5 Types of Carts for Industrial Material Handling

Need to equip your production line with carts? You could buy heavy steel carts, too big for the job with extra shelves that are not required. Alternatively, you can use a modular system to build custom-made, adaptive carts specially designed for the desired part and used to move your components or products with a lighter and efficient cart solution. Build a custom cart that is strong enough for industrial work. Loading materials, picking orders and moving tools will become easier with our lean manufacturing solutions.

Our material handling systems let you design carts for the transport of virtually anything imaginable within the physical limits of the used system.

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Why you should customize your carts

If you think that a modular system’s personalization capabilities and adaptability applies solely to improving racks and workstations, think again—carts can also be adapted with a modular system. For example, by reducing the size of your carts, employees will be able to manoeuver them more easily. That’s a gain in efficiency right there. Easier manoeuvrability means better ergonomics and increased safety… and your Health & Safety department’s seal of approval!

To learn how to build carts and calculate loading capacity, make sure to check our Learning section.

Have we piqued your curiosity? Read on to find out which are the five most common types of carts built with material handling systems.

Kitting Carts

Kitting Carts

Kitting Carts are one of the central aspects of using kitting areas to make your production line leaner. A kitting area is a place where all the components which come from the supplier are stored. Those parts are unpacked there and sorted for kitting carts.

The purpose of this type of carts is to collect all the parts for a particular process or even to assemble a product completely. Material handling systems enable the construction of carts with custom slots for each component. This ensures that nobody uses those assets for anything else.

In the end, a kitting cart lets you distribute your components needed on the production line without interfering with the workflow. All the parts required for a task are therefore within easy reach. This reduces the amount of time wasted by your employees to unpack components on the production line.

Tuggable carts

Tuggable carts

Large manufacturing plants often require moving massive quantities of parts and products from one station to another. Tuggable carts, built with a system such as Flexpipe, will allow you to move those components easier without increasing traffic in your warehouse.

You can use special parts on your structures to connect and tow up to six carts simultaneously. This technique will optimize the movements on your production floor. However, be sure to have the right machinery when pulling a cart train.

Tugger carts are often used to replenish flow racks by transporting bins that contain production components. This ensures that the operator who fills the flowrack can do more in one pass than with only one cart.

WIP carts

WIP carts

WIP (“Work in Progress”) carts are the perfect solution to move goods in progress from one workstation to another one or to move the products from a station to a WIP rack located in a holding area. Like the other types of carts built with a modular system, you can customize these structures to hold the product at any stage of the process.

Using this kind of structure reduces the number of errors your employees can make by providing them with equipment made specifically for one task. Using WIP structures like carts and racks will, in the long run, reduce overstock and save floor space.

Warehouse picking carts

Warehouse picking carts

You could buy an all-purpose utility cart and try to adjust yourself to the cart dimensions, or you could design and build the right picking cart for you with a pipe and joint system such as Flexpipe. There as many configurations of structures possible as there are different components in your facility.

This category is usually the commonly used one in manufacture plants. Fun fact: the shape and dimensions for this type of structures are sometimes the most uncommon! Does your order picker need to go through a narrow alley or do need to optimize the picking of parts with odds shapes? No problem – you can design and build a cart that will meet these two criteria. As a matter of fact, the distinct advantage of a modular system is that it adapts to your environment and not the other way around. There are as many configurations possible for your picking carts as there are components in your plant!

Truck carts

Truck carts

If you need to ship components quickly from one factory to another, the truck cart is a great option. With this transportation method, you don’t need to unload the cart and reload another one in the next facility. You can save unnecessary handling by doing so. Depending on the configuration of your structures, there are many ways to ensure your shipment arrives safely. Remember to secure the carts properly so they don’t move in transport.

There is one slight inconvenience to this type of transportation: you may need to return the empty cart to the original facility. Nonetheless, truck carts are the most efficient when you need to save time and ship as quick as possible.

To learn more about carts and the best way to build them, make sure to read our article How to build carts and racks.

Example of Carts built with Flexpipe
Julien-depelteau-profile-picture
Julien Depelteau - Chief Executive Officer

Julien is one of the co-founders of Flexpipe. He has been working in the material handling industry since 2006 building custom-made steel racks, carts, and workstations.  He has a large experience in implementing tugger carts for lean manufacturers trying to improve material flow. He started Flexpipe in 2011 and since then, he made his mission to grow Flexpipe and deliver the modular system to new markets by making it more affordable.

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