Change Parts Carts are a cost-effective way to simplify packaging changeovers and improve parts management.
They help make changeovers more efficient, faster and less strenuous. They also reduce risk of parts damage and loss while improving storage capacity. To get the most value from your investment though, it’s important to choose carts that fit your particular packaging needs and changeover requirements.
A wide variety of changeover cart types are available in the marketplace at different price points. Available choices typically include basic off-the-shelf carts that can’t be modified, user-configurable carts, and custom carts for pharmaceutical lines, 5S lean manufacturing, or other specialty packaging needs.
So how do you choose the best change parts cart for your needs?
A good starting point is ensuring you buy a quality cart that will provide years of reliable storage and transport for your specific needs. For example, packaging environment considerations often include available space and access around your line, the number and types of change parts, frequency of changeover, washdown and sanitation requirements, smaller parts that may require drawers or bins, and precision parts that could require more protective storage. Buying a cart that does not work well in your environment or fit your changeover needs will ultimately hinder efforts to make your changeovers more efficient and ergonomic. An experienced packaging change part provider can help you evaluate options and choose the best solution for your needs and budget.
Cart quality is of course a primary concern. One of the most important factors in change part cart performance is the casters. High quality casters are easily maneuverable, even on rough surfaces. Casters that can be quickly changed from non-swivel to swivel are also beneficial for in-place pivoting and for creating easy access to all sides of the cart. Changeover carts with wheel brakes ensure safe, secure loading and unloading. Quality casters ensure smooth transport, secure storage and transport, and contribute to more ergonomic changeovers. Poor quality casters are one of the primary complaints about poorly designed change parts carts.
Many carts are also available with features that provide easy recognition of change parts and the proper sequencing of changeovers. This is typically achieved through color-coding, sequential numbering and identification, shadow boards, shaped parts cutouts in drawers, photo identification or a custom requirement. Carts are also available with a washdown ready design for convenient on-cart change parts cleaning. In addition to using washdown capable materials, well designed carts help prevent pooling of water and cleaning solutions. Carts that are easy-to-use and designed to be more mistake-proof significantly improve efficiency and reduce part loss and damage.
Off-the-Shelf Carts Without Modifications
User-Configurable Change Parts Carts
Custom Change Parts Carts
Off-the Shelf carts that can’t be modified are typically the cheapest option, but come with numerous caveats. They vary widely in quality, size, and function. Finding a cart to fit your specific needs can be challenging. It can also be more difficult to achieve significant improvements to storage, transport, and changeover efficiency with an off-the-shelf cart. Carefully consider your needs and cart quality and capabilities before purchasing an off-the-shelf change part cart that can’t be modified. If you have questions, talk to your change part provider about options. Some change part providers also manufacture quality carts that can be tailored specifically for your needs.
Some of the benefits and features of high quality user-configurable carts include a range of robust standard mounts and bins that are easy-to-position and secure. They allow you to store required parts in a small footprint. They have high quality casters that provide simple transport and safe, secure part storage, loading and unloading. Parts are easy to identify and ergonomically position and remove. For most applications, your cart should also be washdown ready. Some changeover carts manufacturers offer a range of standard sizes and components to provide greater flexibility and accommodation of different packaging environments.
In most situations, user-configurable Carts can be ordered and delivered quickly without the need for measure up or custom components.
Custom change parts carts are tailor-made to fit your changeover parts, processes and storage needs. Custom change parts carts are an ideal solution for pharmaceutical and food companies with strict clean room and FDA compliance requirements or any company with lean manufacturing or Six Sigma requirements. When purchasing a custom change part cart, it’s important to work closely with an experienced changeover cart provider to design a cart that meets your needs.
Custom change parts carts deliver faster, more efficient changeovers, reduce mistakes and increase confidence in compliance. Custom engraving and shadow board construction provides easy parts identification. Custom drawers, doors, and covers increase security and parts protection. Typically custom change parts carts provide faster recognition of parts wear and the ability to maintain a regular maintenance or replacement schedule. Most importantly, they can be manufactured to your requirements for optimum changeover efficiency.