On February 22nd the International Air Transport Association adopted recommendations that lithium ion batteries be forbidden, on an interim basis, as cargo on passenger aircraft. This is big news for anyone taking camera equipment on a plane, but Anton/Bauer was quick to respond to the news with the release of an air travel discharging soliution for LI-Ion battery users.
The press release that details that info is below, but we were able to catch up with VP Engineering and Innovation at Vitec Videocom – Anton/Bauer, William E. Flynn, to gather a few insights around the impetus for the development of this solution and what it will mean to and for professionals.
ProVideo Coalition: Briefly, what do users need to know about the new IATA regulations?
William E. Flynn: At Anton/Bauer, we believe that with something this important, which can result in expensive penalties and shipment delays, that it’s best to read the rules and not rely solely on third party interpretations. With that in mind, we have provided links to the new IATA (International Air Transport Association) travel regulations on our website, www.antonbauer.com, or you can visit the IATA website.
The IATA’s new travel regulations involve the transport of Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries as cargo on cargo aircraft. Currently it is prohibited to air cargo ship Lithium batteries or cell packs in a State of Charge (SoC) greater than 30%. This new regulation does not pertain to 1) commercial air travel where a passenger hand carries spare batteries, 2) shipments of devices with batteries installed, or 3) ground transportation of Lithium batteries.
What sort of issues could people face if they’re using products that do not comply with the IATA’s new regulations?
[WEF] In brief, non-compliance may involve stiff and expensive penalties as well as shipment delays.
Was this solution rolled out in response to requests you had received or did it stem from something you realized your customers would need?
[WEF] At Anton/Bauer, we are always looking for ways to innovate. We realized the new IATA travel regulations would mean that Li-Ion battery users would need a way to discharge their batteries in order to travel with or ship them. We also understood that most of our customers were not even aware of or fully understood the new regulations so we wanted to create something very easy to use.
We created a new firmware update to the Performance Quad Charger that allows the user to discharge their batteries to the level of their choosing, allowing them to easily comply with the new IATA regulations of not greater than 30% SoC. This makes the Performance Quad Charger the first charger on the market with the ability to discharge Li-Ion batteries to meet IATA travel requirements.
This also means that Anton/Bauer now offers two solutions to IATA’s new travel requirements. The second solution, our HyTRON batteries, use Nickel Metal Hydride and have been used by production companies, like Bexel, for ten years because they don’t face the same travel restrictions.
How do you think this will impact the decisions professionals make when it comes to purchasing mobile power solutions?
[WEF] We don’t think the overall decisions people make will change once they understand the regulations and as long the tools they need to comply are available. In that respect, we are proud that Anton/Bauer is providing the industry’s first “ready for flight” discharger. We also have plans to offer additional solutions that will make these new regulations simple and easy to comply with.
ANTON/BAUER IS THE FIRST TO OFFER AN AIR TRAVEL DISCHARGING SOLUTION FOR LI-ION BATTERY USERS
Brand Now Offers Two Solutions to IATA’s New Travel Restrictions
Shelton, Conn. (May 25, 2016) – Anton/Bauer, a premier provider of mobile power solutions for the broadcast, film and video industries, a Vitec Videocom brand, and part of Vitec Group, plc, has updated their Performance Quad Charger to satisfy new regulations set by the IATA. The new function makes the Performance Quad Charger the only charger on the market which allows the user to discharge a battery to any level, including the level specified in the new IATA regulations.
To help customers comply with IATA’s new regulations, Anton/Bauer has developed a new feature for their Performance Quad Charger that allows the battery to be assessed and discharged to the users desired preset level including the 30% SoC level required for safe air transportation. As a result, this free firmware update allows current owners of the Performance Quad Charger to travel hassle-free when transporting their Li-Ion batteries and comes included in all new Performance Quad Chargers. This firmware update is Anton/Bauer’s latest solution to IATA’s new travel restrictions.
Andrew Butler, Product Manager at Anton/Bauer, says “Anton/Bauer continues to be at the forefront of the mobile power solutions industry. I am extremely pleased we have been able to react so quickly and create this feature to allow our customers to stay within IATA regulations. Of course, as an alternative to a workflow involving discharge before shipping, customers could switch to Anton/Bauer’s HyTRON products which use Nickel Metal Hydride cells and do not face travel restrictions. ”
Anton/Bauer’s popular HyTRON mobile power product range uses Nickel Metal Hydride cells which can be shipped conventionally and carried onto aircraft. The HyTRON range has long been a favorite for global production crews for the last decade due to its durability and because it does not face travel restrictions.
For additional convenience, all current generation Anton/Bauer Li-Ion batteries have a highly accurate power gauge so users can tell right away if their battery is cleared for travel. For the CINE and Digital Series batteries, the display provides the battery charge percentage while the Dionic HC Series will show a single bar of charge to represent less than 30% SoC.
New and current users can obtain the firmware and installation instructions by going to http://vitec.ftpstream.com/?lid=2cot2ask# and opening the Anton/Bauer Performance Quad Update folder.
Information or actions outlined above are only relevant for our current generation of Lithium batteries and does not apply to discontinued models or non-Lithium batteries. Lithium batteries are considered dangerous cargo and should never be shipped if the battery has been damaged in any way or modified in any manner irrespective of the SoC mentioned.
For more information regarding the new regulations of battery transportation, please visit the IATA website at http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Pages/lithium-batteries.aspx.
Anton/Bauer’s Performance Quad Chargers and HyTRON batteries are available today. Visit antonbauer.com for details.
With more than 40 years of proven experience, Anton/Bauer is recognized as the world’s premier provider of multi-chemistry battery, charging, and monitoring technologies for the professional broadcast, pro-video, cinema and healthcare industries. Established in 1970, Anton/Bauer’s product offerings feature several signature lines, including the leading Gold Mount® system, the Digital Battery Series, Performance Chargers, and the Academy Award®-winning VCLX series. The company’s industry-standard products are compatible with virtually every camera brand on the market today while providing top-tier levels of safety, performance, and reliability. The brand’s main office is in Shelton, CT, with additional offices in South America, Europe, and Asia.
About Vitec Videocom
Vitec Videocom, the Broadcast Division of The Vitec Group plc, brings together some of the most respected, innovative and sought-after brands in the industry: Anton/Bauer, Autocue, Autoscript, Bexel, Camera Corps, Litepanels, OConnor, Off Hollywood, Paralinx, Sachtler, SmallHD, Teradek, The Camera Store, and Vinten. It acts as an endorsing brand for these market-leading broadcast, film and pro video products, encouraging multi-brand system sales and simplifying the way that customers worldwide do business.
The Vitec Group is a global provider of premium branded products and services to the Broadcast and Photographic markets. The Vitec Group is based on strong, well-known, premium brands on which its customers worldwide rely.
Vitec Videocom – advancing the quality and science of media production.