A custom caster is essentially any caster not listed as a standard catalog product.
Depending on your needs, customization can be a full custom design or be as simple as changing the mounting pattern, the overall height of the caster, the swivel lead, the bearings, or other straightforward changes.
Because we laser cut, form, weld, and assemble casters as ordered, simpler types of customizable changes are usually considered modifications and don’t add to lead time. And they don’t impact costs that much. These types of modifications also extend to caster options, such as adding a brake or a toe guard.
For more information on what determines a custom caster, be sure to read our blog: What is a custom caster and why would I use one?
Caster Concepts can design a fully custom caster from scratch for a variety of applications. Our customers tend to go the custom route when they are trying to retrofit casters into a legacy operation. This usually happens when the original casters are no longer available or there’s a need to maintain special mating heights.
Custom casters are also popular in the aerospace industry when moving very heavy, complex loads that require special floor loading stress and shock absorption properties while meeting strict safety factors.
Whether it’s a simple modification or a fully customized design involving our experienced in-house engineering and manufacturing teams, our goal is
to solve your specific requirements. Our abilities include but are not limited to:
The process of knowing and translating all your needs into a final product can be a frustrating process. And there are times when your needs are so unique that you may have a custom caster application. To help you find the exact caster you need, our Custom CAD Configurator tool streamlines this process to meet your specific needs the first time. The configurator allows for modification of our standard offerings and applies the changes immediately, providing an instantly viewable and downloadable model.
The custom CAD Configurator creates 3-D CAD models of casters in the categories below that are available for download in more than 150 formats and CAD files for more than 20,000 standard models. For your added convenience, you can customize and configure parts by changing heights, leads, and mounting patterns.
When deciding on a customized caster, there are some important factors to consider which will affect the overall costs. Using a standard swivel section helps control costs, since standard swivel section forgings are optimized for efficient manufacturing. A custom bolt hole pattern is another area that can add cost due to the special machining required. However, once the lot size goes above 15 pieces, setup costs approach the cost of a standard bolt hole pattern.
Most caster companies also have a slate of standard wheel castings which is essential to controlling cost. However, if circumstance dictate that the core must be made from a billet of metal or fabricated from a tube and plate, it is significantly more expensive.
The type of bearing used in the wheel can also dramatically impact pricing. Branded bearings offer higher performance than imported bearings but come at a cost premium – usually 2-4x the cost of imported bearings. Adding wheel brakes, swivel locks, toe guards, etc., also increase a caster’s price. Most brakes and locks have standard designs to control costs. If your application requires special components to meet a particular design, this could take a $50 option and turn it into a $500 option.
By keeping the above points in mind, then other customizations like overall height, swivel radius, etc., can be implemented with minimal impact to your project.