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The CDC reports that more than 22 million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work every year.1 And controlling factory noise levels is a requirement of OSHA.

One strategy for achieving mandated noise levels created in material handling applications is using noise-reducing casters. Material handling carts, especially those with metal wheels, contribute to noise on the manufacturing floor that can be significantly reduced.

Impact of excessive noise exposure in manufacturing.

Recent research states, “Persistent exposure to excessive noise can lead to various adverse health outcomes, including:

Although cart noise may seem trivial compared to noise from larger factory machinery, it can be a constant contributor to unhealthy factory decibel levels. Material handling cart noise can be increased due to uneven or worn shop floors, excessive cart weight, and inappropriately specified casters for the specific load.

Any facility that reduces noise levels in material handling will benefit from choosing the right caster and wheel materials.

Top 3 Heavy Duty Casters for Industrial Noise Reduction

This article will explore three types of casters—Pneumatic, CasterShox, and Spring Loaded—that have shown substantial effectiveness in noise reduction. Innovation in caster design has created products that lower factory noise levels, creating a quieter, safer, and more productive environment.

1. Pneumatic Wheel Casters:

Pneumatic Tire Casters

Pneumatic Tire Casters

As we explore proven noise reduction solutions, pneumatic wheel casters emerge as a proven choice. These casters operate on a straightforward principle – using air-filled tires.

The secret to their quiet operation lies in the soft rubber tread, which, unlike harder materials, absorbs vibrations rather than transferring them as noise. The air inside the tire acts as a shock absorber, smoothening the ride over bumps and rough surfaces. This feature reduces noise and decreases cart wear and tear, prolonging their lifespan.

Additional benefits of Pneumatic Casters

Pneumatic casters enhance the cart’s maneuverability, making it easier to control under heavy loads. This ease of movement can directly improve workplace efficiency.

Despite requiring occasional air pressure checks, the quiet operation, shock absorption, and easy maneuverability make pneumatic casters a worthwhile investment for a more peaceful and productive facility.

RELATED: Inflated Benefits? When to Use Pneumatic Wheel Casters for Your Heavy-Duty Industrial Application.

2. CasterShox® – Patented by Caster Concepts:

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CasterShox® is an advanced, patented solution for noise reduction in material handling carts.

This innovative caster incorporates an ingenious design feature: an integrated shock absorption system fitted directly into the core of the caster. This design, coupled with a custom-formulated elastomer spring, is meticulously crafted to achieve optimal motion dampening, offering a significant noise reduction at the source.

How Does CasterShox reduce noise by over 10 decibels?

With its integrated shock absorber, the CasterShox wheel dissipates vibrations where they originate, reducing the subsequent impact on the cart and its contents. This means that the wheel noise and the physical strain on the cart are considerably decreased, enhancing the cart’s lifespan.

Advantages of CasterShox:

The CasterShox wheel’s advantages don’t stop at noise reduction. The results achieved are not just impressive but measurable. On average, CasterShox reduces cart noise levels by 10 decibels, potentially reducing over 15 decibels at peak noise levels. This considerable decrease in noise level leads to an increased acceptable exposure time of up to 400 percent. That implies a safer, more comfortable working environment and, consequently, more productive employees.

These wheels are an ideal solution for facilities looking to reduce noise levels with minimal effort and cost.

Related: Reducing Noise in Manufacturing Facilities with CasterShoX®

3. Spring Loaded Casters:

Spring loaded caster

Spring loaded caster

The last caster option on our list is the spring-loaded caster. Designed with a built-in spring, these casters act as shock absorbers, primarily absorbing the jolts caused by traversing bumps or uneven surfaces in factories, warehouses, and exterior locations. The spring’s deflection diminishes the vibrations that create noise, providing a quieter operation.

Important Consideration:

Using spring-loaded casters require an understanding of the load they’ll be carrying. If the load is too light, the spring won’t compress, negating its shock-absorbing properties.

On the other hand, if the load is too heavy, the spring could reach a state known as “bottoming out,” where it compresses to the extent that its shock-absorbing function is compromised. Therefore, knowing the weight of your load is vital in configuring the proper spring deflection for your specific application. Working with a caster manufacturer’s applications, engineers can provide you with the correct caster specification for your heavy duty material handling challenge.

RELATED:  5 Tips For Reducing Noise When Using Spring Loaded Casters And Wheels.

The Challenges of Reducing Noise in Trash Gondolas

Trash gondolas, commonly used in various industrial and manufacturing facilities, present unique challenges when it comes to noise management. These large waste containers are frequently moved around, and the noise generated from their operation can add significantly to the overall noise level within the facility. This noise is amplified and echoed when these gondolas are moved over uneven surfaces, causing rattling and vibration.

Considering the unique noise challenges of trash gondolas, the choice of heavy duty caster can significantly impact noise levels. For instance, the shock-absorbing properties of Pneumatic and Spring Loaded Casters make them effective choices, helping to cushion the bumps and reduce noise. Going one step further, CasterShox’s integrated shock absorber significantly reduces vibration, effectively lowering noise levels.

Non-Caster-Related Solutions for Noise Reduction

In addition to choosing the correct caster design for your application, there are other steps factories and manufacturers can take to reduce noise in their facilities.

· Pad the Inside of Your Cart: Most of the time, noise brought on by cart movement is exaggerated due to the load. Padding the inside of your cart will enable the load to sit on something much more comfortable than the metal/alloy frame that carts are usually made from.

· Leveling Uneven Surfaces: Any movement of carts on an uneven surface will result in more noise due to the wheels’ stuttering’ as they move. Try to level the surface as much as possible with flat asphalt, concrete, or other floor patching material. This helps reduce caster wheel chatter, as having a level floor results in the noise coming solely from the wheels turning.

Adopting suitable noise reduction strategies in manufacturing environments is crucial, primarily with issues arising from noise in material handling carts. Noise-reducing casters like Pneumatic Casters, our Patented CasterShoX Wheel, and Spring Loaded Casters offer unique benefits depending on your specific needs. Reach out to the material handling specialists at Caster Concepts and take a proactive step towards a quieter, more productive workplace.

References:

1 https://www.osha.gov/noise