Material Handling Systems – Different Types and Applications

What is Material Handling System?

We often think of how these warehouses and factories have well-organized product management systems?

The diverse process of transportation, controlling, storing, loading, and unloading smallest to most complex products fall under the general structure of a ‘material handling systems.’ This manifolds equipment, tools, vehicles, storage units, and appliances to run the entire system.

Use of Material Handling Equipment :

Material handling equipment has a broad usage scope in production houses like industries and warehouses. These play a vital role in the crucial tasks of lifting and transporting heavy materials. Material handling equipment is used in any stage of processing material for storage, control, and transportation.

Types Of Material Handling Equipment :

There are types of material handling equipment that make moving a heavy or large quantity of material smoother. Apprehension of all the complex techniques is difficult, but the four broad equipment types are

  • Bulk product handling equipment
  • Storage and handling equipment
  • Engineered systems
  • Industrial material trucks

Application of Material Handling Equipment :

Each category has a diverse range of equipment with helpful functionality. Types of equipment make it easier to handle the heavy and bulk amount of materials. Let us hop into further details of how this equipment plays a vital role in the material handling system.

Bulk Product Handling Equipment :

Under this banner, storing, transportation, and handling of loose bulk material is carried out. These include material handling of products such as food, beverages, or few minerals, among others.

One helpful example is a silo, a massive cylinder used to store grains and fermented seeds.

Few more examples are :

  • Bucket elevators in warehouse management systems are buckets attached to revolving belts or chains to carry and transport a large product vertically.
  • Dump trucks are used in industries for on-site heaving functions.
  • Hoppers are buckets with a funnel-shaped from one end. It is used to carry material and dump it from one place to another when needed.
  • Grain elevators are used for storing grains. These are long buildings that carry and elevate out of the container when sent for processing.
  • Stackers piles up stock, moving between two points or aisles. It is automated and used for bulk materials.
  • Reclaimers are machines used to stockpile stocked materials from bulk.
  • Elevated lift tables play a decisive role in increasing work efficiency and workers’ safety. It is designed to lift heavy loads and transport them to smaller warehouse control systems like forklifts.

Storage and Handling Equipment

Racks and shelves are used to store products in times of downtime, receiving, shipping, or material when not in use. These are simple and often not taken as equipment. Storage of material is as necessary as any other part from manufacturing till delivering the order. These are designed vertically in a warehouse to create space to hold more items. These also include

  • Stacking frames in the warehouse helps safely crush products such as liquid containers to be secured without damage.
  • Bins are used to stock material when not in use. These are helpful storage methods to store and organize products.
  • Drawers in the warehouse help to store material in large quantity when not in use
  • Flow racks provide space and save time and labor. It is adjusted according to the material dimension.
  • Mezzanines help create more elevated floors in a warehouse to provide additional storage for a brief time.
  • Pallet racks help explicitly to store product vertically which consume less space. These make transferring and storing products more convenient.

Engineered Systems

Engineered system is typically an automated system that covers various units for storage and transportation. This system has the most complex and expensive equiments and requires proper research before investing in it. Different types of the engineered system include

  • Conveyor systems are mechanical devices used to transfer material. They usually have frames with rollers, belts, or wheels. It supports things to move from one place to another.
  • Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are excellent material handling technology. They are system-operated trucks to carry heavy loads without bumping them into other products.
  • Storage and Retrieval system (AS/RS) are complete automated material handling devices with wide aisles, racks. It is also operated manually.
  • Robotic delivery systems in warehouses are a significant advantage in the transportation of products within the warehouse or plant.

Industrial material trucks :

It covers the transportation of materials. These are equipment and vehicles used to move materials. It includes human handled as well as automatic. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are operating in industrial as well as engineered systems. Few examples of industrial material trucks are

  • Order pickers are essential to order management software. These electric lift trucks are specifically designed to fill individual customer orders.
  • Pallet trucks are used for product transportation. These forklifts are manually or automatically handled.
  • Sideloaders load and unload products. This material handling software carries products from sides, unlike forklifts which have from the front.
  • Platform trucks are two-wheeled drove manually and low to the ground for transporting the product.
  • Forklifts are functioning vehicles used to carry and transport heavy materials.
  • Walkie Stalkers are pedestrian stackers without an operator to ride them. These are used for product lifting and transportation.

Wrapping Up :
A high seller warehouse to a direct factory uses material handling equipment for smoother order fulfillment, employee safety, increased productivity, boosted manufacturing process, and eradicating fatal injuries. This information may be helpful for basic knowledge before updating your warehouse and finding suitable material handling equipment. Understanding the specific warehouse control software can help grow increased productivity with the lesser time consumed.

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