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Case Study: Custom Medical Cart Design to Production in 4 Months

Posted by Nick Rolf on September 2, 2015

We are no stranger to tight timelines at HUI Manufacturing.  The following is a story of a new customer who needed a cart manufacturer to help them get their product into production with a fast four-month turnaround.

Due to design and supply issues, the original manufacturer did not have the capacity or capabilities to produce the desired cart. With a back order of 116 carts and no one to make them, this customer contacted HUI. Their request was simple: design, develop, and produce a cart with increased functionality based on the original concept. By the way, “we needed it yesterday.”

Cart Design Challenges:

  • The cart drawings came from two different sources
  • Original prints were in a different language
  • Various models of the original cart were created
  • The CAD model provided did not match the physical prototype
  • The customer requested many improvements to the previous cart design
  • And last but not least, there was pressure to provide a solution as fast as possible due to the customer’s back order                                                                                        

Our Solutions:

  • Our team worked diligently in conjunction with the customer’s team to fulfill the requested improvements and more:
    • The lid feature is now held open independently
    • The mounting location of the unit’s chargers (which held all the wiring) was changed
    • The cart’s mobility was improved by using directional locking casters over rigid casters (which was also a cost savings)
    • Created a stiffer cabinet
    • Improved function of the lock with a new CAM design
    • Reduced the rattling noise of the cart during transport
  • For manufacturability we simplified the cart’s design:
    • Used durable, powder-coat paint versus wet paint
    • Decreased number of weldment parts by 50%
    • Overall reduced the amount of welding time
  • To meet the customer’s desired deadlines and reduce lead times, we shipped carts directly to their customer’s location.

Here's an overview of our timeline:


Project Outcome

During this project, we strengthened our ability to look at materials and parts and then foresee any project risks. For example, for this cart, we discovered a great solution for a lid-stay. This was a rare “off-the-shelf” standard component manufactured in Japan. Because it was brand-new and located across the globe, we had to find out if its benefits outweighed the risks. We then had to plan early enough to have it shipped in time and make sure there would be enough units available.

We achieved the goal of manufacturing the carts on a tight schedule. As a direct result of this fast-paced timeline we:

  • Strengthened our design collaboration
  • Scheduled weekly update meetings with our customer’s team
  • Quickened our response to change

Read more of our customer case studies here, or if you’re facing a similar timeline challenge please contact our team today.


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