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Retrofitting: Are Retrofitted Industrial Carts Right For You?

With a little engineering, underperforming material handling equipment can be transformed into a highly efficient ergonomic solution. At Electro Kinetic Technologies, we call this process of repurposing industrial carts “retrofitting,” and it helps businesses avoid throwing out still-functional equipment during a necessary workplace safety upgrade. Here’s how to gauge whether or not a retrofitted industrial cart is right for you.

When To Retrofit Industrial Carts

Before considering a retrofitted cart, investigate the possibility of using a tugger first, which is one of the more cost effective ways of transporting manual carts ergonomically. When using a tugger isn’t sufficient for the application, there are two ways we can retrofit industrial manual carts at Electro Kinetic Technologies. The more labor-intensive option is to install a motorized drive system on a manual cart as part of a Retrofit Kit. The second option, called a Bolt-On Retrofit, involves removing the casters from a manual cart and mounting it onto one of our standard ergonomic motorized platform carts. If necessary, a suitable custom platform cart can be created for this purpose as well.

Both of these options allow an operation to retain any useful racks, shelving, or other features from existing manual carts and reduce waste, while also reaping the benefits of a motorized solution. In both cases, the user can either have the work done by EKT or, more typically, do the work themselves.

So how do you know if a retrofitted industrial cart is an option worth considering? Engineers will typically suggest a retrofit solution for a few reasons:

  1. The existing equipment, though non-motorized and ergonomically problematic, has specific features that otherwise address the needs of the operation well.
  2. The existing equipment still has plenty of useful life left, making the investment in a retrofit worthwhile.
  3. There is a cost effective way to retrofit the existing industrial carts.
  4. Using a tugger to ergonomically move existing manual carts is less practical or more costly than a retrofit.

Some businesses may also have lean manufacturing goals that either discourage or prohibit them from discarding still-functioning equipment. For these types of situations, retrofitted existing industrial carts may be the most desirable option.

When A Retrofitted Industrial Cart Isn’t Right For You

There are some circumstances where engineers at Electro Kinetic Technologies would not recommend that customers utilize retrofitted industrial carts as an ergonomic solution for their transport problems. The reasons are fairly straightforward:

  1. Existing carts need to be replaced due to their current condition, or are projected to wear out before the customer has received a return on their retrofit investment.
  2. A new model serves the specific needs of the operation better than a retrofitted industrial cart would.
  3. The application calls for an entirely custom ergonomic equipment design that cannot utilize existing equipment or components.

Additionally, sometimes retrofitting existing equipment isn’t necessarily “leaner” than buying a new model. New equipment models may prove to be more efficient in a specific application, or a better use of company resources. In order to be absolutely sure that retrofitting your existing industrial carts is the best material handling solution for you, we recommend consulting with an equipment engineer. Our engineers routinely provide facility walkthroughs where we assess the entire operation and suggest the most cost effective and efficient material handling equipment for the application. This takes the guesswork out of resolving workplace safety and efficiency issues, and maximizes your investment in a potential solution.

Whether or not retrofitting is right for you, our team is here to help guide you towards the best equipment for your application. To get in touch with an engineer, fill out our contact form or give us a call.

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