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Materials handling

Material handling equipment encompasses devices used in system design, warehouse automation, various manufacturing solution, and factory upgrade. They include automated storage and retrieval systems, automatic guided vehicle, and order fulfillment systems among other devices. Generally, material handling equipment can be categorized into four major groups, namely: industrial trucks, bulk material handling, storage and engineered systems.
Engineered Systems

Engineered systems are often automated and consist of units that operate cohesively to enhance easy storage and transportation of materials. Automated storage and retrieval system is a good example of an engineered system. It is an automated structure consisting racks, shelves, and aisles that are accessible via “shuttle’ retrieval system – which can perform automated functions such as easy location and retrieval of an item in the store. ? Other examples of engineered systems include automated guided vehicles, robotic delivery systems, and conveyor systems among others.

Storage and Handling Equipment

These are mostly non-automated systems that are used to hold or buffer items when they are being transported around the warehouse or during “downtimes”. Majority of storage equipment include racks, shelves and pallets onto which material may be stacked to await transportation or final consumption. Other examples of storage and handling equipment include bins, drawer, mezzanines, and stacking frames among others.

Industrial Trucks

Industrail trucks generally refer to transportation devices and vehicles that are used to move materials during various material handling processes. They include pallet jacks, hand trucks, hand-operated trucks and pallet trucks. They have customized designs that make them suitable for different material handling operations. For instance, while some trucks are fitted with forks or flat surface to help them lift materials, others have special piece of equipment for loading. Industrial trucks can be powered (in which case the operator can ride along on the truck) or operated manually (pushed).

Bulk Material Handling Equipment

Bulk material handling involves transportation, storage and control of items/materials in loose bulk form. Materials that can be moved or transported in bulk form include food, minerals, and liquid among others. Some of the bulk materials handling systems include conveyor belts, reclaimers, stackers, hoppers, bucket elevators and grain elevators.

Material handling equipment are essential part of any manufacturing company or organization involved in material handling. These versatile systems are designed to provide quicker and convenient automation services for the manufacturing organizations.

Tips On How To Buy Pallet Racks

pallet racks cmh incPallet racks are an important component of storage – they are used to keep warehouses and storage areas neat and well organized. Because they come in so many different types it is important to know exactly what to look for when you are buying them. Your choice will determine not just how well your items are stored but also how safe they are. Before you buy pallet racks consider the following:

What will you be storing on them?

The heavier the items you want to store the stronger you pallet racks have to be. If you will be storing very heavy items it is important that you consider pallets that have diagonal or horizontal braces. These are usually installed within the columns of the pallet rack enabling them to bear extra weight.

Think about how high you want to stack them

Pallet rack stacking is done to save on storage space. The smaller the area you want to work with the higher you have to stack. If you will be stacking them more than a meter or two off the floor you should buy pallets that have a wide base to avoid toppling over.

Weight distribution is also important

It is usually determined by the construction of the pallet as well as the rack’s capacity. There are some that are constructed to hold as much as 40,000 pounds but if you choose these you have to bear in mind that the weight should be distributed evenly in order to avoid accidents.

Think about the material that the pallet rack is made of

Although many different materials are used to make pallet racks not all of them are as reliable. If you want racks that will last for years then you should buy steel ones. If you think that your pallets will need to be moved from time to time buy those that are made of strong plastic and aren’t too heavy.

While most pallet racks are designed to be safe there are often accidents in warehouses because if human error. If you want to maintain a safe storage area there are certain things that you should ensure. Remember, all your employees must follow the rules to avoid injury.

  • Any damage to a pallet or pallet component must be reported immediately. Damaged pallet racks can cause very serious accidents should they break.
  • Climbing on pallet racks is extremely dangerous. They are not designed to support human weight and getting onto them usually causes them to lose their center of gravity. To retrieve items only forklifts should be used.
  • Pallet racks should be placed out of the way of regular human and forklift traffic. To be safe make sure that they are several meters off aisles.
  • If a pallet rack is damaged it is important that it be removed and replaced immediately.
  • Do not stack more weight on a pallet rack than the stated capacity. They usually come with a sticker that sates how much weight they can hold.
  • Lastly, do pallet rack inspection on a regular basis to make sure that everything is in order.

Use these tips to buy pallet racks and also to ensure that everyone who works in your warehouse is safe.