Wednesday April 3, 2013

Richard F. Collins

Editor’s note: This week, which is also known as Career Week, The Banner will run a guest column each day from a local manufacturer. The columns were an initiative of Bennington County Industrial Corp. and coincide with a host of Career Week activities.

At the Energizer Battery manufacturing facility in Bennington, we make some cool things. In fact, we’ll make many millions of batteries and small plastic parts that will get shipped all over the world - from Singapore to South Africa. Most of these batteries are used in watches and hearing aids and are themselves pretty cool. But we also make some very unique products...

For a battery maker, we are always watching the world evolve.

We still make millions of watch batteries per year but as people use cell phones to tell time instead of watches, we needed to find other businesses. That other field is the medical industry. One of our batteries powers a small camera shaped like a pill. Instead of having a colonoscopy, the patient swallows the pill and the camera takes pictures (with the help of miniature strobe lights) of the individual’s intestinal system throughout the day. He or she returns to the doctor’s office at the end of the day and all of the pictures are downloaded so that any problems can be identified. Of course, the pill camera is only used once!

We are also manufacturing batteries that power small devices that inject drugs into a patient. The device is stuck to your body and just the right amount of drug is injected into the patient at just the right time. Each of these batteries have been custom designed by our engineers to provide this very unique power need.

Most of our air cell batteries are used in hearing aids. But one unique battery helps to make an air freshener work. Using a battery to make something work is not that unusual; what’s different is how this battery powers the device. All batteries generate gas when they’re used. This battery actually uses the gas generated to know exactly when to meter the freshener.

So if it’s small and in need of power, the Energizer Bunny here in Bennington is ready to help keep it going, and going, and goingÅ 

Richard F. Collins is Energizer’s quality engineering manager.