Material handling is the process of moving, protecting, storing, and controlling products and material throughout the manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, disposal, and consumption. Material handing application helps in forecasting, allocation of resources, production planning, flow and process management, inventory management and control, customer delivery, and after sales support and services. The material handling system of a company is crucial to the improvement of customer service, reducing inventory, shortening delivery time, and lowering overall handling costs in the manufacture, distribution, and transport of products.
The different material handling equipment and technologies include automated storage and retrieval systems, automatic guided vehicles, automatic identification and data collection, casters and wheels, controls, conveyors, dock equipment, ergonomics, hoisting equipment, industrial robots, integrated material handling systems, item order fulfillment systems, lift trucks, monorails and workstations cranes, overhead cranes, packaging, protective guarding, racks, software, sortation, and storage. The following principles apply when designing a material handling system: planning, system, standardization, work, ergonomics, unit load, environment, automation, space utilization, and life cycle cost. A team approach is used in creating a plan, defining needs, strategic performance objectives, as well as functional specification of supporting technologies and proposed system. In order to perform different tasks in different operating condition, there should be a standardization of all material handling equipment, methods, software, and controls. Simplification of material handling processes should be carried out to reduce, combine, shorten, or eliminate unnecessary movement that impedes productivity. When it comes to ergonomics, the work and working conditions must support the workers’ abilities in reducing repetitive and strenuous manual labor while emphasizing safety. Space utilization involves freeing your work areas from clutter and organizing it to maximize storage density without compromising flexibility and accessibility.
Storage and material movement should be well-coordinated from receiving, inspection, production, packaging, storage, assembly, utilization, and order selection. It is also essential to consider environmental impacts and energy usage. There should be a deployment of automated material handling technologies for the improvement of operational efficiency, responsiveness, consistency, and predictability. When it comes to the life cycle cost, there should be considerations in the capital investment, setup, installation, system testing, maintenance and repair, training, programming, operation, reuse value, and disposal. Material handling technologies and equipment are utilized in various industries such as manufacturing, pharmaceutical, retail, materials processing, consumer goods, e-commerce, food and beverage, construction, hardware, warehousing, and distribution, and automotive. Allow us to help you to learn more about materials handling systems and processes by checking our related articles on our homepage or website now.