A custom-designed medical cart, designed by a competent partner with your input and specifications, is the best way to ensure your nurses and caregiving staff can do their jobs and provide patient care as efficiently as possible.
However, one of the main challenges of custom cart engineering is to avoid falling into pitfalls and issues that can lengthen development time and cause unreasonable delays. Identifying the factors that can impact your development timeline is essential to address problems as early as possible and stay on schedule.
Communication With Your Partner
Before starting your custom cart’s design and engineering processes, provide as many details as possible upfront. Thorough and detailed instructions allow the design team to produce prototypes that match your specifications as closely as possible.
Even with the most comprehensive information, the design and engineering teams may have questions or request clarifications down the line. Ensure you are reachable and answer these questions promptly to avoid delays and get started on production as soon as possible.
Cart Functionality and Purposes
Sometimes, there’s no avoiding it; the initial cart design needs changes. It’s normal to request modifications during the design process. However, be careful not to fall into the most common trap of custom product design: feature creep.
Feature creep (also called scope creep) is a phenomenon that introduces so many changes to your custom cart design that it loses its original direction, typically due to an excess of missions or intended roles for a single product. Additionally, it can significantly drive up the unit cost, causing the project to go over budget.
Ensure your project team agrees on a list of intended purposes and objectives, a budget, and an acceptable timeline to avoid feature creep. Changes should be minimal and agreed upon by the project team.
A crash cart’s materials must strike a balance of durability, availability, and costs. Quality medical carts typically employ a mixture of plastic and metal parts.
Metal parts are most commonly made of stamped sheet metal such as steel, although some examples employ extruded aluminum.
Powder-coated mild steel is readily available and inexpensive, but it is the least durable. Stainless steel is the most durable but the heaviest. Aluminum offers an excellent weight-to-strength ratio but typically requires extensive secondary machining, potentially introducing delays.
Virtually all plastic elements on medical carts employ medical-grade plastics, such as PVC or ABS. The type of plastic you’ll see depends on the production process.
Although specific fabrication processes for your cart’s plastic and metal parts may extend their longevity, they may also take longer to make, affecting your timeline in turn.
Metal part production
Metal-forming processes such as stamping or casting are simpler, faster, and suitable for high-volume applications. Machining or extruding are more suitable for complex and durable parts but are much slower.
Plastic part production
Plastic parts are typically thermoformed or injection-molded, depending on the desired quantity and complexity.
Thermoformed plastic like PVC is ideal for fast, low production runs and is less expensive. However, it’s unsuitable for highly complex parts like a high variation in curves, angles, and thicknesses.
Injection-molded plastic like ABS can be easily formed into any desired shape and is ideal for highly ergonomic designs. However, the cost per unit is higher, requiring a larger order and longer production times to be cost-effective.
Let Us Help You Help Others
At Scott-Clark Medical, we are ready to design and produce custom medical carts that help your caregivers do their jobs more efficiently. Our custom cart services range from adapting existing carts to designs 100% fabricated from scratch, made with your input, and to your exact needs.
For more information or to request a quote on our custom cart services, call us at (512) 756-7300.