Electro Kinetic Technologies recently completed a semi-custom project for a large manufacturer of industrial scales. This particular customer provides servicing as a key component of their business model, and has dozens of service facilities across the United States with fleets of service vans transporting equipment to and from their customers’ locations.
In order to provide on-site calibration for many of the industrial scales produced by our customer, the use of test weights is required. The vans must transport a set of twenty 50 lb weights so there is a total of 1,000 lbs available for calibration work. In the past, our customer used manual carts to move test weights from the service van to and then between the industrial scales located inside a facility. Unloading and loading the cart and test weights from and to the van was considered a slow part of the overall process. Furthermore, moving these heavy loads on manual carts can cause musculoskeletal injuries in employees due to excess push/pull forces exerted during transport. In order to protect their employees from injury and speed up the process of test weight transport and servicing, our customer desired an ergonomic solution that allowed employees to safely and efficiently load and unload carts and test weights from service vans, and move them into a customer facility.
The solution designed by the customer and Electro Kinetic Technologies was comprised of two components: a motorized cart capable of transporting up to 1,000 lbs of test weights, and a ramp by which to safely load and unload the service vans. We chose the standard 1040 motorized cart model in order to control costs for our customer, and modified it with an extra heavy duty transaxle and related components to give sufficient power to handle a fairly steep ramp. Additionally, a lightweight aluminum structure was added to keep two layers of test weights in place on the cart during transport. The bottom layer of weights is held in place by the structure bolted onto cart deck, while the upper layer is held in place by a lift-away shelf that fits over and into lower structure.
After testing a prototype cart for efficacy in moving 1,000 lbs up a 15-degree ramp, our engineers provided an ergonomic motorized cart with simple hand controls requiring little training, fully variable speed, a reliable industrial design, strong warranty and low-maintenance foam-filled tires. The final product allows operators to unload, load, and transport the test weights more safely and efficiently than what was possible with the previously-used manual carts.
The ramp chosen to accompany the 1040 model motorized cart was selected by the customer from another manufacturer. The ramp design is easily deployable, has a safe running surface for cart wheel traction even when wet, and runs at approximately 15 degrees from the ground to the van’s cargo level.
The total solution functions as follows:
At a given customer’s location, a service technician simply deploys the ramp, moves the cart loaded with test weights down the ramp to ground level and drives the cart to the scale. When the testing and calibrating is complete for all scales, the technician drives the cart back to the van and up the ramp, which folds back into the travel position. The service technicians are still required to load and unload the test weights once reaching the scales, but a significant portion of the physical stress and potential for injury caused by the previous process was eliminated.
For more information on custom motorized solutions, and Electro Kinetic Technologies’ engineering services, visit our contact page and consult with one of our experts.