Cart Handling Systems

ICA manufactures equipment to automate the handling of food and beverage air catering carts between flights. This system can be sold as a complete solution or in segments, which when integrated form the whole turnkey solution.

One of ICA’s previous projects involved an iconic Australian airline company, who commissioned a Queensland construction firm to build a new air catering facility as part of its multi million-dollar airport upgrade. This multifaceted project was a complex process, so the construction firm commissioned Industrial Conveying (Aust) Pty Ltd (ICA) to design and manufacture some of the specialised components that facilitate the handling of food and beverage carts as they pass through the facility.

ICA custom designed and manufactured a system that automates the handling of food and beverage carts in between flights. The facility tracks, receives, unloads waste, washes, loads and redeploys airline catering carts according to the requirements of each carrier, aircraft type and catering requirement.

Air Catering

ICA’s custom-designed equipment accommodates the different physical dimensions, wheel alignment and centre of gravity for each cart. The different systems that integrate to form the whole turnkey solution are:

air catering
air catering
air catering


Dirty meal carts are received from the aircraft and transported to the facility. A moving floor principle enables the transfers and movement of carts. A high degree of system engineering combined with specialised air controls ensures up to 160 carts per hour can be processed safely.


AGVs are used throughout the facility to transport carts to and from the multiple loading positions. Cart data is recorded and tracked via scanners and RFID tags prior to entering the storage area. This data is matched with the allocation of required carts for different airlines.


Conveying of all waste from international and domestic aircrafts. Sterilisation and separation of all international arriving food waste to satisfy AQIS regulation.
Under floor waste processing system to improve hygiene and reduce landfill.

air catering
air catering
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Components of the carts are automatically
washed and sorted.

Clean Utensil Conveying (CUC) system

Positioned overhead, the CUC system transports washed components to be reassembled and stored. Utensils are transferred from the wash area to the cart loading area.

Clean Cart Storage (CCS) system

Fully automated, the CCS system operates on a FIFO (first in-first out) principle and holds multiple cart types for different carriers. Carts are transferred from the washing station via sorting conveyors to the lane storage system.

Operational Advantages

  • Increased Efficiencies – Higher throughput, reduced processing time, less human intervention.
  • Better control over meal cart movements
  • Capacity to handle 160 carts per hour, 1200 carts per day
  • Reduced incidence of OH&S issues
  • Fresher food for consumers – Speedy processing and handling allows meals to be prepared closer to departure times.
air catering

Talk to us about individually engineered solutions for your business today.

ICA specialises in designing and fabricating materials handling equipment. 
The ICA Catalogue showcases our range of turnkey systems, which are found in Australia’s biggest companies and multi-nationals across the globe.

our reputation
within the industry

While we create one-off solutions, we never treat our customer relationships that way. ICA prides itself on building long standing, ongoing partnerships with our clients. Our ability to continue to add value to our clients’ plant efficiency and production is fundamental to our success, and our intimate knowledge of the specifics of materials handling in every client industry is the reason we enjoy satisfied clients and long-term relationships.

The reason clients choose ica

Our Point of Difference

ICA has the expertise, capacity and financial strength to undertake any size project anywhere in the world. As a provider of turnkey solutions, ICA provides a complete in-house service including engineering, design, manufacture, supply, installation and electronic process control from concept through to commissioning. With a combined experience of more than 300 years in materials handling technology you can rely on the ICA team to successfully deliver your next project.

Our Company

Formed in 1979, ICA is a privately-owned company with a 40+ year history of global engineering excellence, driven by a stable, skilled workforce. Wholly Australian owned and operated, our Head Office and manufacturing facilities are located in Bendigo, 160 kilometres north of Melbourne in Central Victoria. On our 15 hectares of land we have a total developed factory complex of over 10,000 square metres within three separate fabrication and assembly buildings. Our Melbourne office in Tullamarine also provides design and sales support.

Our Capabilities

Custom design and turnkey solutions, from micro projects to multi-site global installations. ICA have industry specific expertise, and provide in-house design, manufacture, testing and commissioning. Our team are expert installers providing custom training and ongoing site support.

Turnkey Systems

Turnkey systems are the most cost-effective way of achieving the best system solution for materials handling. ICA specialises in delivering turnkey systems that are adaptable and versatile – enabling you to include and remove components as required. We're a company of inventors and innovators who love starting from scratch to create the best possible system that totally meets your needs, now and into the future. We design modular systems to allow for upgrades and we are able to be involved on an ongoing basis to ensure your equipment is maintained to optimal efficiency. Modular turnkey systems give you the advantage as the latest software, control and sensor technologies can be brought into play - and this is the key to providing market adaptability.