Material handling involves the use of different manual, semi-automated, and automated systems and equipment to move, store, protect, and control products and materials in the manufacture, distribution, warehousing, consumption, and disposal stages. Material handing application helps in forecasting, allocation of resources, production planning, flow and process management, inventory management and control, customer delivery, and after sales support and services. The material handling system of a company is crucial to the improvement of customer service, reducing inventory, shortening delivery time, and lowering overall handling costs in the manufacture, distribution, and transport of products.
When it comes to the variety of material handling technologies and equipment, different industries use the following: industrial robots, integrated material handling systems, item order fulfillment systems, lift trucks, monorails and workstations cranes, overhead cranes, packaging, software, sortation, automated storage and retrieval systems, automatic identification and data collection, casters and wheels, controls, automatic guided vehicles, conveyors, protective guarding, racks, dock equipment, ergonomics, hoisting equipment, and storage. When it comes to material handling system design, it is essential to ensure that all processes and equipment work as a unified system, applying the principles of planning, standardization, work, ergonomics, unit load, space utilization, system, environment, automation, and life cycle cost. When planning your material handling design, it is important to have a collaborative approach with your consultants, suppliers, and your end-users. In order to perform different tasks in different operating condition, there should be a standardization of all material handling equipment, methods, software, and controls. Simplification of material handling processes should be carried out to reduce, combine, shorten, or eliminate unnecessary movement that impedes productivity. Safety must be emphasized when designing material handling equipment and methods, supporting the abilities of workers, and reducing repetitive and strenuous manual labor. It is important to keep your work areas organized and free of clutter, maximizing storage density without accessibility and flexibility being compromised.
There should be a well-coordinated material movement and storage from the receiving, inspection, production, storage, assembly, packaging, utilization, and order selection to transportation, shipping, and returns handling. When designing the material handling system, it is important to consider the energy use and impacts to the environment. It is important to deploy automated material handling technologies operational efficiency improvement, responsiveness, predictability, and consistency. For the life cycle cost, it is important to consider the capital investment, setup, installation, training, programming, system testing, maintenance and repair, operation, reuse value, and disposal. Material handling technologies and equipment are utilized in various industries such as manufacturing, pharmaceutical, retail, materials processing, consumer goods, e-commerce, food and beverage, construction, hardware, warehousing, and distribution, and automotive. Check out our related articles about materials handling processes and equipment by visiting our website or homepage now!