Retrofitting Manual Carts with a Powered Drive White Paper

Retrofitting Carts Can Save Costs, Reduce Injuries and Improve Productivity

6 Reasons to Retrofit Material Handling Carts with Motorization and Improve Productivity

Somewhere in a back room, you may have a manual material handling cart that sits unused for one reason or another. Maybe a cart is too heavy to move manually, or it no longer functions well with other warehouse equipment. Or it needs to transport heavy payloads on inclines, but can’t.

An easy way to regain productivity of existing carts is to retrofit them with a motorized drive system. Here are several reasons that companies have done this, and examples of their custom retrofitted carts.

1) The weight of the cart requires a high amount of force to manually move it. This can result in:

  • Injuries to workers caused by excessive strain.
  • Requiring forces to move the cart that exceed corporate ergonomic guidelines for safe movement. Photos below were such cases. These companies realized after constructing their manual carts that – with the load – the push/pull forces surpassed their corporate standards.
Push/Pull forces Solution
Push/Pull Forces Solution
Push/Pull Forces Solution

2) The cart needs to align and work with other equipment such as mules, but achieving this manually is too difficult or causes injuries.

3) The unloaded cart can be moved easily, but is too heavy to move safely when filled with materials. Photo below shows a tool box with a motorized retrofit solution to this problem.

4) Inclines require more force to move a cart than is manually possible or safe.

5) Maneuverability is an issue. In narrow aisles or small areas, forklifts and mules may not have enough clearance. But a motorized cart can fit while carrying a heavy payload.

6) A forklift alternative is needed. In contrast to a cart, a forklift’s higher speed and the skills, training and (sometimes) license needed to operate it, can restrict the flow and timing of materials throughout an assembly floor. Forklifts can also pose a higher safety risk within a facility. With motorized carts’ lower operating speeds and different load-lifting requirements, operators do not need specialized training, making it easier for companies to have employees utilize custom motorized carts.

By retro-fitting an existing cart, you can successfully address any of these issues without losing your initial investment or purchasing an entirely new cart. Electro Kinetic Technologies can design and install a motorized drive system for your cart, or we can send you a kit to mount onto the cart yourself. Contact us to discuss how we can make your existing cart more productive.

For more information on custom motorized solutions, and Electro Kinetic Technologies’ engineering services, visit our contact page and consult with one of our experts.

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