Conveyance number one is pretty low-tech – but flexible and intelligent: a material flow team member with hand cart. In situations with lots of small and light part numbers this can be the way to go, particularly when usage varies widely, the dollar value per part is high, and the distances are short. In some situations with numerous totes being handled on each delivery route, specially-designed carts can easily be fabricated.
In those cases requiring a short distance move of bulk material (as on a pallet), the hand or powered pallet jack can be used to avoid bringing fork trucks into the Line-side area.
Here’s a simple, low-investment way to extend the capacity and range of the hand cart. These motorized units, which come in a variety of configurations, retain the flexible responsiveness of the small cart (“Water Strider”-style) while easing the effort and ergonomics for the Material Flow team.