Whether it’s in food, beverage, pharmaceutical, or chemical manufacturing, facilities management, logistics, shipping and receiving, or any other industry that requires handling of products, materials, or components, effective material handling equipment is essential for efficiency and safety. It includes a wide range of manual, semi-automated, and automated technologies for transporting, storing, protecting, and relocating materials. Some of these include conveyor systems, cranes, hoists, lifting equipment, lift trucks, robotic cells, and automated storage and retrieval systems.
The type of material handling equipment required depends on the size, shape, and weight of the unit load. The layout of the warehouse also influences which system is best for moving the material, since confining spaces will require maneuverability, while more open warehouses may suit conveyor systems better. Additionally, the type of product can affect how much space is needed for it to be stored and moved.
A few disadvantages of using these types of material handling equipment are that they require skilled operators to operate them. If a company doesn’t have the trained employees to operate the equipment, they’ll need to pay for someone to train them or risk damaging the material. They also take up a lot of space and can be costly to install.
There are many benefits of using material handling equipment, including increased productivity and reduced labor costs. Additionally, this type of equipment can minimize employee injuries from manual lifting, such as back strains and repetitive motion injuries. It also reduces the need for workers to transport heavy items manually, which can be dangerous and time consuming.
In addition to improving the circulation of products and materials in a facility, material handling equipment can also increase worker morale. By providing them with the tools they need to complete tasks efficiently and effectively, employees are more likely to be satisfied with their job and enjoy coming to work every day. This is especially true when it comes to the use of power equipment, such as forklifts and cranes, that empower employees to handle heavy loads with greater strength and precision.
The most important thing to remember when choosing material handling equipment is to choose the right one for your specific needs. The size, shape, and weight of the unit loads you’re working with will determine the type of equipment you need, as well as your budget and available resources. Some of the most popular options include: