

Willowbrook, IL, October 7, 2016Crain’s Chicago Business has released its annual “Eureka Index” with Midtronics, Inc. topping the list as the Chicago area’s most innovative company.

Midtronics also landed the #1 spot in 2014 and has been in the top 5 on the list four times (and in the top 10 every year) since Crain's began its annual "most innovative companies" feature in 2012.

The rankings are based on an exclusive analysis of patents by Ocean Tomo, LLC, a Chicago-based merchant bank that specializes in evaluating intellectual property.

Midtronics had Chicago’s highest-rated portfolio of patents granted in 2015, based on key criteria including uniqueness of the patented ideas and likelihood of investment to develop and maintain them.

The Midtronics ranking was based largely on the strength of U.S. Patent 8,958,998 -- one of a suite of patents covering technology Midtronics incorporated in the design of a battery management network connecting its automotive battery testers and chargers to a dedicated cloud-based information and analytics platform. This network allows dealerships and auto service shops to easily monitor and update their battery service tools and manage battery testing, service, replacement, and warranty programs. It also enables enterprise-wide information management for automotive OEMs and service chains.

“Innovation and a dedication to invention and re-invention have always been core values for Midtronics,” said Steve McShane, founder and CEO of the Willowbrook, IL-based company. “With customers who rely on our expertise, we are committed to staying ahead of the curve on battery technologies and the best solutions for managing and monitoring them.”

Midtronics was founded in 1984 and has divisions focused on transportation and stationary battery solutions. It counts among its customers most global vehicle manufacturers, battery manufacturers, telecommunications, and power generating companies. The company’s worldwide employees – nearly a third of which are engineers -- work out of headquarters facilities in the U.S. (Willowbrook, IL), Netherlands (Houten), and China (Shenzen).

# # #

For more information, contact Vicki Hunckler at (630) 321-8026 or or visit TWITTER: @Midtronics

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Register Today for the Environmental, Health and Safety Conference

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, October 6, 2016

There is Still Time to Register

Attend the 2016 Environmental, Health and Safety Conference


With less than three weeks to the 2016 Environmental, Health and Safety Conference reserve your spot and join us October 24-25 in Baltimore, MD. Take part in presentations and interactive breakout sessions focusing on workplace practices, human resource policies, equipment design, reducing employee blood levels and more!


Session Highlights

  • Get the Lead Out" is a four-part series featuring human resource policies and safe workplace practices
  • "The Outlook for Workplace Lead Regulation" features three individual presentations followed by a panel discussion
  • "Update on Blood Lead Health Science" highlights recent developments in workers health
  • And more


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Pace of innovation and sold-out lead battery conference shows the strength of the industry

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, September 12, 2016
Valletta, Malta (12 September, 2016) – Innovation in lead batteries is continuing rapidly as the industry adapts to changing energy storage markets, said Andy Bush, managing director of the International Lead Association (ILA).

Dr Andy Bush spoke today on the eve of the 15th European Lead Battery Conference (13-16 September), in Valletta, Malta, where 700 delegates from 50 countries have gathered to discuss the latest technical innovations in lead batteries for use in applications ranging from micro and mild hybrid vehicles to renewable energy storage and motive and traction power.

He said: “Lead batteries are an astonishingly successful product and remain by far the most popular rechargeable battery worldwide due to their unique combination of performance, low cost, safety and recycling record. As long as the lead battery maintains these outstanding abilities it will continue to have a bright future.”

Dr Bush also cited recent significant announcements illustrating the industry’s commitment to investing in lead batteries:

East Penn Manufacturing and RSR – Have announced a new collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory to use Argonne’s state-of-the-art analytic technologies to accelerate research on lead batteries.

Ecoult – The Australian company has developed an UltraBattery®-based 20 kW UltraFlex system for off-grid and dual-purpose applications (incorporating renewable self-consumption, diesel cycling and UPS) and has already achieved consistent fuel savings for its off-grid clients in the order of 50% or more.

Exide Technologies – The European company announced the launch of its next-generation maintenance-free TENSOR xGEL lead traction batteries, which exhibit high-power, increased energy efficiency and the ability for rapid recharge.

Johnson Controls - Recently announced an investment of $445 million to boost production of its absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries worldwide.  The investment includes $245 million to double AGM output in North America by the year 2020 and $200 million to build a new battery plant in China.

Moura – The Brazilian company is building a new $65m facility to increase its lead battery production capacity by 40% and announced its enhanced flooded batteries have achieved significant cycle life testing results at the Akkuteam battery testing lab in Germany, where its AGM batteries will be tested later this year.

Narada Power Source – In the continuation of an ALABC-sponsored project, Chinese member Narada was able to boost the number of successful power-assist cycles for their lead batteries in hybrid port cranes and elevators from 700 to over 26,000 showing that advanced VRLA batteries are an excellent power source for these emerging applications.

In addition, a new three-year multi-million dollar pre-competitive research program announced by the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (more than 70 member companies worldwide) will  focus on further improving lead battery performance in automotive and industrial energy storage applications. 

For further information contact: Bob Tolliday, ILA Communications Manager, tel: +44 (0) 20 7833 8090 

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