Casters aren’t just wheels that help transport goods through your plant or warehouse. They’re critical tools that can increase (or decrease) the safety and productivity of your workers.
“OEMs of these shop floor stalwarts continue to innovate,” writes Chris Lewis in Modern Materials Handling. “Suppliers are designing new products that can make operations more efficient, reduce noise levels and improve ergonomics and safety with products that require less effort.”
Lewis goes on to highlight two innovations in caster technology that are helping, as he says, “reinvent the wheel.”
1. Motorized casters
Increased product volume, growing demand and heavier loads can take a toll on your workers. Risk of injury goes up. So does the number of operators needed to move loads.
To improve safety and efficiency, some manufacturers have introduced motorized casters. While shaft-driven motorized wheels aren’t so simple to integrate into carts, there’s an easier option: shaft-less industrial casters with a quarter- or half-horsepower electric motor.
Motorized casters can move loads up to 6,000 pounds at up to five miles per hour, writes Lewis. And they come with a safety control system. According to one manufacturer, motorized casters require zero human force to move up to 3,000 pounds. They completely eliminate human exertion, protecting your staff.
2. Redesigned swivel casters
You know how hard it is to begin rolling a cart in one direction when its swivel casters (usually at the steering end of a cart, opposite the rigid casters) are pointing in the other. That’s not a problem with new swivel casters that have an innovative bearing raceway. Hamilton Caster has designed a swivel assembly with two pivot points. (Typical swivel assemblies only have one.)
Two pivot points ensure these casters won’t lock up as much as conventional casters. And that means your cart operators won’t need to exert as much energy to redirect a cart or get a parked cart rolling.
Want to learn more about caster innovations that could benefit your operations? Conveyer & Caster can help. Contact us to find out how.