Many companies need material handling equipment and systems to store and handle bulk materials. Material handling equipment is equipment that can move, control and protect material at warehouses or other facilities. This equipment is used in many industries making it versatile. You can equip your facility with the right equipment for your needs by learning more about material handling equipment.
Find out more about the various types of material handling equipment, and how they can work in different industries. You may also be interested to learn more about the main benefits of material handling equipment, and how you can choose the right equipment for you.
Types of Material Handling Equipment
The main four categories of material handling equipment are bulk handling material equipment (engineered systems), storage and handling equipment, and industrial trucks.
1. Bulk handling material engineering equipment
Equipment that handles bulk material transport, storage and control is called bulk handling equipment. Manufacturers design bulk handling equipment for storing and moving loose materials. These pieces of equipment can be used to handle liquids, metal items, and minerals.
You can get a good idea of bulk material equipment by reviewing the types listed below.Hoppers: These large, funnel-shaped objects have openings that can close. To pour materials from containers into containers, hoppers are used by companies.
Reclaimers: Large machines that are designed to remove materials from a company’s stockpile.
Conveyor Belts: A conveyor system is incomplete without the use of conveyor belts. To rotate their belts, they use pulleys or drums to move bulky materials from one place to the next.
Stackers: Stackers play a key role in bulk material handling. This equipment is capable of moving loose materials from stockpiles to themselves.
Bucket and grain elevators are sometimes referred to by the term “grain legs”, bucket elevators move bulk materials vertically. These elevators can transport bulk materials along a production route and store them.
2. Engineered material handling systems
Also known as engineered systems, engineered bulk material handling equipment is used to transport and store bulk materials. Automated systems usually include several pieces of equipment. Automated systems are very popular because they eliminate the need to use manual labor for various tasks. These are the main types of engineered systems.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems: The AS/RS is a popular type of engineered system that can handle a lot of work. The system uses a shuttle to collect loose materials, then places them on the required parts of the system. This can either be done manually or automatically. These systems can also be equipped with racks, shelves, and aisles that allow for quick processing. These systems can be connected to the company’s network to make it easier for stock managers to track their stock.
Automated guided vehicle (AGVs: These are computer-operated trucks with sensors and detectors. These vehicles can move materials around your facility safely and autonomously on a set path.
Robotic delivery systems: Many facilities use automated robotic delivery systems for material transport. These systems are used by many companies to transport materials on an assembly-line line.
Conveyor systems: These systems are made up of several mechanical and electronic components that transport materials around a facility. There are many types of conveyor systems, including cleated, chain and overhead, as well as vehicle and vehicle systems.
3. Industrial material-handling trucks
The vast majority of industrial trucks are designed to transport material. You can find small, manual-operated equipment as well as large, fully driveable industrial trucks. You can generally break down industrial trucks into two categories: stacking and non-stacking trucks. Non-stacking trucks have been designed to transport only, while stacking trucks can load and stack materials.
These are the main types of industrial trucks:
Hand trucks: Also known as dollies, hand trucks are a basic piece of equipment that allows operators to move heavy materials around the country.
Sideloaders: Manufacturers make sideloaders that fit in narrow aisles and pick up items from either side.
Pallet trucks: Also known as forklifts or pallet trucks, these machines can be used by operators to lift heavy pallets. These machines have forks that slide under pallets, lift them up and secure them as they are taken to another location. There are both manual and electric forklifts available in different warehouses across the country.
Order pickers: Operators need to reach materials high up. They use order pickers. These machines lift operators safely, making it possible to reach difficult-to-reach materials.
4. Storage and handling equipment
Storage and handling equipment is used to store and organize materials until they are ready for distribution or production. This equipment can be used to store materials for short or longer periods of time depending on the company’s needs. Although storage and handling equipment are stationary and not automated, companies often combine it with automated equipment and systems.
These are the most commonly used storage and handling equipment.
Shelves, bins, and drawers: These shelving can be used to organize and store basic materials. When a company has to store and organize small materials that might be lost, drawers or bins are more common.
Mezzanines: Mezzanines are a raised platform that provides additional storage space above the ground. Mezzanines allow companies to store their items vertically, and also free up floor space in their warehouse. These mezzanines come in a variety of forms, including modular, rack-supported, mobile, freestanding, and building-supported.
Racks: Racks are a great way for companies to store their materials and conserve floor space. Racks are available in a variety of styles, including sliding racks and drive-in or push-through racks.
Stacking frames: Manufacturers create stacking frames that can be stacked on top of each other. These are a key type of storage equipment for material handling. They can safely store fragile equipment and save space.
Different uses for material handling equipment
Material handling equipment is used by many companies across many industries, due to its broad coverage of machinery and equipment. These are some of the most common uses for material handling equipment across different industries.
Agriculture: You have to move a lot of materials when you work in agriculture. This includes fertilizer, seeds, and crops. There are many types of agricultural material handling equipment in melbourne available. Telehandlers, aerial lifts, and forklifts can be used to load and haul materials. Popular are also grain elevators and hoppers.
Construction: Material handling equipment is used by many construction companies to load and transport materials around the project site. Telehandlers, aerial lifts, and forklifts are some of the most common equipment in construction.
Distribution: To move products along their supply chains, those in the distribution sector need material handling equipment. AGVs, electric forklifts, and stackers are some of the most important distribution material handling equipment.
Landscaping: Material handling equipment is used by landscaping companies to lift heavy materials such as soil and pallets containing plants and transport them to the desired destinations. Both hand trucks and lift trucks are popular pieces of landscaping material handling equipment.
Manufacturing: The manufacturing industry is dependent on material handling equipment and systems. Manufacturing material handling equipment can include pallet trucks, order pickers and forklifts.
Material handling: Warehouses are a common business that uses material handling equipment to store and process their materials. Reach trucks, pallet trucks, stackers and order pickers are all popular warehouse material handling equipment.
Why is material handling equipment so important for your operation
Companies in many industries can benefit from material handling equipment. Material handling equipment and systems can greatly improve the safety and efficiency of many companies. Material handling equipment can also reduce waste, lower costs, and optimize space in a facility. These are the top benefits of material handling equipment.
Greater efficiency: Material handling equipment has the advantage of processing items efficiently. By equipping your facility with the right material handling equipment, production can be reduced by improving circulation and reducing stoppages. You can use many different types of material handling equipment to get your materials to the right places faster, maintain a consistent flow and increase efficiency.
Reduced waste Your waste can be reduced by equipping your facility with material handling equipment. Forklifts are able to securely transport pallets from various locations, while stacking frames keep crushed items safe.
Lower costs: Material handling equipment can help companies lower their costs. Equipment that improves efficiency and speeds up processes can help increase profitability and reduce work stops and errors. Material handling equipment also reduces waste. This will help you reduce the cost of replacing damaged products.
To make better use of your warehouse space, you can use a variety of material handling equipment to reduce the space needed. To increase the vertical storage capacity of your warehouse, you can use mezzanines and tall racks. Sideloaders also allow you to position your aisles closer together. Sideloaders allow you to make better use of your warehouse space and can greatly increase your warehouse capacity.
Safety for employees: Material handling equipment can increase employee safety. It reduces the amount of manual labor that your staff must do. Employee safety can be improved by using machinery that is designed to lift and transport heavy materials. Staff are also protected from injuries and falls by using secure storage and machinery.
How to choose the right materials handing equipment for your project
You might be interested to invest in bulk material handling equipment because of all the benefits it offers. Find out more about the key considerations that you should make when choosing the right equipment for you.
Material type: First, determine the kind of material that you will be handling. You will need the right equipment for handling your material. This includes its weight, size, shape, and whether it is liquid, gas, or solid. You can get rid of any equipment that isn’t able to handle your materials safely and efficiently.
Layout of your facility: How much space you have will determine what equipment you can use. Different warehouse equipment is better suited to different spaces. Be sure to check that your equipment can reach your materials and fit between the aisles. Also, make sure it is safe to navigate the space.
Production flow: If your company has a steady production flow between two fixed positions you can probably use a full conveyor system. If your production flow is subject to a lot change, it’s advisable to prioritize machinery that can change direction and navigate around the facility.
Types of operations: You should consider the type of operations that you perform regularly. Renting equipment is better for temporary operations while purchasing equipment for permanent operations can be more cost-effective. It is important to know if your material flow pattern follows a horizontal or vertical path.
Equipment cost: When you are choosing equipment, it is important to think about whether you can afford it. You may choose to rent or buy used equipment if you don’t have the funds for a downpayment. To ensure that you get the best value for your money, you might also consider the operating and maintenance costs of different pieces of equipment.
Structural factors: Make sure that any equipment you choose is compatible with your facility’s specific structural factors. Material handling equipment must be compatible with your facility’s structure, ceiling and door dimensions, as well as floor conditions.
Reliability is essential for any company as it helps to keep their production flowing smoothly and reduces maintenance costs.
You might be interested in purchasing equipment for your facility now that you have a better idea of how to choose the right type of material handling equipment. We provide machines for rental or purchase to companies, so you can find the right machine for your needs.