Previously on this blog, we've reported on companies struggling with thermal management technologies, particularly when battery complications lead to overheating in certain devices. Boeing's failure to address such concerns on its 787 Dreamliner was one of the most publicized cases of this in recent memory.
After running into similar concerns, tool manufacturer One World Technologies, which owns Ryobi, has been forced to recall a number of its devices when reports of overheating in its rechargeable lithium 18 V 4Ah battery packs first emerged.
According to a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the South Carolina-based company received four reports of charging batteries reaching unsafe temperatures, causing the component to "burst" in some instances. The defective batteries can create burn and fire hazards in such instances, although no injuries have been reported.
These incidents show why it is vital for companies to invest into thermal management technologies and to put adequate resources into testing such devices before they're made available to consumers. While Boeing and Ryobi are currently scrambling to deal with the ramifications of their recalls and to get their products back onto the market, the true damage may come down the road.
In addition to forcing customers to return a purchased product, or in Boeing's case, abandon the use of a certain model of airplane, companies that recall products are dealt a heavy blow to their reputations. When a company recalls a product, they force consumers to question how safe their products are to use. That reluctance may be the difference for a customer to make the switch to another product.
Because of this, it should come to no surprise that many successful companies are putting more resources into thermal management technologies and developing safe methods of bonding battery terminals, so as to avoid the over heating concerns that have plagued Boeing and Ryobi.