The term ‘material handling equipment’ might be of immense help if you own a production environment. Because you will need the right piece of equipment for moving heavy objects in your warehouse. Any piece of equipment that helps you with this process is better known as material handling equipment. The equipment assists you in your business-critical tasks from handling the transportation to storage to control at any stage of the processing of materials.
Different Types of Material Handling Equipment
The four commonly used material handling equipment include engineered systems, storage, and bulk material handling and industrial trucks.
Engineered systems units refer to the Automated Storage and Retrieval System that work cohesively to enable storage and transportation. These systems can perform fully automated functions for example: locating a storage item’s location and retrieve it at the same time for other uses. Generally, it involves racks, aisles and shelves accessible by a “shuttle” system of retrieval.
Conveyor systems – depending on what they need to transport, they come in a variety of types such as vibrating, vertical, chain, apron and overhead conveyors.
Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV) – meant to be independent computer-operated trucks that transport loads easily along a predetermined path, with sensors and detectors to avoid suspected collisions.
Storage and Handling Equipment
Storage equipment fits best non-automated examples, which are coupled with engineered systems. Storage equipment hold or buffer materials during times when they are idle. These temporary pausing periods are observed in long-term transportation or long-term storage due to the excessive buildup of stock. Storage equipment includes shelves, pallets or racks onto which materials are stacked to endure transportation or consumption while being in inventory.
- Stacking materials like blocks and crushable pallets of inventory, like containers of liquid, to be stacked in an orderly manner to save space.
- Good for bins, shelves and drawers, to keep materials and products stored and organized. Typical types include cantilever, boltless, revolving, and tie-down.
- Used for mezzanines to enlarge floor space in a warehouse or other storage building for corporate sectors. Common types are modular, movable, rack supported, building supported, free-standing etc.
Bulk Material Handling Equipment
Bulk material handling equipment caters to transportation storing, and control of materials available in bulk form. These materials can be food, liquid, or even minerals, and to move them safely, often material handling equipment such as conveyor belts or elevators are designed.
Conveyors – accommodate different types of bulk material.
Automated stackers – that usually look after pile bulk material onto stockpiles, for moving them between two points along rails in a yard.
Grain elevators – refers to tall buildings designed for storing grain. They carry the grain to the top of the elevator, where it is sent ahead for processing.
Silos – large storage structures mainly for bulk materials such as bunker, tower, and bag silos.
Industrial Material Handling Trucks
These are items and vehicles used to move materials and products for different purposes. These trucks employ a variety of characteristics to make them eligible for multiple operations. Some trucks come in forks, as in a forklift, or a flat surface while other trucks house a separate piece of equipment for loading. Trucks, depending on the requirement, can be manual or powered lift and notably, an operation can range from walk to ride.
- Hand trucks feature a small platform to set the edge of a heavy object on, and a long handle that gives leverage. The material to be transported rests on the handle, and is carried at a tilt to its destination.
- Walkie Stackers come in both powered and manual versions and transport and lift pallets similar to a forklift. Point to be noted, they don’t carry a place for the operator to ride in.
- Sideloaders, also known as VNA (Very Narrow Aisle) trucks, are optimal for narrow warehouse aisles and can load objects from different directions.
All the information you need to about crucial material handling equipment used in the industry is here. Have the one that suits your company description, thereby can help you alleviate your bottom line.
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