Types of Material Handling Equipment

Types of Material Handling Equipment

This type of equipment includes all the devices and machinery that is used to move goods throughout a warehouse or factory. It can also include the equipment that is needed to transport the goods from the factory or warehouse to the final consumer. The material handling equipment selection is critical to the success of the industry or manufacturer. This equipment can impact everything from profit margins to productivity. This type of equipment is broken down into four different categories and is based on the role they play in the manufacturing process.

Transportation material handling equipment

This type of equipment is used to move goods and material from one location to another such as between a storage area and a loading dock. These include both external and internal machinery.

• Internal-these can include a conveyor belt, forklift truck, or hoist that is used to move materials. This category may travel from an assembly line to a packing or storage room or between production areas.
• External-these include shipping containers or commercial trucks, which are used to move goods to retail outlets and stores.

Positioning material handling equipment

This equipment is used to reposition products and materials, which can include feeders or automated robots. These will precisely orient parts to fit into assembly line equipment. It can also include transfer or tilt tables that lower or lift assembled goods or pallets. It may include hoists or lifts used to store materials on a warehouse shelf.

Storage and retrieval material handling equipment

This includes all the shelving and racks to house the goods after the production process. This can include the warehouse racking or shelving systems, and cabinets and bins for the smaller goods. For the storage of liquids, it can include drums or silos. In most cases, the products that are stored on the floor or directly on pallets do not include any type of equipment for storage.

Load-formation material handling equipment

This type of material handling equipment includes the packing machinery that is used to get the goods ready for shipping. This includes:

• Skids and pallets used to stack the products
• Crates and boxes
• Shirk-wrapping machines that are used to wrap plastic tightly around the pallet of goods
• Bulk handling containers that hold products like oil, grain, or liquid

Identification and control material handling equipment

• Systems that are used to track the goods as they move through the process of manufacturing and distribution
• Inventory control software programs
• Bar codes or tags that are used to identify packaging
• Portable magnetic stripe or portable bar code readers

All of these types of material handling equipment are necessary for a factory or manufacturing plant to operate smoothly.

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