Material Handling Equipment

Material handling equipment is equipment specifically designed to mechanically handle packaged or bulky goods, generally in production, shipping or storage facilities. Choosing the right material handling equipment is very important, because it will affect the operating costs and operational efficiency of the plant. Materials to be handled, factory buildings, and issues of urgency and safety are some of the factors that influence the decision in choosing the right material handling equipment.

The equipment is designed after taking into consideration the direction, speed of movement and the level of supervision required. Normally, the equipment used for lighter loads includes wheelbarrows, trolleys and pulley blocks. Trucks, cranes and hoists, monorails and lifts are regularly used for heavy loads. In mass production facilities, conveyors, slides and chutes are also used.

Material handling equipment can be generally classified as transport equipment, positioning equipment and unit load formation equipment.

Transport equipment is used to move materials from one location to another. It includes cranes and industrial trucks. Positioning equipment is used to handle material at a single location, so that it is in the correct position for subsequent handling, machining, transport, or storage. It includes hoists and lifts. Unlike transport equipment, positioning equipment is usually used at a single workplace. Unit load formation equipment is used to maintain integrity when handling a single load during transport and for storage. It includes pallets, bags and skids.

There are several new developments in equipment for moving stock in factories and distribution centers. For example, inductive-powered monorails that eliminate electrical contact and reduce maintenance without sacrificing efficiency are now available. Some of the biggest lift truck suppliers in the world have introduced models that use AC power to increase efficiency. If someone plans to buy material handling equipment, there are a number of material handling equipment dealers who provide equipment that is specifically made to meet one’s needs.