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  • Kyle LeRoy

The Importance of Material Handling Equipment in the Manufacturing Industry

Updated: Jun 4

Material handling is an integral part of the manufacturing industry. The protection, movement, control of materials, and end products throughout the process of manufacturing, disposal, distribution, warehousing, and storage comes under material handling. That is how crucial material handling is to any industry.

Everything from delivering the raw materials to the end product out of the factory is dependent on the material handling equipment. It incorporates several types of machinery that are automated, semi-automated, and manual that supports the network of supply. Here are some essential functions of this equipment in history.

1. Applications of Material handling

Material handling helps many other processes in the industry. This includes product planning, flow and process management, resource allocation, forecasting, customer delivery, control and management of inventories, and after-sales services and support. Proper planning of material handling results in shortening the delivery time, lower overall costs of manufacturing, improve customer service and reduce inventory. Distribution and transportation are other significant areas where changes affect.

2. Material handling Functions

For the primary function is to select the safest and efficient material handling equipment like conveyor rollers which help to be delivered on time to fulfil the needs. It also focuses on bringing down the overall cost on and do plant layout assisting for production machinery. Material handling costs need elimination. Good material handling functions are:

(a) To speed up the movement of equipment, assist with mechanical aids, and eliminate manual labor.

(b) Reduce the transport involved in the production of a material.

(c) To move the maximum number of pieces as possible in one unit. Done by using principles of cartelization, unit load, or centralization.

(d) Regular check-up, maintenance, and repair of material handling equipment.

(e) Reduce the distance that the material has to be transported using the shortest route possible.

(f) Optimum use of gravity for movement of materials wherever it is possible.

(g) To minimize duplicate handling and backtracking of materials by changing the production sequence.

(h) New packages, drums, and containers are needed. It is used to reduce the cost as well as to prevent damage to any damage to the product.

(i) Arrange the process so that the distance the product needs to move is less without disturbing the line of production.

3. Principles used in material handling

In material handling, all the equipment that is semi-automatic, automatic, and manual is required to be a single unified system in the facility. Here are the principles followed in this process.

(a) Unit Load: It is easier to move several items as a single unit. It requires very little effort and labor because of being one unit.

(b) Planning: A team approach is expected in planning. It includes suppliers, consultants, finance, engineering, management, and operations. Defining the needs, supporting technologies, proposed systems, strategic performance, and design outset.

(c) Work: Material handling is for simplifying, shortening, eliminating, reducing, combining, etc., of several processes for maximizing productivity. For example, the technology of gravity assists in the movement of material and thus increasing productivity.

(d) Standardization: Standardization of material handling methods is a need of the hour. It can help all the equipment and controls to perform various tasks than doing a specific one.

(e) Space Utilization: Keep the areas organized and clutter-free for the use of storage space within the facility.

(f) System: Digitalizing the whole process from receiving, storage, inspection, assembly, production, packaging, shipping, transportation, and handling will help for smooth processing.

(g)Automation: Deploying automated material handling technology is important for efficiency, predictability, response, and consistency.

(h) Environment: Reusability and recyclability should be a top concern when energy usage matters. Environmental impact is crucial while handling materials.


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