Transfer cart brings savings to automotive supplierJanuary 29, 2015 REDWIRE is news you can use from leading suppliers. Powered by FRASERS.
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A Tier 1 automotive supply company needed to move large dies weighing up to 25 tons. The company had been using a powered cart towed behind one of its fork trucks to transfer the dies, but the cart stopped working due to mechanical issues. Since transporting dies this way had proven to be inadequate, unsafe and was contributing to a constraint on production, the company decided to look for a new solution.
When selecting the proper solution, the company first had to consider the requirements. The travel path of the cart involved several turns, making the application more complicated than a straight back-and-forth shuttle. Production requirements demanded occasional transfer of product on the cart, so the cart’s design needed to be versatile and functional. It also needed to be rugged, steerable and non-battery powered.
A review of available solutions on the market revealed the best option for this application: a custom propane-powered, steerable Mentor Transfer Cart manufactured by Engineered Lifting Systems & Equipment (ELS).
The cart was designed to have a 30-ton rated load capacity and to be steerable across smooth to semi-smooth concrete floors. An operator walking beside the cart uses a handheld pendant controller to steer the cart along the pathway that involves curves. Two dual-front swivel casters correspond to the rear steel drive wheels, resulting in it having a turning radius equal to the cart’s length. The six-foot by six-foot wooden deck cushions dies against impact damage, and when production demands the cart to be used to carry product, the deck provides a versatile carrying surface. The small propane generator powers the AC drives. There are two propane tanks on the cart. Fuel is drawn from one tank at a time, but a valve will automatically switch from an empty tank to a full one. The empty tank can be swapped out at a convenient time. Unlike fork trucks that use liquid propane, the generator uses vapour propane tanks, a common fuel source.
The Mentor Transfer Cart is contributing to time savings by having its own independent drive system, alleviating the need to wait on an available fork truck. The ease of fuel tank swap out has meant straightforward fuel replenishment with minimal downtime. The cart’s rugged construction, durable wheels and casters, and quick disconnects for pendant swap-out, make for a long life of service.