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  • Writer's pictureKristian Electric

From the Ground Up: Transfer Car Material Handling Solutions

From the Ground Up: Transfer Car Material Handling Solutions

As a leading Canadian overhead crane company, you might think that we are solely focused on material handling solutions above the ground. While it's not uncommon to hear the phrase, "there's a crane for that!" when our crane sales team is presented with a specific customer application, sometimes adding another overhead crane is not the most efficient solution for increasing productivity and efficiency. In truth, material handling involves more than just lifting solutions in the air.

At Kristian Electric, we are thrilled to offer our customers a fresh solution for their material handling needs on the shop floor. If you're in search of an efficient and hassle-free method for moving materials of all sizes, shapes, and types, meet transfer cars – your go-to alternative for ground-level transportation.


What is a transfer car?

Think of a transfer car as a ground-level crane without a hoist, designed to move materials on rails. Running on the shop floor level, industrial transfer cars can be used to transport heavy material between crane bays, from production to the warehouse, and even just from one workstation to another. Transfer cars are also commonly referred to as material carts, transfer carts or transfer carriages.

Like overhead bridge cranes, transfer cars can be motorized or non-motorized (push-pull), depending on your specific application and facility requirements. For motorized transfer cars, power can be distributed through a cable reel, drag chain or battery power.

Motorized transfer cars share many components with overhead cranes, consisting of:

  • Modular Wheel system or Boogie system

  • Drive (geared motor)

  • Control station (pendant controller or radio control system)

  • Power supply system for drives (cable reel, drag chain, or battery-powered)

Working with our valued partners at Demag Cranes, the similarities don’t just stop there. Our transfer car solutions utilize Demag Drive Technology and Demag wheel block systems; components that we have sold, serviced, and worked with everyday for over forty years.

After decades utilizing Demag drive systems on overhead cranes across Canada, we can apply that experience to design custom transfer cars for your specific application with units we know offer a high reliability and long service life with a minimum maintenance requirement.

What industries can benefit from transfer cars?

The applications of transfer cars are virtually limitless. If you move heavy loads, transfer cars are a versatile solution to move materials safely and efficiently with a minimal operational footprint.

Industrial transfer cars are ideal for industries such as:

  • Metal Production (including steel foundries, steel plants, aluminum factories, and metallurgy)

  • Industrial Facilities (including warehouses, shipyards, and processing industries)

  • Resource Extraction (including coal and mining)

  • Steel and Steel-Related Manufacturing (including steel manufacturing and structural steel manufacturing)

  • Diverse Manufacturing (including plastic pipes, vessel rolls, oil & gas, and crane manufacturing)

  • Food Processing Industry

Could a transfer car work for your application?

Whether you are transferring goods between bays or handling raw materials, Kristian Electric can provide a transfer car material handling solution specific to your facility’s application. With both standard tailor-made and customized systems available, our team can work with you to learn about your individual process and determine the best transfer car option for your production needs.

Since transfer cars can be designed and built custom to your industry, facility, and production process, we can offer a variety of possible options. To safely move different types of material and components, we can provide a flat top for your transfer car or a customized top for materials such as vessel rolls or cylindrical components. We can build transfer cars in capacities ranging from one to sixty tons depending on what safe working load is needed for your inter-bay, intra plant movement.

Further customization can be offered by utilizing Demag’s broad range of wheel blocks and drive solutions. Demag Z cylindrical-rotor motors are optimized for VFD and inverter-controlled applications, allowing precise control of motor speed and torque, which benefit transfer car applications where variable speeds, acceleration, and deceleration may be required.

If we determine your transfer car will face demanding conditions such as frequent stops and starts, we may recommend Demag KB conical-rotor brake motors, which are specifically designed for high-frequency cycling and braking applications. Equipped with an integrated brake system, KB motors can exert efficient and precise control over braking without substantial wear and tear – unlike conventional motors.

Ultimately, we will choose a transfer car configuration depending on the specific requirements of the task and the environment in which it operates, allowing us to provide a customized solution for each application.

See for yourself how transfer cars work in this video from our friends at Demag:


Are you ready to improve your material handling processes with a ground-level transfer car solution? Can implementing a transfer car alleviate one of your current production bottlenecks and help you streamline your operations? Would a transfer car system even work for your materials?

We can answer all these questions and more.

Our Kristian Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon team members are always ready to chat and determine solutions to increase the efficiency, reliability and safety of your material handling processes.

Whether your business is only a few kilometers away from our shops or on the other side of Canada – our material handling experts are ready to tackle any challenge that comes our way.

Contact us today to learn more about if a transfer car may work for you!

(And if you are curious about any other Demag products -- such as cranes, hoists, motors or spare parts, don't forget Kristian Electric is Western Canada's Demag Stocking Dealer)

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