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.