Standardized medical cart designs do not always meet the needs of a medical facility. Your caregiving staff may need custom-made medical equipment with all the functions and elements they need to do their jobs.
But how much do custom carts cost? Is it possible to stay under budget? While every custom cart is unique and accurate figures can be challenging to estimate, here’s a list of features most likely to affect the final cost.
Most medical carts employ a metal construction with varying amounts of plastic elements. The most common metal materials are steel and aluminum, typically formed from sheet metal ranging between 14 and 22 gauge thick.
Aluminum offers the best balance of strength and weight but tends to be the most costly option. An all-stainless steel cart offers maximum durability but is heavy and harder to maneuver.
The qualified design and manufacturing personnel at Scott-Clark Medical understand that the most cost-effective choice for medical devices is to use stainless steel for the central shaft and aluminum parts for everything else.
Custom Cart Bases
Custom medical cart bases typically use one of four manufacturing processes:
- Injection-molded plastic
- Welded sheet metal (steel or aluminum)
- Cast aluminum
- Precision machined steel
The right choice depends on your budget, your desired production volume, the complexity of your specifications (especially if you need custom designs), and the lead times you expect.
The most cost-effective choice is injection-molded plastic because the price per unit significantly decreases as the production volume increases. Plastic parts are easy to form into complex shapes and offer high repeatability; each part is consistent, with little to no structural difference from one cart to the next.
The only significant disadvantage of injection-molded plastic elements is their long lead times. Reputable custom cart manufacturers typically require 18 to 25 weeks for tooling, production, testing, and quality control.
The aesthetic elements of a custom cart include custom colors, finishes, and textures.
If your budget allows for it, customizing your carts’ looks with your medical facility’s colors and branding can be an effective way to attract and retain clients or patients.
After the client provides the design specs, skilled design engineers can make recommendations to improve product development, such as:
- Choose dry powder coatings instead of liquid paints. Although liquid paints are cheaper and easier to mix in any color and gloss level, powder-based paints are more durable and retain colors better.
- Select low-gloss or matte finishes over high-gloss options. Glossiness is generally more expensive, and while it is shinier, they offer no additional advantages.
- Add a textured finish. Consider a textured finish, such as sand, wrinkle, or hammer (orange peel-like). While adding a texture increases costs, they can add visual depth and tactile feeling to a medical cart, making them more pleasant to see and touch.
Scott-Clark Medical, Your Partner for Custom Medical Carts
Scott-Clark Medical provides caregiving facilities with the solutions they need and launch quality products on time and within budget. We can help you help others by developing a custom medical cart that meets your facility’s needs and specifications.
Contact us today at (512) 756-7300 for a quote or information about our custom cart solutions.