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6 August 2019

The 4 Benefits of Shelf Carts in a Lean Manufacturing System

Tim Massey

Tim Massey

Sales Manager UK

4 benefits of shelf carts

Your storage facilities and equipment have a significant role to play in lean manufacturing or when setting up a lean manufacturing facility. The distance between a storage facility and workstations, as well as the load capacity storage equipment, can support and transport can make a significant impact. The things it determines include how quickly materials can be accessed, the amount that can be carried, and speed of supply. One such example of storage and transportation equipment that serves multiple functions is a shelf cart.

Shelf carts are customizable equipment that can be used to transport boxes, totes, bins, tools, and materials. These carts come in different configurations, and the ability to customize them through the FlexQube modular design approach makes them beneficial to lean manufacturing. Here, you have the top four reasons to use a shelf cart.

Why Shelf Carts are Beneficial to Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing involves building a more efficient production process by eliminating waste and unplanned downtime. Here are the ways shelf carts can help achieve these:

Simplifies Access to Materials

Shelf carts come in different configurations that simplifies how workers access materials on the shop floor. These configurations include; angled shelves and extendable shelves, which add something extra to material handling. These shelf carts are great at passing tools around the shop floor while maximizing space. The ability to customize the height and width of shelf carts also means that they can be used in any factory regardless of how narrow its aisles are.

Shelf carts are far lighter and provide more maneuverability than forklifts. If equipped with wheels, they speed up the transportation of materials across the shop floor, thereby eliminating time-related waste. Their versatile frames also drastically reduce the possibility of workplace traffic which ensures the flow of materials isn’t interrupted.

Serves as a Safer Means of Transporting Perishable Materials

A lean manufacturing process seeks to eliminate waste by ensuring materials arrive at their respective workstations without defects. Here, it is important to remember that materials can also be damaged during the transportation process if the wrong material handling equipment is used. Once again, shelf carts can come to the rescue. For example, the FlexQube shelf cart with extendable shelves ensures material can be moved and is protected by an automatic lock that ensures materials don’t fall out during movement.

The extendable shelf cart also provides a mechanism in place that eliminates the possibility of damaging materials when removing them. This mechanism is an extendable drawer. Shelves are 100% extendable and when materials need to be removed from shelves, extending the shelf makes for an easy removal process which reduces the possibility of damaging the materials.

4 benefits of shelf carts in a lean manufacturing system

Extendable shelf carts

Compatible with Tugger Train Systems

Tugger trains are one of the popular material handling systems used in lean manufacturing facilities. This is due to the multiple benefits Tugger trains offer. In such a system, shelf carts can serve as the material handling equipment the Tugger vehicle pulls or transports through the shop floor. As stated earlier, shelf carts are customizable with diverse features such as jacks, wheels, and attachable handles. The ability to customize these carts makes it possible to develop ideas that are compatible with the Tugger train system in your facilities.

When used with a Tugger train, the possibilities for assembly work are endless. For example, a Kit cart is a shelf cart designed to carry large tubes on its left side and boxes or totes on its right. If fitted on a Tugger train, a kit cart can be used to simultaneously deliver two very different types of loads to multiple workstations at a go. This speeds up production and reduces wasteful movement or activities.

Eliminates Unplanned Downtime

Any process that reduces the possibility of downtime occurring in a manufacturing facility enhances lean production. The build of a shelf cart and its compatibility with automated transporting systems makes it a great tool for just-in-time delivery. Shelf carts are also less likely to cause shop floor traffic, breakdown, or require extensive maintenance when correctly used. Thus, the durability, versatility, and customizable nature of shelf carts make them a tool for eliminating factors that could lead to production downtime.


The customizable nature of shelf carts means that you can build this material handling equipment to serve whatever purpose you choose. Our experienced technicians at FlexQube can get you started with reaping the benefits of shelf carts whenever you choose. You can either choose from our diverse range of shelf carts or schedule a customization project by contacting us

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