Materials handling is a very important part of the manufacturing, distribution and storage processes and if it isn’t handled with the right kind of material handling equipment losses can occur. This equipment varies and can include things like different kinds of vehicles, storage units, different kinds of tools and appliances and even the accessories that are required to transport materials safely. Materials handling equipment is generally grouped into four types: storage equipment, bulk material handling equipment, industrial trucks and engineered systems. The categories are discusses below in a bit more detail.
This is the kind of equipment that is used to hold materials when they are awaiting manufacturing, when the manufacturing is complete and also to take materials to storage or various points of sale. Generally, the equipment in this category is not automated. It includes things like bins, mezzanines, drawers, pallets, shelves, racks and shelves. The way storage equipment is organized can have an impact on the efficiency of the manufacturing process. If the shelves that hold your raw materials are not well arranged, for instance, you will not be able to get your materials out fast enough and there will be delays on the factory floor. If you handle large amounts of stored materials you may want to consider getting proprietary packaging that makes storage easier. Your materials holding company should be able to help you with this.
Bulk Material Handling Equipment
This kind of handling equipment is used to store or transport materials that are in loose form and is mostly used in manufacturing of food, drinks or liquids and minerals. If it is customized it can be used can be used to move packaged materials. It includes things like conveyor belts, reclaimers, stackers, bucket elevator and others. Hoppers and drums are specifically used to move packed materials. Unlike storage equipment which rarely comprises of moving parts, bulk material handling equipment has to be serviced often because its parts are constantly moving. It is important to check the service agreement of this kind of equipment before you buy. You want to find a provider who also provides the necessary service for a reasonable duration of time.
This includes all the equipment that is used to move materials while they are in materials handling. This includes things like fork lifts, trucks, pallet jacks, hand operated trucks and so on. Trucks differ depending on what they will be used to move. If you will be stacking, for instance, you will need a truck that has forks (usually a forklift) but if you will be moving materials a great distance you will need an actual truck. This kind of equipment also requires frequent servicing to keep it in working condition and also to reduce the risk of accidents.
These are systems that work together to allow for either storage or transportation and they are usually automated. A good example is an Automated Storage and Retrieval System which can automatically locate and retrieve specific materials and that can also store items automatically. These systems work with minimum human supervision and they increase efficiency if they are used correctly. Other examples are Automatic Guided Vehicles, Robotic Delivery Systems and Conveyor Systems.